I have been on the road this past week. Well, for over a week actually. First I fly to Florida and from there I flew out to Texas. I hadn’t been away for that long on a business trip in a long time. Before, during my New York life, I used to travel quite often. At least twice a month. From city to city, many times. That was then. Now, I am more settled in Los Angeles. It is partly why I took the position that I currently have. I started to get tired of business travel. Sure, its fun at first. I have been to all states but Alaska. That is quite a feat! I am so proud of that accomplishment considering how small my world had been while I was growing up. As a reuslt of my business travels, I have seen this country. I seen many of the often deeply hidden parts. I will always value that part of my old life. My understanding of this country grew enormously as a result.
But you eventually get tired of road food. You get tired of surly, self-righteous airline passengers. You get tired of the tired flight attendants. You get tired of getting sinus infections from all the recycled plane and hotel air venting systems. You get tired a lot.
You also miss things. While I was gone for eight days, I missed my family, of course. I also missed the way I make my own coffee. I missed being able to try on 20 different outfits in the morning before settling on the one that will set my day. I missed having access to a laundry. I missed not having to compete for an exercise machine in the morning. I also greatly missed my new doggie.
I was quite worried for these past eight days that he would forget me. He is new to the family and to our house. I didn’t feel that it was enough time to form a deep bond. But I had forgotten that dogs are awesome and make you feel at home wherever you are and whenever it is that you make your way back home. I was also quite excited to be back home to see him finally get rid of that cone of shame. This was a huge event in our house that was greatly anticipated.
Upon returning to Los Angeles, I had to immediately make my way downtown to chair a meeting. A three hourlong meeting. I did it with a smile, despite being up from 2am, because I was excited to be back home. After my meeting, I rushed home and there was my awesome dog waiting for me. He ran towards me with such glee demonstrating that he had not forgotten me after all. He gave me kisses. He danced with me. He knocked me over.
Then the next day, his cone of shame was removed. His stitches were removed and he was healed. I came home and he again jumped on top of me. He kissed me. He danced with me. He did all that with a new sense of lightness to him. He was even more gleeful than before.
Charles M. Schulz (creator of the Peanuts cartoon) noted that happiness is a warm puppy. Having had doggies in my life, I couldn’t agree more. But that quote means even more than that. It refers to the benefits that can be found in the simplicity of life. The simplicity of a good meal. The simplicity of a warm puppy that sits besides you cannot be overvalued. Such a moment can be healing for the mind, body and spirit.
For my new doggie Winston, happiness is a coneless existence. And his happiness is mine. Thus, happiness is being cone free. Think about it. That phrase can be true for so many aspects of our lives. I’ll leave you there and head out into the world to tackle more craziness while being cone-free.