You know those mornings where you wish the earth swallowed you whole? It was one of them. I lay in bed two hours after breaking my alarm thinking about how futile life was. I had academic degrees and still could not find me a decent job; then again what is a decent job for me anyway? A mix of gardening, art, writing, baking and bungee jumping probably, but even that might not be enough. And so I lay there while the sun brightly shone, the trees happily swayed and a cool zephyr tickled the flowers and shrubs.
Hours later I decided to drag myself out of bed only to park myself in front of the television which added to my loathing for life. It was about four in the afternoon when the phone decided to startle me with its shrill tone. It almost never rang thanks to the invention of the cell phone and whenever it did it seemed to either put fear or irritation into my mind. Luckily, today was not one of those days.
I answered the ringing with a forced friendly “Hello!” and was greeted back with a “Where have you been? Why don’t you answer your cell phone? Will be there in fifteen, I hope you are ready.” Click! And that was the end of the conversation. It was Júlio César the boxer; and no I am not referring to the sport, I am talking about the breed of dog. We met at obedience school where I used to volunteer. We were both in our early twenties; you know like when you convert dog to human years.
It was fun hanging out with him on breaks; that was probably the only thing he looked forward to at obedience school, probably because of the treats and the freedom to run across the park. He was a smart dog but hated listening to anyone. He complained about how useless and stupid it was. One day while we shared a snack he told me how his family doesn’t really care for such things, the only reason he came to this school was to get in to acting; one week later he dropped out. Two years down the line he was a successful dog actor with his own profile on IMDB.
So just to make a comparison, here is a dog that never even graduated from school but owns a car, a house and I am sure has more money than I have ever seen. And then there is me with two degrees, a loan to pay off and a piggy bank filled with two pennies and cobwebs.
I was almost ready when I heard the car honk, BEEP BEEP BEEEEEEEEEEEP BEEEEEEEEEEEEP!!! I grabbed my phone and ran out the door. There he was, looking smarter than ever; if I had a car like that, I am sure I would too.
I got in while he adjusted his shades and grunted, “Why so long? Couldn’t you be any quicker?” I looked straight ahead and replied, “It was not even a minute. Learn to be a little more patient.” He took a long hard look at me and finally hit the accelerator.
We drove past the rows of houses and onto the motorway leaving the city behind us. The cool breeze and the warm sun sort of lifted my spirits; not by much though. I turned to Júlio César who seemed to be enjoying breaking the speed limit to Morcheeba’s ‘Just Be Yourself’. “Where are we off to today?” I questioned. You see, Júlio César and I caught up at least once a month and drove around to different places within the area; it was our way of spending quality time. We talked and ate and drank and talked some more. “Heading to Bean Beach…. I heard of this fantastic place where you get sausage rolls.” He smacked his tongue.
Júlio César was a rock star in my eyes; he had achieved so much and yet all he could ever think of was food, long drives and running. He was just so down to earth and casual about life that it made me question why I felt so screwed up. “Hey Júlio?” I decided to investigate my problem, “Are you content with life? Haven’t you ever felt wasted? Not living but just existing? I feel like I have done so much but have nothing to show for it. The years are passing me by and…” And in simple words Júlio César cut me off and replied, “Before you think of stuff like this, you must learn to appreciate yourself and the world around you. Be grateful, the rest will fall into place”
“Yea, but what has that got to do with anything?” I asked. “Everything!” he replied. “Every morning I run out that front door and thank the universe for the grass I have to roll-on and the humans who care so much for me; they say I am family and that I am more important than visitors who do not like me. They love me so much that they are actually willing to happily clean up after me.” He paused as he turned in to park the car. “If you measure your success based on your material possessions and by comparing yourself to others, you will never see yourself as successful. Be thankful even if it is for the sun and the rain. And don’t be a grump; it’s the little things that make life worth living.”
We got out of the vehicle as he ran full speed in the direction his nose took him. I followed dragging my feet along thinking…. I was being a grump; wasn’t I? I did have much to appreciate in life but all I did was focus on the bad stuff and then there was Júlio César, he had everything I wished for but all that really mattered to him was his family and food and I guess the grass he got to roll on.
A broad smile brightened my face as I began to chase after him. “Wait up you greedy dog!!” I yelled. Suddenly I realized that I had an education which no one could take away from me. Maybe I had a crappy job but it still paid the bills, and lastly, with the amount of interests and talent I had, I should be spending my energy learning and using my gifts. There was so much to be grateful for and I could not see it; it took the genuine and humble nature of a dog to show me that.
This post was in response to the Daily Prompt.
<a href=”http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/trio-4/”>Trio no. 4</a>