Apparently, I’m a glutton for punishment. Or adventure. (I’m going with adventure.) Either way, I obviously did not have enough on my plate, and decided it was time for me to get a dog. I have been looking into it for over a year now and finally bit the bullet.
Oh my gosh. Best. Decision. Ever. And what’s great is I mean that even after a weekend that included some house accidents, Bernerd hating his leash and a firm decision to get some obedience training up in this house real right quick. (I’ll leave you to decide whether or not the training is for me or the dog…)
I know having a dog is not as monumental as having a baby – but this is a pretty big deal for me. I’ve wanted a dog for a long time. I envisioned long walks, playing catch and Bernerd being able to magically communicate to me about his bathroom needs. While this weekend has been none of that, and I’ve expended a lot of energy, I still think this was a good decision for me. First of all, I’ve walked about 13 miles this weekend alone. I can’t feel my legs. The exercise coupled with early mornings means I’m actually sleeping. And, when I’m not spending time with friends, getting to bed at a decent time.
But I’ve also realized another thing. I’m a pretty selfish person. This is probably something I should have realized earlier, but hey, 30 isn’t too late to have some self-discovery is it? (I didn’t think so.)
Having a dog means I have been home more this weekend then I have been in a long time. It means hanging out, waiting to see if I get potty signals from the dog. It’s forced me into an odd place of rest. It has also made me realize how much of my life I live for myself. Sure I work and I go to church. I hang out with my friends, and I’m meeting fun new people who are challenging my outlook on life.
However, I feel like I’m missing that really important service element of my life. Maybe this is something that comes through the mentoring I’m doing, or simply by having discussions with people who don’t agree with me on issues. I don’t know. Part of me wants to get my dog trained and get him certified so I can take him in to visit nursing homes. Or, like my fabulous friend Amy Tracy, get him trained so I can take him into children’s wards at hospitals. I’m not sure and all of those things are a long time down the road if they’re in the plan at all.
Above all the future plans, this weekend has made me realize how Carrie-focused my life is. Whether it’s how I treat my dog or the words I say to family or friends, I’ve got my interests at heart. That’s something I want to change. I want to serve my family and friends. To be kind. To speak truth when needed. Extend a helping hand. Be a shoulder to cry on and a place where people feel confident they can share and be loved. I can see where the focus of my prayers and Scripture reading will be as I head into the Easter season.
How about you? What in your life do you feel exposes bad attitudes or habits you’d like to see change? How do you start to tackle making those changes?