Enjoy every Sandwich

Mark Twain said, “Heaven goes by favour. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.”

Most of us could learn something from our dogs.

I know I have.

On a summer day, Sundance and Sawyer sit in the yard beneath the shade of their favorite tree, gently panting, blithely watching the world go by, or perhaps me, passing by with the lawnmower. Although I don’t speak fluent dog, Sundance and Sawyer don’t appear to be wishing they could have a bigger yard, or a shadier tree, or a new water bowl. And if they could tell time, they wouldn’t be watching the clock on a Sunday afternoon, disheartened about a waning weekend. They simply sit there in the cool blades of grass, content and  happy.  

I don’t know if they have the mental capacity to appreciate what they have, but I doubt they would sacrifice a moment of their contentment on the futility of griping about what they don’t.

Now, I’ll never give up on the human race. In general, most people get through their days with a relatively balanced, positive attitude (and I’m speaking of Americans. I can’t fathom how people in the Middle East, Africa, and other places on this planet keep their collective chins up). But you probably know someone who just cannot be pleased, no matter how you or anyone else around them tries. This person always find something wrong with whatever is put before them, whether it’s a gift horse or a pastrami sandwich. The postal clerk behind the counter doesn’t work fast enough.  The city council is just a bunch of jerks. Nobody can drive. Those people…

Constant complaining, round the clock dissatisfaction. It gets old, doesn’t it?

As Marriage counselors often point out to couples who blame each other for their unhappiness (I’d be a better wife/husband if you were or weren’t _____.
I’d  be happy if you didn’t
_____): There’s only one person who can make you happy. That would be you.

Eleanor Mondale, the daughter of Vice President Walter Mondale, died this weekend at age 51 after a long battle with brain cancer. Her determination to squeeze every drop of sweet juice from a lemony life should inspire, once the sting of guilt wears off.

Kara  Kennedy also died this weekend, also at just 51. The daughter of Senator Ted Kennedy suffered an out-of-nowhere heart attack (she also battled and beat Lung Cancer several years ago). Her death reminds us of how precarious life is, and how short life can be, and why we shouldn’t waste it on the negatives.

Musician Warren Zevon, who died too young of cancer, gave David Letterman this advice: “Enjoy every sandwich.”

It has been an odd weekend for Mid-September, with the cool, rainy weather. Today I plan to take my dogs for a walk in it.



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6 responses to “Enjoy every Sandwich

  1. I may be a little stalker-ish for reading blog entries from before I knew you… but this post is so touching!

  2. i truly enjoy your blog and watching you on TV. Thanks for the great posts

  3. Kevin, I agree with Anonymous, above. Many, many thanks for giving two dogs a good home!

    I believe it was Richard Bach who wrote in Illusions: “Happiness is a choice. It is not always an easy choice.” It can be very difficult to own that we are the only ones responsible for our happiness, but once we do, it is very liberating.

    Thanks for a great blog and some really great posts!

  4. Anonymous

    Kevin, first off thank you for giving Henry/Sawyer a wonderful home and the chance to lolly his tongue in the warm weather instead of suffering in the heat. I truly think this was exactly what I needed to read this morning. Doing dog rescue is so very stressful because all you hear from people is how their dogs are just too much trouble and they just don’t have the time for them anymore. I need to be thankful for the folks like you, that make my job worthwhile. That the only person that can change my attitude is me! So…..I think I will go and enjoy my sandwich!

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