survival and an old dog learning new tricks

“Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!” So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit


(my new neighbor is NOT a dog / Julie Cook / 2022)

Often when we reach a certain age in life…
an age where there is more life on the backside rather than what’s
on the front side, we have the tendency to become rather complacent.
We cling to the notion of ‘been there, done that’…in that we think we’ve pretty
much done, seen and experienced most everything that there is to experience.

We settle in while making ourselves comfortable.
We become glibly set in our ways of both coming and going.

Status quo seems to be the name of the game and if it’s not hurting, broken
or missing, all is well.

And then suddenly, out of nowhere, a seismic shift is felt…life happens.

Apple carts are upset.
Everything is turned upside down.
The norm is anything but
while we are suddenly left with a foreboding sense of trepidation.

And that’s when it happens.

That innate prewired sense of fight or flight kicks in.

It’s a better learn quick moment vs the consequence of ‘or else’…
The ‘or else’ situation is where one is left with the results of either surviving
or dying.

I think most of us are prewired for survival.
It’s in our nature…or so it seems.
Or at least it is in mine.

Now don’t get me wrong.
There have been, and continue being, plenty of days when I could readily pull
the covers over my head…
Nay, prefer to pull said covers!
All the while yearning never to emerge from bed…this as the thought of getting up
to face yet another day of the unknown, the painful, the troubling
leaves me weak-kneed, nauseated and flat out scared.

The tears come and go like fickled summer showers..popping up
when least expected or wanted.

And like those unexpected showers, they quickly come and go.

So as I begin to push my way through this thicket of the unknown.
I find myself charting new waters or rather waters I’d thought had been charted
and finished long ago.

So whoever really said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks might
never have known that some old dogs simply need to learn those new tricks
in order to survive.

Here’s to surviving while moving forward…

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect,
but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own.
But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward
to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward
call of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12-14

23 comments on “survival and an old dog learning new tricks

  1. Elaine Craig says:

    It was nice to read your blog. I have missed you.

  2. Dawn Marie says:

    Be not afraid, Julie. You are not alone. He is Marching forward WITH you. And there are others praying along right beside you…😘

  3. hatrack4 says:

    In Rev. Spurgeon’s sermon notes for Revelation 1:17, he pretends that God’s “Fear nots”, sprinkled throughout the Bible are like forget-me-nots. They can warm your heart and provide a sweet aroma. Fear not, and keep moving forward.

  4. David says:

    Two days in a row Julie – now you are putting me to shame with my lack of activity blog-wise!

    You wouldn’t be able to teach our old dog tricks when he was a young dog, never mind now. But he has been good for us in terms of the exercise and just being outside in places where God’s fingerprints are in evidence everywhere.

  5. atimetoshare.me says:

    I don’t believe in the adage that you can’t teach old dogs new tricks. I’m a really old dog and I learn something new every day. Thanks be to God for that!

  6. Doug says:

    Personally, I think one of the survival attributes afforded to us as we age is that we can prioritize much better than the young. Everything was important when we were young. Now we can decide what is, what isn’t, What can wait, and what is totally on you to figure out and doesn’t involve me. What problems I can solve from what problems I can’t so why bother.
    It’s not one bit a matter of cynical insensitivity to others in their struggles in life, but rather a realization that I made it through those same or similar struggles and have come away a bit wiser in how I met those struggles and survived (yep, rather like the Manilow song).
    It’s not about dissing another person’s problems but rather bestowing upon them, not a remedy, but rather instilling a measure of self-confidence in that the answer to their problem is not found in self-pity for having the problem at all.. but rather focusing your energy on working through it incorporating your own moral/spiritual guardrails.

  7. oneta hayes says:

    This might be better: An old dog can learn new tricks, slowly. Most young folks don’t have the patience to wait for us to learn. I’m thinking of cell phones: “Roger, I don’t know how to …..” Oh, he says, let me show you.” Which he does in 3/10 of a second. When I need it next for the same thing, he says, “Oh that’s what I showed you.” And again he does it for me. I just say “Old dogs need to be taught.” Reminds me of how much I prefer to do my own dishes to teaching my grand-daughter to do them correctly. Now the point. God knows how much it takes to teach us. He will never leave us to learn on our own until we know how to take over safely. He never leaves!!! By faith we know he is watching close enough that we can grab hold anytime. And his grace and mercy means he will even do the grabbing when it is necessary.

  8. bcparkison says:

    See how many people love you and look forward to hearing from you.
    Not being ” in the loop” I have no idea what is really going on with you. I can guess but sometimes my guessing gets out of hand. Now I can tell you that a lot of us ,especially me my self and I, have had these very same feelings. It’s true it is the pits. My husband has been gone for 6 yrs. come August 8. I was prepared for his passing ,I thought, but no….I really wasn’t. There been and still are a lot of “What Now ” days but the sun always comes up…except when it hides behind the clouds, and the day gets easy with each step.. You are a strong “young ” lady and God is here and every where you are. Hang in there …but beware of the bear.

  9. Tricia says:

    Omg, does the bear come visit your yard? I love bears actually but gotta be careful if little ones around. Again, so glad to see you posting. Now I need to get off my arse and do the sane. 🙂

  10. SLIMJIM says:

    Praying for you with surviving

  11. pkadams says:

    One day at a time, sweet Jesus.

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