Wisdom from an Unlikely Source

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    I find that whenever I think I've got the answers life likes to hand me not a slice of humble pie, oh no, but the whole darn pastry. After all, it's hard to swallow the idea that something or someone else knows more than me. Especially when that individual doesn't verbally speak a lick of my language or understand an ounce of professionalism. Or does he?

    Wisdom from an Unlikely Source

    First and foremost, I would like to introduce you to someone who has life all figured out and he's only sixteen weeks old.

    Everyone, this is Atlas.

    Atlas is the newest addition to my family and he is not only ridiculously cute (of course, I am biased) but he is also the occasional bane of my existence.

    Good dog.

    And it has been since he joined me that I have realized that this kidlet has the world's workings and interactions down pat. I find myself learning from him even though I am supposed be the one teaching him. One day, I hope to be as amazing and as chill as Atlas.

    After a lengthy discussion with him over the meaning of life and what to have for dinner, he decided to yip out some fluffy pearls of knowledge to share. I am here on his behalf.

    Atlas's tips for success and decreased stress:

    1) Learn to view the world in a new perspective.

    When in doubt, turn it on its head. Literally. Why waste energy chasing the rain drops by galloping full tilt through the downpour snipping at individual droplets? It is much simpler once one rolls onto one's back letting the rain tumble perfectly into an open and awaiting mouth. Bonus points for mud.

    Trouble shoot and learn to make the world around you and your actions more efficient by trimming steps and working smarter, not harder. You may also achieve a bonus perspective on an otherwise unsolvable puzzle. Besides, conventional is boring.

    2) Someone out there always thinks they know better than you. Dragging your butt on the carpet is an effective way of showing you disagree. Now granted, this one needs a little translation to the human world and came about when I told Atlas to sit. (Really, all he did was take sit one step further by going above and beyond the call of duty.) There are ways of getting your point across that is both pointed and yet subtle. Know that there are critics everywhere and you can't please everyone all the time. Find your own brand of self assurance and your behind will never want for scratching.

    3) Self-consciousness is overrated and self depleting. When life gives you a taped floppy ear, use it as a turn signal. Or just scoot on your head along the sidewalk. That works too. Embrace what makes you different and special. Sometimes your greatest "weakness" is actually your strongest feature. There is a place in nursing for everyone and for every type of personality. Don't let someone talk you down because "you're too (insert adjective here) to be a nurse." We all have floppy ears.

    4) When in trouble, howl for your pack even if they are stranding right next to you. Never be afraid to ask for help. Ever. Kid was ever so quick to respond by sniffing the offending dandelion with Atlas and assuring him that it was, indeed, safe to eat regardless of a certain mother's protests. Let your fellow nurses do the same.

    5) Forget your size early and often. You are as tough as you think you are, stumpy legs be damned. Atlas genuinely has no concept of the fact he is pretty much a pigmy elephant. Just as he never hesitates to challenge Mir, the Swiss Mountain Dog, to a game of tug, so should you never hesitate to go after what is right and in the best interest of those you look after. And sometimes the big, intimidating individuals turn out to be good allies and not at all how you imagined.

    6) Bark less. Wag more. Make it a point to not complain for the sake of complaining. Those that contribute in a positive sense on a daily basis are regarded in a different light than those that constantly curse morale. If you have a legitimate complaint, speak it, but be sure to pitch it with a solution. Doing so will make your words carry more weight and be taken to heart.

    7) Allow for periods of rest, but make special efforts to refrain from collapsing on top of the house cat. Said cat tends to go for the eyes. And so. much. hissing. Be kind to yourself and put your needs in perspective. Hungry? Eat. Thirsty? Drink. Gotta pee? Off you go then. Please keep in mind that the carpet is not appropriate. And remember, the squeaky toy, aka, charting, will still be there, exactly where and how you left it for when you return, refreshed and bright eyed and a lot less mouthy.

    8) Speaking of hissing house cats, there are two ways to deal: A) Ignore and proceed to chase lofting dust bunny in hopes of ensnaring an airy niblet, B) Lick said cat right in the eye before initiating chase sequence of aforementioned dust bunny. So dramatic people exist. They always will. Either ignore their emotional constipation and incessant pot stirring, or acknowledge them without allowing them to cramp your style.

    And if you are the hissing house cat.....you deserve every eyeball lick. Yes, yes you do.

    9) Sometimes you just gotta lick your junk right STAT now in the middle of the pet store. Aaaaanad another point that needs translation ( I hope): Even the inappropriate and embarrassing has its place and serves its purpose....somehow. Just as long as it causes no harm, there are worse things in this world. Have your moment, have your laugh(or let others have their laugh at your expense) and move along.

    10) Cuddle much. Play hard. Stay in the moment.

    Never allow yourself to become so bitter you stop seeing the good in the world. Never let work dominate your life and drain you of the ability to play and embrace your free time. You earned it. Let yesterday be yesterday and worry about tomorrow when tomorrow comes. Goals are all well and good, but they don't happen overnight and you can make yourself insane by fretting.

    Atlas, for one, plans to dominate the world. He just knows that until that moment comes (and he has amassed an impressive army of minions), he has plenty of time to enjoy the wallow in the mud puddle mama made for him with the garden hose.

    And now, if you will excuse me, I have a very dirty piglet currently trying to snuffle his way into the laundry hamper.


    From the desk of Atlas. Dictated but not read.
    Last edit by Joe V on Jan 24, '17
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    About CheesePotato

    My creatures are my children, my light, and my guides. They keep me humble with offerings of selfless love and eternal patience even when I cannot, in my more broken moments, offer them the same.

    CheesePotato has 'Enough.' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Sleep medicine,Floor nursing, OR, Trauma'. From 'Down the Rabbit Hole'; Joined Jan '12; Posts: 241; Likes: 2,365.

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  3. by   nrsang97
    Dogs teach us so much. Wonderfully written as always.
  4. by   VivaLasViejas
    What a delicious piece this is. CP, you've outdone yourself yet again! Bravo!!!
  5. by   LadyFree28
    CP...thank Atlas (and if course YOU ) for the reminders. My cats thank you as well, LOL!
  6. by   barbyann
    l o v e
    i t
  7. by   myjade_84
    What a nice article. I also have a dog and her name is Bella. Like Atlas, she also teaches me some stuff. We all love her even though she makes our house messy.