I have often wished I was just a tad more optimistic. I wish I had a natural inclination to look at the bright side of life, to see the “glass as half full,”and to assume that things will almost always work out just fine in the end. That sounds like a wonderful perspective to have, and I really wish it was mine. But it’s not.
I’m not exactly “Little Miss Doom and Gloom,” but I have always been the kind of person who isn’t surprised when problems show up, even the big ones. When something bad happens in my life, the thought “but I never thought this would happen to me” doesn’t cross my mind. I’m much more likely to think, “of course this happened to me! Why wouldn’t it?” It’s not something I’m proud of, believe me…..it’s just who I am.
But the good news is that attitudes can be changed, and I’m working hard to change mine.
Which is why, after living with our new dog Finn for over a week, I’m finally accepting him at face value and realizing that he is indeed a very nice little dog. I liked him from the start, but I also found myself “waiting for the other shoe to fall,” meaning that he would exhibit some awful behavior that would make me regret bringing him home. (In my defense, I’ve had a little experience along those lines.) But happily, we haven’t seen a single serious behavior issue at all.
He’s actually sort of a lovable goof. I don’t think he was first in line when brains were given out, but he seems to have made up for that with an extra helping of nice, and that’s a trade that will serve him well. He has an adorable habit of leaping into the air for joy every third or fourth step when he’s running across the yard. He’s shown nothing but friendly interest in our toddler grandson and is very housebroken. In short, all my fears and worries about adopting him were for nothing.
Adopting Finn has helped me realize that there really is nothing to be gained by focusing quite so much on all the things that can go wrong in my life, and by focusing a whole lot more on all the things that can go right. “Count your blessings” may sound hopelessly cheesy, but it’s actually a very helpful way to remind ourselves of all the good things we already have. When I truly recognize the many, many, good things that have happened to me already, I can’t help but feel appreciative. And more importantly, I have to acknowledge that it just stands to reason that other good things will come my way as well. Of course bad stuff happens to us all, but it’s high time I stopped actively expecting it to show up on a regular basis.
I’ve come to believe that dogs can teach us many things if we’re willing to learn, and Finn is busy teaching me that sometimes, things work out exactly as we had hoped…and all we can do is be grateful.