Have you left your mark today?

As many of you might know, I love taking my dog for a walk. When I was a child we always had between 2-4 dogs in our household. For nearly fourteen years of my adult life I had two dogs. About a year ago, I had to make the decision to put my oldest pooch, Idaho, to sleep. Since then, we’ve been a one dog family, Bisbee. I named Bisbee after a small, quirky town in southern Arizona.

Idaho was my “lover” and my four legged best friend. Her main goal was to hang out with me and to let me know as often as she could just how much she adored me. Bisbee…well Bisbee is Bisbee. She’s loving but kinda in a quirky cat sort of way. I am fairly certain she only has two thoughts running through her mind at any given time.

1. When will this person, who seems rather fond of me, decide to walk me again?
2. If I pay this person enough attention, I wonder if she will feed me again?

When Bisbee and I take our walks we either go for a short walk which is one time around our loop. Or, if time permits, we take a longer walk. If I choose the longer walk, I will then take a right turn once we make it around our loop. If I opt for the shorter route, we take a left turn and head back home.

On our walks, it never fails that about 200 feet before we reach this choice in the road ahead of us, Bisbee’s demeanor changes. Instead of a leisurely walk where her main goal is to stop, smell and mark every blade of grass, she is now on a focused mission. She begins to pull me with non-stop determination down the street. Her goal, and only goal, is to turn right. No sniffing, no stopping, no marking…her goal is the only thing that matters.

Sometimes, her determination inspires me to go further on days when I initially only felt like going for a short walk. Other days, as soon as she begins her pulling I have to break the bad news to her…”No, no, not today Bisbee…we have to go home today.” She seems to understand and immediately stops pulling me towards her desired goal. Looking slightly defeated, she obediently turns in the direction of home.

Every time this happens, I think about how often humans tend to do the same thing when we see something we want so badly. We move forward full speed ahead towards the end goal, forgetting to enjoy the path that is right under our feet.

While I can appreciate focused determination, I often wonder how much we miss along the way. Like Bisbee, we get so focused on our goals for the future that we forget to stop and smell all the cool things along the way!

I wonder if there are places in our life right now, today, where we could be leaving our mark (I know, I know bad analogy) and we miss the opportunity because we get too fixated on making it around the corner to the greater possibilities that just might lie ahead.

Today, I want to slow down. I don’t want to miss the blessings that are on this path and in my life right now.

I think Master Oogway from Kung Fu Panda said it best…

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.

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