By WENDY SQUIRES
The Dalai Llama started it but it was the dog walker that sealed the deal. Without either, I doubt I would be writing this story. And if I was, I can guarantee it would not be with the glass half full mindset I find a constant companion these days.
You see, I am broke. Not cup in hand on the sidewalk broke but far from flushed. I have little job security. I am not married, nor do I have kids. I’m could lose 10 kilos, and then some and am closer to menopause than puberty – and I still get pimples.
But you know what? I have never been happier or more content in my entire life. And that’s saying something, considering I have battled a biological depression for most of it.
And no, I am not on drugs, nor have I become born again, a sea org or given up sugar/dairy/gluten/air or whatever else is in enlightenment fashion today.
The adjustment I have made has not been a easy one and I realise that, for many, it’s an impossibility, and before I go on I need to extend my respect and empathy to all who find themselves in that predicament.
But the big shift for me can come down to a simple explanation – I have started living my life the way I want to. Not that I wasn’t before, I was, and it’s been for the majority a rockin’ good ride. It’s just that the ride I was on was on no longer fun. It made me dizzy, it was relentless and I wanted to stand on solid ground again.
It realised my Libran scales could never be level with a life balance of five days work and two play and something had to shift. I realised the more I earned the more I spent, yet I still never had enough. I learnt by giving up what I thought I wanted in life, I discovered what I actually need. And it’s not a lot.
But back to the dog walker. Her name is Juliet and I have to say that there is something about that woman. When I was working full time I would look forward to her arrival to pick up my dog with mixed feelings.
First, her sunny smile was always present and always welcome. I would even enjoy the way she giggled and made light of my last minute scramble to find the car keys/wallet/research folder/lipstick/missing shoe or whatever else it was that was sending my blood pressure through the roof du jour.
But I also felt she had an inner calm about her that made me jealous. I didn’t just want to see her, I wanted to be her.
Then, one day as I was stuck in traffic to reach a job I no longer enjoyed, I remember looking in my rear vision mirror and seeing Juliet rejoicing in watching my dog Iggy greet his homies panting and wagging in excitement in the back of her beat up old car.
As the sea faded from my view, I realised it grew closer for Juliet, as she headed to the beach with her happy cargo. There, I knew, she would spend hours being paid to do what I love most in life, tossing a ball to my little man and his furry friends in the sunshine by the ocean.
On this particular day, this realisation hit me so hard I felt winded. Tears rose and a dark cloud descended. Something had to change. Whatever it was it would be scary and unsettling. It could even turn out to be a disaster. But I wouldn’t know until I tried.