Today, my brother, nieces, and I took little Benny, the cocker spaniel, to the dog park. The weather today was beautiful, sunny, and warm. It was obvious that many other dog owners had the same idea, taking advantage of the day, for it was quite a popular and crowded place.
As Benny ran about excitedly exploring and investigating the park along with the other canines, I found it intriguing to see how the dog owners interacted. There seemed to be some regulars who frequented the park and easily conversed with one another. A couple of people even brought lawn chairs, making themselves comfortable while their pets played.
Others, like me, stood still at first taking it all in. There were some rather large dogs racing back and forth, frolicking with each other, oblivious to anything other than the fun to be had. Those pups played with wonderful abandon, totally carefree, and without a worry. The dogs also showed me two points I took home from the dog park today.
Enjoy and live in the moment – As we walk through grief, it can be difficult to allow ourselves pleasure and the freedom to “run and play.” However, I believe we can learn from the dogs I watched today. They didn’t worry about anything but playing in the sun with their new friends. It didn’t matter that the fun wouldn’t last long or that they would encounter the occasional dog that barked and played a bit roughly. They lived in the moment.
Branch out to meet others – Those of us walking the journey of grief can also benefit by reaching outside of ourselves and meeting new people. Not everyone we come in contact will be our new best friend or even someone whom we want to know better. Still, it is good for us to practice social skills and talk to others if only to forget our own sorrows for just a bit. The art of conversation gets a bit rusty if we allow ourselves to stay isolated for too long.
Little Benny enjoyed his day at the park, as did the four of us who took him. A little fresh air, exercise and socializing is beneficial to everyone – canines as well as humans. I do not have a dog, but I can take these same concepts and apply them to my life at home. Here’s to meeting new friends and enjoying the journey along the way.
Until next time –