Goldens also have another alluring trait: their personalities. They're goofy and energetic, yet tranquil. Absolutely peaceful. They're sweet dogs who love people- and being the center of attention.
Thus I've been thrilled to have Duncan as a week long companion. (Independent living has been nice too.) The other day we explored the trails but today, something made me go further.
I had nothing planned. Nowhere to go, nothing to do, and I like that. After finishing another semester of college, it's truly wonderful to have a weekend off of work and have it be just that: a weekend off. No homework. Nothing. So Duncan modeled for me and then we went for a walk.
Trudging down the trails, I smiled at how excited Duncan was to be outside. How truly mesmerized he looked leaping between the trees and rolling in the snow. Despite freezing temperatures, he had no problem launching himself into the brook and swimming around. (He was dry within two minutes of stepping out and shaking off.)
What I admire most about Duncan is how fully absorbed he is with life. How absolutely in that moment he was, despite its simplicity. It made me realize that I want to live my life like Duncan. Enjoy everything about it, and take my time living it. Pursue a slower, more meaningful pace of life. I was not meant to force myself out of bed in the morning and groggily drag myself to work. None of us were. While on our walk I remembered this quote I stumbled upon:
"I do not particularly like the word 'work'. Human beings are the only animals who have to work, and I think that is the most ridiculous thing in the world. Other animals make their livings by living, but people work like crazy, thinking that they have to in order to stay alive. The bigger the job, the greater the challenge, the more wonderful they think it is. It would be good to give up that way of thinking and live an easy, comfortable life with plenty of free time. I think that the way animals live in the tropics, stepping outside in the morning and evening to see if there is something to eat, and taking a long nap in the afternoon, must be a wonderful life. For human beings, a life of such simplicity would be possible if one worked to produce directly his daily necessities. In such a life, work is not as people generally think of it, but simply doing what needs to be done." ~Masanobu Fukuoka (The One-Straw Revolution)
Unfortunately we've evolved against this, but that's not to say the quote can't be applied. Fukuoka's last line, "In such a life, work is not as people generally think of it, but simply doing what needs to be done" can be open for interpretation. I think that for humans today, "what needs to be done" can be more than merely survival oriented, but fulfilling as well. If you're passionate about what you do, it won't feel like work. To a Golden Retriever, work is rustling the leaves and running with one's tongue bouncing between a wide smile. To me, it's taking pictures and writing.
Steve Jobs said, "The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it." Keep looking.
And when you've found it, time to take a nap!