December 14 Appreciate. What's the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it? (Prompt by @victoriaklein)
I was in a mood.
I'm often in a mood, so this one was not surprising. It was cold and blowy out, cold and blowy in, and I was stuck working on things at home on my day off. After 4 hours crouched over the dining room table looking at the same information, I decided enough was enough. I was going outside.
I huffed while I put on my ski-pants, I puffed while I put on my scarf. I pouted while I dressed Monty in his little knitted sweater and stewed as I tried to stuff him into his harness.
Did I mention I was in a mood?
Finally, we were outside. Monty was a bundle of excitement. It had been a day or two since he'd been out for any longer than a run to his "spot" and back inside as fast as he could. We trudged through the snow piles of our bay and headed out to explore. Monty so desperately wanted to run. He tugged and strained and leaped and pleaded to be let loose.
So I let him loose.
He took off like a shot. I thought I may never see him again. He just ran and ran and ran. I called his name sharply -- like an impatient mother whose child is getting too far ahead. He stopped on a dime, spun around and grinned at me.
Full mouth open, tongue hanging to the side, eyes bright with mischievousness, he grinned at me. Then he came running back at a full gallop with his ears and tongue flying behind him. About a foot in front of me, he leaped up in the air and slammed into my legs. He danced around me for a moment as I patted his sides and off he ran again as far and as fast as he could go.
At first, I didn't know what to think of it. He was so happy. It was miserably cold out, I was grouchy and he was thrilled to be there.
I realized how often that is my problem. I'm there, in the moment, and I'm grouching about something else. I was complaining about the wind, but I wasn't enjoying the freedom. I wasn't enjoying the run.
The rest of the walk, I let Monty run as hard and as fast as he could. Then, I called him back laughingly and he came tearing back only to slam into my legs. We enjoyed every moment of the rest of the walk. I didn't worry about the cold, the wind, the snow. I didn't worry about work, home, union, or family. It was amazing.
I just enjoyed watching my dog have the greatest time of his life.