Ten things I learned from my fur baby

This week we said good-bye to my first baby. Still so very raw in the grieving process. In reflecting on our wonderful life with him and how I have changed over our time together here are the 10 things I learned from Asti Spumante Gass-Walker.

  1. Stop and smell the roses. Preferably all of them. Appreciate the smells, sounds, sights around us as we go on our nature walk.
  2. Go pee. Whenever you have a chance, even when you don’t think there is anything left in the tank. (The older I get, the truer this is.)
  3. There is nothing wrong with sitting on the couch watching TV.
  4. With patience and attention you CAN teach old dogs new tricks. (You may need some treats too; positive reinforcement is where it’s at.)
  5. Welcome people into your home with abundant joy! And lots of carefree tail wagging.
  6. Walks do amazing things for you. Being outside and stepping away from your “busy” day shifts the perspective and clarifies thinking.
  7. Home is where your pack is. We moved 7 times with Asti and he never “marked his territory” at a new place, because wherever we were, he was home.
  8. Be Present. In the here and now, not thinking about the future meal or holding grudges about the past UPS delivery driver.
  9. You can’t love too much.
  10. Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. ~ Dr. Seuss

What’s Your Goal?

I jumped on the Peloton for a thirty minute ride the other day, and in my usual form, 3 minutes into the workout I set a goal for myself. A number I wanted to reach (output for those who know Peloton). I said to myself “Hit 270! You can do it, it’s obtainable, yet hard, and you will feel awesome. When you finish you will have rocked it Rach.” Yes, that too is my inner dialogue. I am feeling pumped about my goal and kicking it into gear. I check the leaderboard and see that if I hit that goal I will be #1 next to the other 20ish folks on the ride now. Wow! Cool, first place. Go me!

I am having a great ride, sweating, feeling awesome, totally on track to hit that impressive goal of 270. And then….. it happens…. the last 5 minutes of the ride… I check the leaderboard to give out high fives and see what a rock star I am, and two people have come up and passed me. I now know I will end in 3rd place…. 3rd place, “oh Rachael, what a bummer! You didn’t do it. You should’ve worked harder on that hill!”. Ugh, the feeling of defeat and poor self-worth washes over me as I keep pedaling my heart out (literally I am panting). BUT WAIT!! (My inner dialogue never does end…) I remind myself “Rachael your goal wasn’t to be number 1. It was to hit 270…. you not only hit 270, you crushed it! You didn’t get on this bike to compete with others or be numero uno, you got on this bike to feel amazing, do something great for your mind and body, and that you have 100% accomplished.” Real reframe; Real time.

Not only did the reframe strike me, and I was back to being proud of my accomplishment, but I was also chuffed that I could do that for myself quickly. I had the thought, had the feeling of being down, but almost immediately “caught” the negative thought and turned it around to get back feeling the high. This is a learned skill… with the help of my coaches, friends, therapists over the years who have given me the tools and confidence to do this for myself.

This moment highlighted, (which LinkedIn also does for me daily) the very real, natural desire to compare ourselves to others. Others doing better, doing more, being more successful. But we aren’t all coming at it with the same goal in mind, or the same starting point, or the same purpose. It’s a great reminder to stick to my goal. Not the imposed goal that #1 is better, or more is better, BUT the goal of whatever is going to make me feel good that fills me up and fuels the life I am trying to create is where I want to focus.

Once again Peloton providing the opportunity to feel good about myself; AND my mad skills on how to reframe.

“Popcorn is prepared in the same pot, in the same heat, in the same oil and yet….. the kernels do not all pop at the same time.” -Unknown