My best friend is a dog, and I couldn’t be happier.

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There’s an age old saying that dogs are a man’s best friend, and I couldn’t agree more. Who needs human interaction and conversation, when there is an abundance of furry-faced creatures on earth ready to love you every single minute of every single day? I for one would be happier in a society where dogs are allowed to come grocery shopping with you (and taste test their food before you spend a fortune), or come to the hairdresser with you so you have something to pat instead of looking through trashy magazines. I know our gorgeous dachshund Audrey would love to come to the movies with me, curl up on a chair and nap in the darkness. At least I wouldn’t get judged for going alone seeing as I have approximately one friend left in my hometown at the moment, a new mum who doesn’t really have much time for nights at the cinema.

Seriously though – on my days off when someone asks me what I’ve got planned, the answer is usually ‘Oh I’ll just be hanging out with the puppy.’ This normally involves a sleep in and snuggles, lots of licking (on her behalf), lots of tickling (on my behalf), and generally just staring at each other wondering what the other is thinking. Then we’ll have a cup of tea under a blanket on the couch, typically followed by a mid-morning nap. Afternoons are usually spent together down at the beach jogging, looking for interesting shells and just enjoying the fresh air. Sunsets with her at the beach will forever hold a special place in my heart, both of us happy and content in the moment. Once a week or so I’ll subject the poor darling to a warm shower and shampoo so she doesn’t get too sandy, and even though she appears to hate it, I’m positive she’s thankful for feeling fresh once she’s dried off.

I honestly don’t care if it’s not normal to hang out with a dog so much or spend so much time thinking about them. It’s hardly an effort to ensure she has a happy life, in comparison to the joy she’s given me. On days where I literally don’t feel like talking to anyone, I’ll just lay in bed with her kissing her warm little belly and that’s about as comforting as life can get. I don’t think much compares to the endless amount of love that dogs can bring to your life, and when you get home and see their tails shaking around with pure joy – that’s precious.

” A smile is happiness you’ll find right under your nose ”

(Tom Wilson).

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Photo credits – anthropologie & folkgreen

On getaways and gaining clarity…

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They always say you need to lose yourself in order to find yourself. I honestly believe this is true, and after experiencing a mini getaway this weekend I’m feeling in tune with my emotions, goals and direction in life. From the rainforest bungalow retreat we stayed in, lost among the trees with no WIFI, the sound of cicadas in the humid air and the scent of candles burning, to the gentle lapping of the ocean at a place aptly named ‘Hydeaway Bay’, I experienced some things this weekend that I won’t forget.

There’s nothing quite like the stillness, isolation and peace of the rainforest. Wooden textures, leafy greens and ever-present wildlife made for a lovely retreat into nature, and nature at it’s undisturbed finest. I definitely know I’ve made the right choice moving out of the noisy, hustling city. I just felt so centred and calm in this hidden spot, where the fast moving world outside can pass you by with ease. I have to ask myself though, why am I craving such an escape at this time in my life? I think I’m honestly just exhausted from the last few years and desperately need this down time to recharge, and there’s no shame in that.

We all reach a point in our lives where the questions start flowing… Is this the right job for me… Is this how I want to spend my days… Are these the people I want to surround myself with? The list could go on forever. I think for me personally, I nearly came to breaking point with a few areas in life before deciding I needed a shake-up, and I’m so proud I took that step. It might be a step into the unknown, but at least it’s a step away from something that wasn’t serving me in any kind of positive way. I spent an hour yesterday just dozing in the shade of a palm tree, the sound of waves gently lapping a few metres from my feet and it was magical! Such a simple, relaxing moment in time where I didn’t have to answer to anyone or pretend to be anything I’m not.

Now to steal a (fitting) poem from one of my favourite novels,

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be the blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
(J.R.R. Tolkien). 

There’s a few things that I’ll be taking away from my relaxing weekend, but I think the most poignant one of all is that I’m on the right path. I need to trust my instinct, and instinct is telling me that I’m very close to a break through, and knowing exactly what it is I want from life. The butterflies in my tummy are reason enough to smile.

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Photo credits – michellebishoff & hubsunited