For years, our pig Hogan has refused to come in the house if we changed ANY RUGS. Welcome mat. Throw rug. Area rug. He wouldn’t put a trotter on anything he didn’t know and recognize. And since I want Hogan to be a part of our family, I just left all rugs exactly the same for years so that he would continue to grace us with his presence.
That is, until I couldn’t stand it anymore. The inside of our house started to look like an abandoned shack. Torn, filthy rugs scattered everywhere. And the smell of the old “Hogan approved” rugs was an assault to the senses — part mud, part something that smelled like old banana and part encrusted bile from our ancient dog, Jake. Instead of welcoming visitors with a drink, we should have handed everyone a gas mask.
Finally, one day I just snapped and bought a new door mat. Then I took one of our oriental rugs from the barn (the nice kind we had before we had kids) and brazenly threw it down. I thought, Well, I’m just going to have to train Hogan to love these rugs from now on. It may take months. It may take years, but Hogan will eventually learn to walk on these rugs.
The next morning I waited nervously by the door with Hogan’s breakfast. I saw Hogan look at the new door mat and I held my breath and thought, This is going to be a bitch…
And then Hogan just stepped on the door mat and walked inside the house. Just like that. I was stunned. I gasped. I took pictures. I wept openly, crying even harder knowing that I was crying about a pig on a rug.
Hogan had changed. It occurred to me that I had put Hogan in the “I won’t step on new rugs” box years ago and just left him there.
I never checked back in with him. I never said, How ya doing on that rug thing? Shall we try it again?
We all have things we want to change about ourselves and often times we struggle alone. Wouldn’t it be great to have the people in our lives check in with us to see if we need any help and offer some encouragement? To say, How’s that thing coming along? I’m here if you need me.
Because sometimes, we all need a little help taking that first step.
(This message brought to you by the Pig Council on Change.)