Wednesdays with Wrigley: Lessons in perseverance & patience

Wednesdays with Wrigley
This series covers my first puppy, Wrigley, and any lessons I learn as I raise him. Find him on Instagram @puppywrigley.

As any pet owner who has had to endure house training knows, you eventually hit a point where you feel it will not end. The countless times you clean up little accidents, discipline your pet, and stand outside holding a leash for what feels like forever only to come back inside and watch as your dog finally decides to “let loose.”

At first I was pretty understanding, but it didn’t take long for my perseverance to wear thin. Would he ever learn, or would I be stuck taking him out every hour for years?

This situation is actually a really good way to exercise patience and perseverance. How many other things in my life do I attempt repeatedly only to get basically the same result? How many things do I put this much dedication into only to be met with such a slow, agonizing pace of progress?

Compared to that, sticking with other tasks doesn’t seem nearly as difficult.

There are also plenty of areas in my life where I’ve recognized that patience is a quality I could stand to have more of. Wrigley definitely gives me a clear choice: get extremely angry and let my grudge against him ruin my whole day, or take a deep breath and remember he’s still learning as I clean up pee for the thousandth time.

The reward is in moments like this:

Don’t get me wrong- I still discipline him. But I try to keep a tighter check on my anger as I do so. There’s a big difference between yelling at him out of anger and scolding him for a mistake, and I think he knows it.

Is your dog helping you out with character development? Post on Instagram with the hashtag #wrigleywednesdays or comment below. Want more Wrigley? Follow him on Instagram @puppywrigley.

Go to the movies solo

Go to the movies soloThe other weekend I had the house to myself. While I was excited to laze around in my pajamas and watch whatever I wanted on TV, I was even more pumped for a night out by myself to see a movie.

At this point most people are confused. But seriously, have you ever tried it?

Even though the movies are a classic stop for a first date, that doesn’t mean you can’t commandeer the theater for another purpose. There’s something completely different about watching a movie alone in a big theater. No need to share the armrests. No one to hog the popcorn or make irritating comments in the middle of a scene. Just you and the screen and your own thoughts and reactions.

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Wednesdays with Wrigley: I am not ready for kids

Wednesdays with WrigleyThis series covers my first puppy, Wrigley, and any lessons I learn as I raise him. Find him on Instagram @puppywrigley.

Having a puppy is a lot of responsibility. I knew it would be, but it’s gone beyond my expectations. It’s been a lot more rewarding than I thought it would, but it’s also proved to be a lot more challenging and time-consuming as well.

As I woke up every three hours throughout the night the first two weeks I had Wrigley, all I could think of was how similar it was to having a baby. Every time he whined during the day because he wanted attention and I had to set aside my work and tend to his needs, I thought about how similar he was to a toddler. When I took my eyes off him for a second and he chewed up my shoe laces or peed all over the floor, I thought of how he was just as poorly behaved as an actual child.

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Wednesdays with Wrigley: Sit less, move more

Wednesdays with WrigleyThis series covers my first puppy, Wrigley, and any lessons I learn as I raise him. Find him on Instagram @puppywrigley.

I chose Wrigley’s name from an online site that catalogued popular names for boy dogs because I thought it was cute. (Plus I went to school in Chicago, so a small tribute to Wrigley Field was a plus.) He truly is “wriggly” though. Like most puppies, he loves to run, root, jump, and spend time outside.

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Focus on the friendship, not the expiration date

Focus on the friendshipEver since she was in middle school and had to research a country for a school project, my sister has been in love with Japan. She learned Japanese and has already made several trips over there, one lasting a full year. Once she graduates college this May she hopes to find work and move there permanently, at least for the foreseeable future.

Recently she asked one of her classmates if he’d like to grab coffee and chat as friends. He happily accepted and they spent the first half of their outing talking about all sorts of topics. But then things took a strange turn when he suddenly said, “So why did you ask me to get coffee anyway?” He explained that since she’s planning to go to Japan within the next year, he didn’t see the point in beginning a friendship now. He likes to have friends that he know will stay around, he said.

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Wednesdays with Wrigley: A lot happens in one month

Wednesdays with Wrigley puppy This series covers my first puppy, Wrigley, and any lessons I learn as I raise him. Find him on Instagram @puppywrigley.

I got Wrigley at the beginning of February at the age of 2 months, when his little one-pound self could fit in one hand. He just reached 4 months last week, and now requires two hands and a bit of muscle to carry. A lot has changed since his first night home, when I woke up every hour to comfort him when he cried.

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How to balance nostalgia for all the places you call home

Missing somewhere elseI went to college in Chicago, spent a semester in Maine, lived in Phoenix for six months. I’ve spent summers at a camp in Pennsylvania, grew up primarily in Ohio, made numerous trips to an orphanage in Mexico. Now I’m living in Charlotte, and while it’s not my favorite place, I can tell that there are things I’ll miss.

My nostalgia comes and goes for these places, especially during certain times of the year. Spring triggers memories of Mexico, while fall has me wishing I were in Chitown. The summer nights aren’t quite as hot anywhere else as they were in Phoenix.

Sometimes it gets overwhelming. I can’t be in every place I love at once. But I have a few things I do to get me by.

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