02 February 2008

Walks With Dogs

It's a really beautiful day today. It's unseasonably warm for February, but it's beautiful anyway. I woke up around 8:15 this morning, and my mom dropped off the Yorshire Terrier that is now napping behind my head. Bogart and I just got back from our walk--I like walking with a dog because people who are outside inevitably stop and talk to you because you have a dog. And I think there's a direct correlation between old women and small dogs: the older the woman, smaller the dog she'll think is adorable. It's okay, though, because now two little old ladies in the condos adjoined to my apartment complex know me via Bogey.

Walking with a dog gives me the chance to think. Inevitably, when I walk through the condo-neighborhood, I think about what I want in life, where I want to be, who I want to be with, what I want to be doing. Obviously, I haven't the smallest clue. But on a day like this, not knowing seems better than being certain. And I've got plenty of time.

I've started watching my health a little better, and in only two weeks, I'm noticing how much happier, how much better I feel. Walks like today, enjoying them, prompts me to believe I want to stick around for days like this. There's a lot of bad going on in the world, there's a lot of hurt that won't be solved--I tend to let those things overtake my perspective. Walks with dogs tend to clear your mind. Boo, for instance, is the happiest dog in the universe. I really don't think there's ever a moment Bogey doesn't want to be around you, doesn't want to play fetch or hide-and-seek (and yeah, Bogart totally plays hide-and-seek, it's how he got his nickname, 'Boo'). It's infectious, really, the happiness of a dog. Even a small dog.

Happiness is generally infectious, anyway, isn't it? I went for dinner at the Bees Knees last night with a friend of mine. I don't know this woman particularly well; she just sat in front of me in Weiss' philosophy class last semester, and we chatted a lot. Yet there's this connection between us--be it shared interests, coinciding sensibilities, or something likened to the kindredness of spirits, I don't know. But hanging out with Melinda is just super fun. Even when we're talking about owing interest to the IRS and House resolutions that if passed, could not only outlaw abortion, but multiple types of birth control and assisted reproduction (HR 536-Scott), the world doesn't seem entirely dark. We disagree on who to vote for in Tuesday's primary, we've got different views of spirituality and religion, she's eons more intelligent than I, and my life is a little bit more stable than hers right now. But I think at the core of it all, we both just want to be happy. I think we try to be happy, and I think we try to bring happiness to the lives of those we encounter. As I was driving home after I stuffed myself on hummus and pita, I couldn't help but think how those that bring happiness make us want to get up and do good things for people. I think if we all tried to bring small joy into the lives around us, we'd all be better off.

The truth is, I'm worried about a lot of things. I habitually take on too many things at once and I exhaust myself. I was on the phone with mom yesterday afternoon, complaining about how exhausted I was. She responded, simply, "Well, you've been going all week, haven't you?" I try to control too many uncontrollable things. The beauty of walks with small dogs is that there's nothing to control. There's nothing to stress you out, nothing to busy your mind. It's just the dog and the joy he brings you.