“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” If you’re like me, you’ve probably said this so often that you actually believe it. Funny what we feed our minds with, not to mention our bodies. Nutritionists say we “are what we eat.” Yup. When I was a waitress plowing through my daily diet of cheeseburgers, chocolate milkshakes and fries, I looked exactly like what you’d expect. The same holds true for our minds. Although you can’t see into my head and it is very, very dark in the deep recesses of my curvy little cerebellum, I AM what I THINK. Don’t argue with me because I have been around long enough to know the concrete, crystalline truth of that statement.
When I get up in the morning and think it’s gonna be a lousy day, it is. When I actually have a lousy day but one teeny good thing happens and I focus on it, it becomes a great day. They say we only use 10% of our brain. I think we waste at least half of that thinking stupid, self-defeating thoughts that we eventually come to believe–not because they’re actually true but because we’ve thought them so long. So, I finally decided at age 50 instead of looking in the mirror and totally freaking out when I beheld all the crow’s-feet & gray hair, I would try a new approach.
You now will find me, often in public restrooms, passing a mirror, looking smack at it and saying out loud: “Wow! What a gorgeous face. World you’re lucky to have me one more day!” Okay, so some people don’t get it but back to the new tricks. When my grandmother came to live with us she was 82 and well into Alzheimer’s. She had completely lost the ability to tie her shoelaces so we bought her velcro tennies instead. However, at 94, she actually figured out how to do it again! Why? Because she watched me teach my two year-old over and over.
Now I probably have no right to use the above title as I’ve never owned a dog, taken care of one or lived in a home where a dog existed. However, right now I am actually thinking about getting a real, live, tail-wagging, precious puppy; one that might teach me some new tricks. So, please, if you know of a breed that doesn’t jump on you, slobber everywhere, or bark too loudly, just let me know. (shoelace vignette taken from “Kissing Tomatoes,” http://www.helen-hudson.com.)