Noah is four years old. She wakes up in the morning next to me. And after stretching and groaning, she then jumps to her feet, her whole body communicating excitement. She looks at me grinning in manic disbelief, and I think that she is saying "I'm alive! I'm still here! It's another day and I'm still here!". She wants to get so close to me and kiss me." And you're still here too!" and then she goes over to Max, who is on the other side of the room, "Max! I love you! You're here too!" And to Yair who can ignore all this hubbub in the room and sleeps on unperturbed. "We're all still here! This is so great! This is the best!"
Noah is my dog. (Max is my other dog, who is more pragmatic.)
I think Noah is a very grateful dog. I'm inspired by the way she wakes up every single morning as if it was the greatest day of her life. (I know that I'm anthropomorphising considerably here, but to me it's an undeniable phenomena.)
I contrast this with my mental state upon waking (or being woken up by the dog.) Planning, remembering, worrying (sometimes), figuring out how to control things.
My mental state throughout the day wavers... I notice that I'm quite aware of imperfection. In my classroom, in myself and my reactions. In my home, in the dishes that pile by the sink, in the sometimes lack of mindfulness when I'm with the people I love the most. Sometimes I get stuck thinking about all the things that are not right, that are not there yet. Sometimes I think about all the "if only's" and put my contentment constantly out of reach... "If only I read this stack of books, then I'll know what to do. And then it will be good enough."
Sitting at the end of the day and stopping to recognize the details that were beautiful in the day calms down that other voice that is saying "work harder", "do more", "things are not right", "it's not good enough yet", "you're not good enough yet." I sit often because I think gratefulness is the only antidote for dissatisfaction. I think about my dog, about how she wakes up. I am grateful for this daily reminder of the precariousness of life, and how fortunate I am of all the things that are going for me at the moment.