30 November 2010
Today I took a trip to Costco, mostly to get dog treats. (I love that we now have a Costco only 15 minutes from our house! Costco and Trader Joe's. It's too much happiness!)
I buy these fake jerky treats that the dogs just love. We ran out a couple of weeks ago and have been substituting with things like Milk Bone dog biscuits. But my favorite treats are the faux jerky treats because they are so easy to break into small pieces to make them last longer.
The dogs get treats when I leave the house and when I get back (which makes less problem at the front door when I come back, because they know they are going to get a treat).
They are also randomly rewarded for coming in from the back yard when I call them. Lizzie is such a terrible problem. Let her out and she races for the back fence and starts barking, essentially nonstop. She barks if anybody is in the two yards which border ours, she barks at the non-barking dog in one yard, she barks at gardeners or anybody using any yard equipment. she barks at strange animals on fences or wires. There are times when I want to strangle her--several times a day.
Polly and Shiloh are only too happy to follow her, and join in the barking. The only solution is to bring everybody in and lock them in the house, which I just hate to do. You'd think they'd wise up to being called inside, but since part of the time they get a treat, they do come running as soon as I open the back door. It's what the dog behaviorist I once worked with called "intermittent reward."
So there I was at Costco to buy jerky treats.
Costco, the Mecca for consumerism. Pop guns! And bicycles! Roller skates! Drums! Checkerboards! Tricycles! Popcorn! And plums! Not to mention Who-hash at the check-out stand.
My eyes were hit with an enormous television (are such huge projection screens still considered "televisions"?) on which I could watch Carnaval in Brasil in 3-D. Or slightly smaller screens playing some absolutely gorgeous Attenborough special showing an incredible shot of some airborne camera going over the top of a mountain.
I wended my way through the smaller TVs, the computers, the camera section and on through the food section (either I was too early to have lunch among the samples or they don't do samples on Monday). I wandered among the book and music sections, down the housewares aisles and back through the office supply section and back to Carnaval and on to the check-out stand.
The thing that surprised me was that while I brought home some $100 worth of groceries (heavy on dog stuff) I hadn't seen one single thing in my wandering that I had to struggle to rationalize not buying. I realized that there was really nothing in that entire warehouse that was tempting me and nothing that I was longing to have.
It gave me this amazing sense of peace to realize that I feel this sense of contentment these days and there is nothing material that I really want.
I have to say that I think a great part of that is due to writing to the Compassion kids this past year, realizing how "rich" I am in comparison to their lives and feeling some guilt about that. But feeling them such a big part of my life has made being satisfied with what I have and not always looking for the next "thing" to add to the collection a very pleasant and calm way to live.