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When I lived in Chicago and trained dogs, I sat in traffic four hours a day and tried finding peace by listening to podcasts. I can’t recall the speaker’s name, but they said, “Instead of being annoyed, be amused.

I never mastered glee in gridlock. If I did, I might still live in Chicago, but I try to feel satisfaction in small moments. Despite many troubleshooting attempts and frustrating calls with our service provider, we’ve been without internet at the shop since Friday.

On Tuesday, I tried replacing our ethernet cord. It was one of those days where hassles and issues kept coming at me (nothing catastrophic), but enough for me to crave a bag of Cheetos. After hours of trying and still no internet, I returned to my car to return the cord and found a wayward, stress-eating snack on my seat. I was so happy and thought, “Well, if the best part of my day so far is a missed Cheeto, I’ll take it.”  Then, I chuckled at the ridiculousness of my joy over junk food.

It’s been bitterly cold here in Ohio, so Sunday, 20°F, felt warm. Mabel and I enjoyed a longer-than-planned walk at my mom’s house before going in to print shipping labels and packing slips. It was sunny, I needed to move, and my sweet girl seemed equally unphased by the chill. I was lost in the delight of what Mabel and I both had been missing all week when my foot hit a thick patch of ice.

As I fell, I wondered, “Why did I remove my glove?” And as my right hand skidded across the ice, the pain shot up my arm. Mabel turned around, eyes bright, and pounced on me to play; I said, “Settle, sweet girl,” a cue that I can only practice once or twice at home before she gets too worked up.

Mabel backed away for a second, so I started to gingerly get to my hands and knees to prevent slipping when my whirling dervish dog decided to hump me. Oh, she was having a ball, jumping around, then back to me, bucking my backside.

First, “I thought, I hope no one sees this.” Then, when I realized my phone was in the car, I thought, “I hope someone comes out to distract Mabel’s propelling and heaving.” Fortunately, my girl was and is easily distracted on her best days and stopped long enough for me to awkwardly lift myself, limp, and lament into my mom’s house.

My hand healed within two days, my mom made me a comforting breakfast sandwich, and I now know to watch for ice more closely. As of yesterday afternoon, we have working internet with a new service provider.

May your day and weekend be filled with iceless, uneventful walks and unbreakable connections.

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