Make 2017 A Fearless Year With Plenty of Time To Snuggle

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Big Dog

Welcome 2017. One week in. It’s 9 p.m. and I have exhausted myself with “fitness” and “healthy eating” already.

Jen Hollidge

Jen Hollidge

Judging by the crowding at the gym, it seems everyone else is working the same gig. While I like this change, and outside of a general exhaustion, I feel good, I have a nagging sense that 2017 is asking for more, but I’m too tired to explore it further.

I have snuck off to the place I have been longing for all evening – bed. Big Dog sees me gladly climb in and knows that the opportunity for a snuggle has presented itself.

He has certain expectations for how that ritual should go. If I crawl into bed a while before my partner in crime (aka the Alpha) does, Big Dog knows half a queen-size bed awaits him. He will immediately put himself on his own bed when the alpha arrives, so he knows this snuggle is a limited time opportunity.

His routine begins by eyeing me hopefully from beside the bed and waiting for an invite, which consists of a pat on the bed and a “hop up.” Having received his formal invitation, he may now acquiesce and ascend to the snuggle throne. Once there king Big Dog must formally present his chest for scratching by hovering over me, gently placing a persistent paw on my arm should I get distracted by my Kindle and forget to scratch.

When he decides that the scratches have fulfilled his furry needs, he lays himself closer for a full doggy facial rub. Once this part of our ritual is complete, he turns and flops the full 125 pounds of himself snuggled tightly along my legs. Big and warm, he hardly budges.

It makes me think of a calming squeeze-shute used for cattle. There’s something to that, I think, because I am relaxed, grounded and calm. I can think.

And in this safe space, I make a real resolution: Don’t let fear block opportunity. This is my mantra for 2017.

Show up with my full self and quit letting fear make the decisions. Squished into this safe space with Big Dog at my side, I am ready to sleep off my exhaustion and wake up ready for this new year.

I give Big Dog a couple more scratches before dozing off and promise him to also make sure 2017 includes more snuggles.

I’m Jen Hollidge, a full-time program coordinator, full-time mother of two amazing daughters and full-time wife to my partner in crime for 18 years. We live in Concord, N.H. I have an English degree from the University of New Hampshire and I love to write.