Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Giving Our Best

Zu, Papaya, Lu and Abbey Lynne---the Library's Therapy Dog.
(For real!)

First things first.

It's about a month away from Valentine's Day and I can't wait!

After playing Survivor twice--in a 12 month period--I can honestly say that I'm all about any holiday that celebrates LOVE and CHOCOLATE!

Believe me, the world--my world--is a better place when there's LOVE and CHOCOLATE in it.


Okay, now my other point!

As you may know, I was a long-time Survivor-watcher and fan before I ever played the game. I began watching during Season 1, then auditioned for Season 2: Australia--and for 5 more seasons after that!

So I think it's safe to say, Survivor has had a major influence on ME--and our family (the whole family).

I really love the life lessons Survivor, the game, and the players teach.

There are millions, but here are a few off the top of my head:

--Beds are a good great thing.
--Deodorant is a good great thing.
--Families/tribes can make life beautiful & meaningful.
--Families/tribes can make life  a living hell.
--Clean drinking water should not be a luxury.
--We all need a shelter from the storm (literally & metaphorically).
--and on and on and on ....

But I think two of the most important life lessons I've gained from watching and playing Survivor are these: 

1. Be in the moment.

2. Do your best in each moment.

Because when you're playing Survivor, or at least when I was, you feel this urgency to give your best. (Obviously I didn't always do THE best, but at least I was always TRYING to do my best. Those you that watched Survivor South Pacific, yes, that was the best I could steer a wheelbarrow. Ha ha ha.)

And I think after Survivor ended I realized, "Wow--when you give your best, life is pretty fulfilling." (And sadly, I think pre-Survivor I didn't always give my best.)

Maybe that's because life gets hard.

There are illnesses, and unpredictable weather, and recessions, and sometimes we just don't have that much "invested" in whatever it is we are doing (grocery shopping, teaching, visiting a friend, cleaning a toilet, etc.).

(Does that make sense? I hope I don't sound too Oprah?)

My big long intro is really about this:

The other day we went to the library to check out books. And while we were there we met Abbey Lynne, a therapy dog who reads with library patrons once a month.

This dog, and her amazing owner (Elaina), are giving their best--without expecting anything in return.

And it's nothing short of incredible.

This beautiful woman, and her beautiful Golden Retriever, donate their time, come to the library, and listen to kiddos read.

Isn't that amazing?

We left that library so happy. So filled with gratitude. 

It was the best feeling ever.

And think that's what Survivor, and Abbey Lynne, and Elaina teach/taught me:

When you--or other people--give their best, you FEEL something.

You FEEL connected and good and light and happy.

It's awesome!

Zu, Papaya, Lu and Abbey Lynne read poetry.
(See ... the dog LISTENS. Isn't that nuts?)

Abbey Lynne isn't a big Origami fan. 



PS: While our pets aren't Certified Therapy Animals, 
I'm pretty sure they provide us with therapy on a daily basis.

Harriet-the-Dog (aka "Dances With Snow")

Whitney (aka "City Kitty")