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How does your dog greet you?

Every day when I come home from work, my dogs greet me like I'm some sort of returning hero from an epic adventure in a faraway land.

When they hear my car pull up into the driveway, they race to the window and start furiously wagging their tails, doing excited spinny spins on the spot, and singing at the top of their canine lungs. While I'm walking up the driveway I see them racing downstairs so that they can greet me as soon I walk into the front door. They're literally bursting with excitement to see me.

Day made - every single day.

It turns out that the average person lives for about 27,375 days. As of today, I have been alive for 13,862 days, so if I'm lucky enough to live as long as the average person, I am a little over half way through my life.

Said differently, hopefully I have another 13,513 days left to live.

Over the weekend, I was thinking about the small things that happen every single day which have an outsized impact on how I feel, like the way my dogs greet me when I arrive home. I was also thinking about the small things that I do every single day which have an outsized impact on how others feel, both good and bad. I'm talking about the sorts of things that we don't even consider “things”, like showering. My line of logic was that if I can even make tiny improvements to these things every single day, the sheer quantum of these activities in my life will result in an outsized impact on how I feel, and therefore the quality of my life.

With 13,513 days left, the arithmetic gets interesting pretty quickly:

- For the next 13,513 days of my life, I can choose to greet Ash in the morning with warmth, enthusiasm and a huge hug. Alternatively, I could choose to vaguely acknowledge her existence and launch straight into planning and logistics for the day ahead.

- For the next 10,000 days of my life, I can choose to greet my colleagues with enthusiasm and genuine excitement to be sharing another day with them, or I could walk into the office and mumble hello in their general direction as I race into my office to get started with work.

- I will hopefully eat another 40,539 meals in my life, which I can choose to either distractedly shove into my mouth while I watch television, or savour every mouthful with gratitude and presence.

- I will shower/bath at least another 13,513 times in my life, which I can either race through as a job to be done, or I can choose to relish the experience by putting on my favourite music and singing along at the top of my lungs.

- Before I fall asleep another 13,512 times, I can either go straight to sleep, or I can use the opportunity to reflect on 3 things I'm grateful for that day, which would result in me expressing gratitude for another 40,536 things in my life.

This basic arithmetic helps me to quantify just how big the impact will be on my life, and others, if I choose to make changes to the small, seemingly insignificant, everyday occurrences.

My dogs have got it sussed, and I'm grateful to them for reminding me that in the ultimate accounting of our lives, it will be less about the peak instagrammable moments, and more about the small things that we chose to do intentionally every single day, or not.


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