After just over 5 years in this amazing country, I bit the bullet and got a puppy!!!
So many things have prevented me from getting a puppy so far. Mostly: time, money and work-flexibility. There were a million reasons not to get a puppy and only one reason to get one – dogs make me incredibly happy!
According to the RSPCA, there are an estimated 4.8 million pet dogs in Australia. Which means millions of pet owners have managed to juggle all their commitments – why can’t I?
My mum always says, "If you love something enough, you’ll make it work" and with that in mind, I made the 12 hour round car journey to the Central Western area of NSW and brought home my new puppy, an 8 week old Boxer called Frankie!
I think it’s so important to pursue whatever makes you happy, and I’ve summarised my thoughts on the matter below in the hope I might inspire someone else:
1. Work can be stressful
Healthy work stress is fine. It’s a desire to be great at what we do. Unhealthy work stress is not good. (The easiest way to identify unhealthy work stress is when you mentally “take your work home” and the worrying thoughts eat into your evenings and weekends, as well as causing issues with sleeping, eating and exercising). If you don’t feel healthy work stress, I’d go as far as saying you can’t be too bothered about your job. It’s important to wind down and once work is finished, focus your energy to other things that make you happy.
Having a flexible workplace is a buzz topic at the moment, and I’m a big advocator for it. I think if your staff need the flexibility to pursue what makes them truly happy, as long as the work is done, you should go for it. I guarantee it will improve their mindset and attitude towards work and it will improve staff gratitude and retention. This is something, that for a lot of people, is more important than salary! I’m very lucky that Kennedy Reid is very supportive of my new commitment.
2. It keeps us in the present
My friend recently explained mindfulness to me in the most amazing way. I thought it was all humming and meditating etc which just isn’t me. I found that I can be mindful just by consciously focusing on keeping my mind in the present and recognising any worrying thoughts about the past or future.
I recently read the book ‘IKIGAI – The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life' which is a fantastic and easy read. It talks about the importance of discovering your true passions, “your IKIGAI”. Once you find your IKIGAI, that’s the secret to happiness. Sounds pretty lame, hey, but it’s not, it’s so true. Dogs for me are my IKIGAI.
3. As Jackie Stevo (my mum) says – “If you love something enough, you’ll make it work”.
My mum won’t mind when I say that she is obsessed with horses! Her theory of "Oh, I’ll make it work" wore thin on my dad though after she purchased horse number 3!! Haha!!
Sometimes sacrifices are required in order to pursue something you love. My new puppy is costing me a fortune in daycare, which means I’ll have to make concessions elsewhere. But guess what? When I make those sacrifices, it doesn’t matter, because what I am most passionate about is spending time with my dog. And as Frankie gets older, we’ll make sacrifices again in return for dog-friendly options.
I just love writing when I’m passionate about something, and I hope this resonates with you all.
If I can leave you with one thought – have a think about what your IKIGAI might be and pursue it with everything you have.