The Sunflower

Corrigan: Live like Flip

Do you ever have one of those weeks where you seem to have 10,000 exams and papers due?

On top of that, you’re probably working, while also trying to navigate the single-life so you don’t die alone aside from your horde of cats and guinea pigs.

I had one of those weeks recently, and I looked at my dog, Flip and I wished I was her. Aside from the full-time job of loving me unconditionally, Flip sleeps all day, and she does so happily. She goes on one brisk walk, eats two meals, but aside from that, she’s in total relaxation mode all day.

Agnes Corrigan
Flip the dog.

Flip is not losing sleep over bills. She’s unaware of grades, or why having a college degree is important. She doesn’t have thumbs, so she doesn’t lose her mind when someone doesn’t text her back. She’s not envious or shallow. She doesn’t even care that her breath smells like a dumpster on fire. She simply exists. She knows she’ll be loved at the end of the day. She knows she’ll be fed and cared for, and she looks forward to seeing the ones she loves. Flip lives in the now. She is completely present in every moment. She is not preoccupied with past mistakes or nostalgic, nor is she stressing about the unclear future. She simply is as she is.

Now, I’m not saying that living the existence of a dog is feasible or even necessarily desirable —thumbs really are the best — but there’s beauty in an existence that is organic and uncomplicated. Dogs milk joy out of the most unremarkable situations. They are overflowing with excitement when you pull out a bone-shaped treat that smells like cardboard. They run to the door to greet you with such zeal, after you’ve only been gone for 10 minutes. Dogs love unconditionally, but they also live unconditionally. They accept the now, whatever that may be, and they find joy in the monotony of the everyday.

I think the next time I feel stressed about school, dating, my murky future — what have you — I’m going to channel Flip. I’m going to live in each moment, and I’ll look for excitement and joy in the most ordinary of places.

If I feel like sleeping, I’ll sleep. If I feel like eating, I’ll eat. I’ll treasure the ones I love, and make sure they know they’re loved, and I think in doing so, I’ll gradually destress.

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