My New Year’s resolution this year is to live in the present. “Doomscroll” on my newsfeed less, reflect more.

So, I set up a yoga mat in my home office to remind me to stretch. I bought calming essential oils, a foam roller and an electronic neck massager. I downloaded an app on my phone to nudge me to take deep breaths in and let deep breaths out.

I’ve invested in lots of gizmos in the quest to be stress-free, but the one who works best has four legs.

Ginny (short for Virginia) is an energetic golden Irish – part golden retriever, part Irish setter. She has chestnut colored fur that gleams in the sun.

When I’m working from home she’ll stroll into my office and stretch her long legs in downward-facing dog and upward-facing dog poses right on my yoga mat.

In the afternoon, after a successful day of napping, she’ll inform me that it’s time for a walk in the woods.


Some days during the pandemic I find that I simply don’t have energy. I wonder what’s the point of trying to go through everyday motions when so much of our world is unsettled.

I was having one of those days recently when Ginny bounded onto the couch and whined, indicating that she wanted to go outside and play with her new soccer ball.

I begrudgingly obliged. Ginny pranced all around the yard with the ball, refusing to give it to me, wanting me to chase her.

As I started to play, I thought about what she was thinking about: the ball.

I realized that Ginny wasn’t thinking about the pandemic or politics. She wasn’t thinking about deadlines or dinner or the fact that she would probably chew this ball up in just a matter of days – all thoughts that had been entangled in my mind.

Her teeth clamped down on the ball and it squeaked, surprising us both – I didn’t realize when I purchased it that it was a squeaky toy.

Ginny wagged her tail. I looked up at the moon. I took a deep breath in and let a deep breath out.

— Special to the Telegram

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