About a week ago I got a dog (his name is Benson, after one of my personal heroes Lt. Olivia Benson, and he is a giant snugglepup). At first when I started taking him out I would just stand there and stare at my phone while he did his business. However the other night I forgot my phone when I went to take him out.
At first I was super bored. As much as I like to fight stereotypes, most of my time is spent looking at some kind of screen. I started looking at all of the garbage in the nearby field, judging people based on their cars or patio decorations. And then I realized how beautiful of a night it was. The temperature was perfect, a slight breeze was blowing, and there was a beautiful pink and orange sunset.
Taking my dog out is a great opportunity to stop and reconnect with nature (well at least as much as I can find in the middle of suburbia) as well as myself. I’ve also been able to find smaller things to appreciate as I watch Benson investigate his new neighbourhood. I can pretty much guarantee I wouldn’t have noticed the new plants that started growing along the sidewalk (although if we’re being honest I can pretty much guarantee I wouldn’t have ever been on the sidewalk in the first place).
It’s also a reminder of how much life there is to appreciate outside of screens. Whether it’s enjoying the weather while sitting on a patio, waking up to hear birds chirp in the morning, or cuddling up with your new dog as he learns to trust you.
Benson has re-taught me to stop and smell the roses. Well, in his case it’s not necessarily roses he’s smelling, but I will spare you the reality. Sometimes there may not be roses to smell, but it’s still important to take that pause from your life to notice the small things around you, and find an appreciation for all that you can.