Inspiring Me Now

  • "The Purpose of Life is to Be Happy" Dalai Lama

June 10, 2011


The world we live in today is so fast paced it’s a wonder we have time to pee better yet think about the things in our lives for which we are grateful, but I wanted to make myself aware. I started making a list. It’s a list of things in my life that I truly love but all too often take for granted. Here we go…

So His name is Harrison. He’s skinny and black and he doesn’t weigh much, but we’ve been in love for about a year now. I was with his cousin for a while a couple years back, but I needed something hotter. I have severe dependency issues with Harrison. I have to know that he’s somewhere around me at all times. If I can’t find him, I freak out and search frantically until he appears again. Aside from that, we have a fantastic relationship. He keeps me close with my friends and family. He doesn’t snore – which would be a HUGE problem since he sleeps right next to my head, and he faithfully wakes me up with a little song every morning at 6:40. I honestly don’t remember what life was like before him, my sweet Harrison, my iPhone. When I step back and look at it, I couldn’t be more grateful to have such amazing technology at the tips of my fingers.  Smartphones have changed the way we live our lives. And while yes, I am thankful for nature and peace and quiet, I’m also thankful I can check my bank account from anywhere while talking to my mom on the phone and listening to the new Adele album. I am grateful for you Harrison – my iPhone. 

Next on my list are Jack Johnson and Jonny Lang and U2 and Heart and Led Zeppelin and…I guess it would be easier to just say music. Think about it, how sad would our world be without music? Music is a universal language. It’s in our cars, in our movies, in our television shows. It’s on when we shop; we hear it at Church and in the elevators. Music is an emotion! When I’m excited, I turn on Gaga. When I’m sad I turn on Norah Jones. When I’m working I turn on Jack Johnson. I can think of an artist or song for every mood I have. That’s what music is. It’s an organ in the body of life. And I am beyond appreciative to have it in mine. I sincerely believe the world would be lesser without it. I am grateful to live in a place where we don’t have to.

Conversely, I don’t give enough thanks to the peace in my world. I don’t think that most people do. When was the last time you turned off your phone? Not just silenced it, but really shut the whole thing off? To be unreachable is an extravagance in today’s society. There was a time when the thought of shutting out the outside world had me popping Xanax, but now it’s a luxury that I feel blessed to be able to enjoy. There is something excitingly intimate about being able to appreciate the company of oneself. I like feeling in control. When I turn off my phone, close my door, whatever it may be, I know that I am not obligated to respond to a text or pick of my phone unless I want to. Finding peace in my day also makes me acutely aware of how lucky I am to be needed or in demand. I may not like responding to emails at 10pm but I am thankful to have a job right now that needs me and I may be slightly annoyed that my grandma is calling during the middle of my show, but as least I know she wants to talk to me.

And last, but certainly not least are my parents.  I think out of all the things in my life, this is what I have taken for granted the most. I assume that every time I’m sick, my mom will be there with Kleenex and soup, that whenever I need oil changes Bob will be waiting with some Valvoline. I assumed every time the Dallas Cowboys lost I could call my dad and rub it in. I learned a valuable lesson this spring when my dad passed away unexpectedly. I know its cliché, but life is unpredictable. I have lived my 28 years of life believing that my parents would be around forever. I didn’t really think “forever”, but I certainly didn’t think I’d lose one before I turned 30. So in these last two months, I’ve really tried to let my mom, stepdad, and stepmom know just how important they are in my life. I know for a fact that I would not be the bubbly, sarcastic, strong, independent woman I am today if it weren’t for their guidance and influence in my life. I love them more than words can say and I will let them know so every day for the rest of my life. 

I think it’s important to keep yourself grounded, to remember where you came from and to realize that you can never be too humble. These are the things in my life that make it go ‘round. Yes, I could live without most of them but if I don’t have to then I’m sure going to make an effort to be more grateful that I don’t.

June 3, 2011


Her name is Lux, but I call her Luxie or Luxie Lou, or Lou. Sometimes, after she’s eaten a throw pillow, she’s just known as Satan. She is my loud, rambunctious, sometimes stinky, very un-lady like dog. She was born in the pound – a true little pound puppy. She was the only female in her litter of 11. When I saw her adorable wrinkly face 6 years ago, I fell in love. I had to have her. I paid for her and put her in the front of my brand new jeep. She looked over at me with her huge puppy eyes, happy to have a home I assumed; she then proceeded pee all over my seat. That should have been a warning. 

Lux is ½ Rhodesian Ridgeback and ½ Pit, so going in I knew I’d have a “chewer” on my hands. I didn’t foresee just all the chewing she would do. Before her 1st birthday she had eaten several pairs of shoes (one set I am still mourning),  the carpet in my rented apartment, a newly upholstered love seat, a chunk of drywall in my bedroom and various rocks and sticks. I was married at this point in my life and each time Lux would ingest something foreign (her favorites were rocks) my husband and I would rush to the vet! We spent a small fortune on antibiotics, hoping she wouldn’t get sick! Each time the (insert foreign object here) would pass and she would go back to her happy little self.

We enrolled her in obedience class. She was a brilliant little puppy! She learned fast and responded well to direction.  My husband, Matt, was the ‘handler’ when it came to the classes. She responded better to a male figure – so essentially she became his dog. She looked at him with her sad puppy eyes and he would melt all over her. They went for 5 mile runs together; he even napped on the floor with her. I loved her, but I wasn’t IN love with her like he was. 

Then Matt left us. He took his stereo, his clothes, his friends…but not his dog. Lux and I watched the man of our dreams walk out the front door. It was at this point I realized I wasn’t the only one in love with him. Lux would whine, wait by the door at night, and sniff his side of the bed. I started to resent her. I was still there! I didn’t walk away! I was the one who fed her and took her out! She should love me! What I wasn’t understanding was that the hostility I had towards my dog was the hostility I couldn’t express to my future ex-husband. 

I think we finally reached a point where we realized just how much we needed each other. Luxie didn’t care who loved her, she just wanted to be loved. And I was feeling the same way. So began the new chapter in our lives.

It’s been 4 years since Matt left, and I just recently started to realize how big a chunk of my heart this dog has.  She has been the one consistent thing in my life for the past 6 years. She has been with me through 4 moves, an MS diagnosis, 3 serious relationships, camping trips and slumber parties. She’s my road trip buddy up to Duluth. She’s my security guard on neighborhood walks. She always greets me with a happy face at the door! When I’m sad she puts her head on my knee and looks at me as if to say “It’s gonna be ok mom, we’ll get through this.” 

When my ex-husband closed the front door on me and Lux, we opened a new one. It hasn’t been the easiest or happiest of lives, and there have been days when I don’t even want to get out of bed. But I do…for Luxie.  She has never let me down and I owe her the same. I’m in love with this dog, and I feel like the two of us can get through anything together!