Over the weekend, my friends and I went on a retreat of our own design. We call it “NurtureNurture”, and we try to hold it at least twice a year. One by one, we take turns bringing four different areas of our lives to the group. These are usually areas that feel sticky, or hard, or haven’t gotten a lot of attention for a while. We have a conversation about it, come up with amazing solutions, and always leave feeling energized about improving our lives. It’s the best.
At this past retreat, one of my areas was “elevating the everyday”. I had come to feel like most of my routines and habits were becoming stale, without new energy for a while. I wanted to find more joy and beauty in my daily life, more freshness. For most of the conversation we thought that meant things: a new robe, or some beautiful mugs. But by the end of my time in the hot seat, a new idea had emerged: the idea of me getting a dog.
I’ve always loved dogs and our family has had them for most of my life. They bring me a crazy amount of joy and delight. But the idea of getting one for myself, especially as a single woman living alone in an apartment in Toronto, never felt accessible to me. Not to mention that my parents were always adamant that I shouldn’t get one! They felt I shouldn’t tie myself down, especially after I’d spent a few years living abroad and traveling.
But once the idea was planted, it was hard to shake. Over the past few days I’ve been daydreaming about what it would be like to have a dog around, picturing the changes to my daily routine, wondering whether it could really be possible. It hasn’t really felt real yet, so I’m working on taking steps to make it real.
I started a Pinterest board, to save information and inspiration about becoming a dog parent. I created a “project” in my Asana devoted to my future dog, including every task I could think of from researching the best flea & tick medication to buying dog toys and reading books on puppy training. And most importantly, I’ve started to tell my friends (and soon family!) that I’m considering this big life decision.
If it doesn’t feel real, make it real. As with anything, you can only start with the first right step, and then take the next one after that, and after that. It’s a slow process, but it’s also magical. You’re literally going from idea to reality, in a way that takes both time and effort. But I can think of no better way to spend my life…except maybe with a dog by my side. xo.