Greetings, dear readers. Here we are, well into the new year, working our way through the last month or so of winter, and – well, lets be honest – neither one is new and shiny anymore. When I lived where snow was more frequent, late February was about the time when the drifts started to look stale, grey, and icy, when the puddles got colder, uglier, and muckier, and slush became a four-letter word. (I know – I’m sorry, I shouldn’t remind you.) In late winter, it can feel like spring is still too far away, the news is all about things you wish weren’t happening, “stuff” is just piling up, and you’re not going to get a break any time soon. ACK!

When too many things are going wrong, when nothing feels right and you’re on the brink of exploding or giving up. Don’t do that. Try doing this: Stop. Breathe. JOUST.

Wait – do what??

JOUST – Just One Unabashedly Simple Thinghappy-tails

Do one thing. Be in that moment. Let it have all of your attention. Let it be the only thing, alive, through you. Revel in it. Then feel better and move on.

My one thing is a walk with the dogs. It doesn’t matter what time of day, whether it’s sunny or windy, or what the day has been like up to that point. I just put on my shoes, pick up the leashes, and get myself out the door (and try to keep them from knocking me over in the process – the little one earned the nickname Pogo Shark because when she gets excited she will jump as high as she can and nip at whatever’s within reach.) Shoes. Leash. Door. That simple.

We’re out there for twenty or thirty minutes, they have a blast, and I get reminded that there’s almost nothing so miserable that it can’t be tempered by the joy my dogs get out of just walking with me in the everyday world.

They are my blessing. I hope you find one, too.

I’ve lived with cats and dogs almost my whole life and I am so grateful for the love and joy they bring. Inspired by my sweet companions, I have an exciting new project to tell you about in the next few weeks – stay tuned!

Look for more on the Here’s a Quarter blog next week! As always, your thoughts and comments are always welcome – they are moderated (I know – adulting again), so they may take a little while to appear, but I read them all and appreciate that you were here. Thank you!

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