If only we'd stop trying to be happy, we'd have a pretty good time. -Edith Wharton
This quote makes me think of our new doggie, Barney Clark, who happens to be lying next to me as I write this, playing with a rope toy and generally acting goofy and adorable. Barney has been with us about 10 weeks, and we have adapted to each other very well. Even though he's our first pet in almost 34 years of marriage, I can't imagine life without him. He is an angel, firmly interwoven into our hearts.
Barney is a great teacher. He's curious. Everything, including every single blade of grass on the planet, is worthy of a sniff. He's patient. He doesn't care if a thorough sniff of one blade of grass takes five minutes. He's fascinated by other animals, some to meet and greet, some to chase. He's cautious of humans who are new to him. He's strong and healthy, having recovered from parvovirus before we adopted him. He's a diverse mix of breeds, looking mostly like a small Golden Retriever, but with some German Shepherd and who knows what else mixed in. All that diversity has combined to make a very smart, handsome dog. He loves to go, and he loves to nap. All of this is to say that he's not trying to be happy, he's simply being himself, and, apparently, he's having a pretty good time.
Am I happy? It's a question I like to consider occasionally. My answer would be "most of the time." I'm not happy 24/7. Sometimes I'm frustrated, especially now that I'm doing my annual spring tax-preparer gig. Sometimes I'm sad, bored, exhausted. Most of the time I suck at golf. But underlying all that, I know that life is good, things are OK, life goes on and it keeps getting better. Staying in tune with that underlying knowing makes it easy to have a pretty good time.
Barney is a great reminder that needs in life are simple: shelter, food, water, exercise and love. If we have those, that all adds up to a pretty good time.