Lessons about freedom from a dog leash..who knew?

Well if this isn’t the perfect post for Your Upside Down Life because it’s perfectly upside down. I had no idea when I picked freedom for our theme for July that I would learn about freedom from a dog leash.  I don’t think anyone would put freedom and dog leash together especially when it really has nothing to do with putting a dog at the end of the leash.

Our trusty dog leash had a mind of its’ own.  It was constantly disappearing and reappearing and causing me immense amounts of stress especially when I was in a hurry and needed to get the dog out before I left the house.  Our dog, Max, has a mind of his own as well and will take off in a flash when not on a leash, return about 30-45 minutes later, happily covered in mud.  Just what I don’t need when leaving the house.  So the leash is NOT optional.

I had tried setting hard and fast rules about where to keep the leash but SOMEONE in this house would constantly NOT put the leash back in its designated home.  And that someone would be me.

Things needed to change.  I could no longer leave the house stressed out, in a bad mood and mad at everyone especially myself.

I had no idea one dog leash could cause me so much distress.

Finding a good permanent home for the leash was the easy part.  Putting it there after every walk with Max made my head hurt.  In case you haven’t guessed I was not “born organized”.  I had to think about it EVERY time for a long time.  I know they say ( whoever “they” are) that it takes 21 days to change a habit.  Well they never met me or my many NOT born organized friends.  I didn’t keep track but it took months and a conscious effort on my part to put that dog leash back in the drawer each and every time.

Even though I slip up now and again, it feels weight loss amazing to reach in that drawer and the leash is there EVERY time. Simple I know but it frees me from last minute stress and that one simple habit is helping me alleviate stress in other areas of my life.

There is an old saying that “being organized means you are just too lazy to look for stuff.”  I love that saying because it makes me laugh  but the truth is I was tired of looking for stuff like my glasses, my phone, the cordless home phone, my favorite pen.  You get the picture.

The dog leash craziness taught me a couple of things:

  • patience with myself   ( it took months to train my brain with this habit)
  • acceptance ( lots of my creativity comes from being “random” ( thats a fancy way of saying disorganized) and its not a “bad” thing just part of who I am
  • slowing down   I had to slow down and consciously put the leash away

All of the above “freed” me from negative self talk, wanting to be something that I was not ( naturally organized) and gave me permission to just slow things down which I learned was a major part of the problem.

What I have noticed that by changing this habit of constantly losing the dog leash I am suddenly aware when I randomly put my glasses, phone, or keys somewhere they do not belong..this little voice says to me … “Oh no you don’t!  You will be looking for those in about 2 minutes…put them where they belong”

That little voice suspiciously sounds like my mother but I’ll take it!

And now when I see the leash I smile. I love my creative side. It is part of my essence but I also love that I can learn to be more organized and less stressed.

The leash  came with Max ( the endless shedding dog) when we adopted him. I love the irony of the design on it. Who knew it would teach me peace and freedom?

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