A long time ago I saw a news story about a basketball-playing dog that had been diagnosed with cancer (you may recall the dog from Air Bud?). As a result of the cancer the dog had to lose one of its legs. They interviewed the owner who was devastated and unsure if the dog would be able to continue his favorite pastime, basketball. But after the surgery the owner arrived to visit his dog and brought along the dogs favorite basketball. As soon as the dog saw it he began to wag his tail.
The owner said that it was then he realized that the dog hadn’t really noticed that he was missing a leg. And after he recovered had no problem adapting to playing basketball with only three legs. His personality, energy, and lifestyle didn’t change. In fact it almost seemed, as far as the dog was concerned that he didn’t even notice he was missing a leg.
I’ve held on to that memory for a long time and I like to pull it out and think about it when things get tough. I know that animals and humans are different. BUT the idea that any living creature, even a dog, can be so unphased by what many of us would consider a horrible tragedy struck me. It’s a lesson that we humans could certainly take to heart.
Life is hard sometimes. Hell, life is hard a lot of the time. Circumstances can suck. People can suck. Your job, your marriage, your car can all suck sometimes.
If you let it.
The thing about this dog was that it just moved past the thing it could not control and hardly gave it another thought.
Why don’t we do the same? There is so much in life we can’t control. When our car breaks down, when it rains, when our marriage ends or when one of our kids get a fever on the first day of vacation.
We can’t control that stuff. But we there are things we can control. One of which is that we have complete control over how we deal with those other things.
Choose happiness in life. It’s that easy. Choose to be happy. Choose to find the silver linings on the gray days. Choose to be Scarlett O’Hara. Always.
OK, so I’ll admit I don’t always follow this advice, but I try. I try really hard. Especially after reading This Is Not the Story You Think It Is: A Season of Unlikely Happiness by Laura Munsoon.
It was one of those books that had me in tears as it ended. Is it a horrifically tragic story? No. It’s a woman who goes through a rough patch and weathers it by choosing to be happy. It’s about choosing to find peace and happiness even when it seems like there is none to be found.
If you’re going through a rough patch in life right now, I highly recommend picking up this book to find a little bit of inspiration. Something we all need every now and then.
Just a little friendly reminder from me inspired by the Left to Write Book Club book, This Is Not the Story You Think It Is: A Season of Unlikely Happiness. I did receive a free copy of the book but have in no other way been compensated for this post. If you want to borrow it you can, but please return it when you’re finished.