I saw a bumper sticker a couple of years ago that left me laughing out loud, in the car, by myself. It said, “Wag more, bark less.” My dogs are happy dogs. Their joy is quite visible, they wag their tails more times a day than I can count. We all enjoy a dog’s expression of joy–that whirl of wags and wiggles. But, we become easily annoyed when the barking begins. It’s obvious that barking is also stressful for the barking dog. Though funny at first, the true meaning of that quote sunk in, and hit too close to home.
When I was a single mother, I did too much barking and not enough wagging at home. I struggled so much with the my financial situation. I was often anxious, frustrated, and mentally and physically exhausted. My ex-husband didn’t pay child support. Living in a community property state, meant I was also responsible for the unpaid debts he left when he disappeared. I had no family to turn to, and three teenage kids to support. The paychecks I received from multiple part time jobs, only covered three-fourths of the bills. Paying bills became a recurring, juggling act. I grew weary of the threatening, red-letter notices in the mail.