I’ve never been into the resolution thing. Making a resolution once a year to stop doing something, start doing something, do something a different way, change my outlook, change my attitude, change my hair, change my mind, look inward, look outward, look to the future, remember the past, fix things, move things, move me, seems to do nothing but distract from what I really need to do....pay attention to now.
I got a puppy right before Christmas. I named her Millie. It’s the first puppy I’ve had since I raised one for Guiding Eyes for the Blind back in 1996. Honestly, is there anything better than a new puppy...at Christmas. I mean, it’s the perfect time to show off this bit of fluff that has taken over your life and captured your heart.
Millie is my New Year’s resolution. She asks for nothing but to feel safe and warm, looks to me as her favorite thing to snuggle and is a perfect barometer for how my day is going. As I plow through a mound of paperwork, piled up through an incredibly busy fall and early winter season, a 7 pound puppy is lying at my feet with her head on my slipper. Crush. What paper. It’s a new perspective.
Whatever resolutions I may have thought were a good idea have vanished. My resolve has been reduced to being present with this tiny creature who will grow way too quickly, focusing on savoring the magic of her. I call her Magic Millie because her mere presence has the ability to remind me that there is nothing, no paperwork, no chore, no seeming challenge more important. It’s a lesson I can apply to everything.
January is always an interesting time on the farm. Mostly, it’s a time for rest. Living on Maine’s midcoast, summer is the busiest season. For those of us who farm, it’s fall days that are never ending. This year, October brought early snow and cold. We were all caught up short. Fences not mended, mowing not finished, crops lost to early frost. Fishermen felt the crunch too, catching them off guard with high winds, cold temps and lost days to retrieve traps and wind down for the season. Now, in January, warm fires and early nights bring relief.
Winter. Quiet. I take Millie out into the cold, dark night before we crawl in to bed on our buffalo plaid flannel sheets and while I wait for her, I’m looking up into a clear, brilliantly lit starry sky. Oh look, there’s the big dipper! I wonder what that big bright one is, is it a planet or a star. I’ll have to look it up.
Thanks Millie, for showing me the best resolutions come when you least expect them and in amazingly unexpected ways.