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Get Off The Nail January 29, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Mindfulness.

IMGP3376bOne day, a salesman drove up to a farmhouse to ask for directions.

As he greeted the elderly gentleman sitting in the side yard, an old dog at the farmer’s feet lifted its head and let out a low moan.

When the salesman started to ask for directions, the dog lifted its head and moaned again.

As the dog moaned a third time, the salesman asked, “What’s wrong with your dog?”

The old man looked at the dog and said, “He’s lying on a nail.”

“Lying on a nail?”

“Yep.  Bothers him enough to complain about, not enough to make him move.”

Source:  e-mail from unknown author

* * * * *

How often are we like that old dog?  Staying put rather than making necessary changes?

* The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are. ~ J. Pierpoint Morgan

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~ Anais Nin


1. Sandra Bell Kirchman - January 29, 2013

Oh yeah! Someone said that this is the purpose of pain…to help us make the decision to move 😛

nrhatch - January 29, 2013

Yes! If we are 100% comfortable with the status quo, we have less incentive to stir things up.

2. sweetdaysundertheoaks - January 29, 2013

Nancy! We are living it right now! Can’t leave the Tiny Ten and the seasons, WANT to be in Florida. I think we are working on a solution.. 🙂

nrhatch - January 29, 2013

Here’s to finding a suitable solution to your quandary. 💡

sweetdaysundertheoaks - January 29, 2013

Thank you!

3. Don - January 29, 2013

Love the story, and those two quotes are brilliant, especially the last one. Strange how the comfort of being where we are often outweighs the pain of the nail.

nrhatch - January 29, 2013

Thanks, Don. Some people would rather grumble and complain about stale grievances than take the steps necessary to change things for the better . . . including changing their perspective. 😉

4. deanabo - January 29, 2013

This is brilliant. Why do we continue to stay around and let things hurt us instead of doing something about it?

nrhatch - January 29, 2013

Thanks, Deana. We do get into habitual patterns that don’t serve us, don’t we? Taking a step back to MINDFULLY WATCH what we’re doing is a great first step.

5. granny1947 - January 29, 2013

That is so,so, so true.

nrhatch - January 29, 2013

I suspect some people do it for the attention . . . they love it when others STOP what they’re doing to listen and commiserate.

“Oh, woe is me.” 🙄

6. Three Well Beings - January 29, 2013

So important to remember! Don’t you just get weary of anyone who stays stuck and doesn’t change the scenery or the tapes? I use my annoyance in it with others to help keep me in check. If I begin to hear the same story coming out of my mouth, it’s off to the thinking chair! Sometimes I have to stay in that chair for a little while! 🙂

nrhatch - January 29, 2013

Yes! Yes! Yes! If someone keeps sharing the same sad sagas with me, I start to tune them out . . . or turn the tables by asking them WHAT STEPS they plan to take to move from where they are to where they want to be.

That often shuts them right up. :mrgreen:

7. diannegray - January 29, 2013

I know so many people like this. I’m going to start telling them this story – it’s brilliant! 😉

nrhatch - January 29, 2013

Good luck!
You will be doing the world a great service, Dianne. 😀

8. Tom (Aquatom1968) - January 29, 2013

Very true, Nancy!

nrhatch - January 29, 2013

Many who would benefit from “getting off the nail” won’t see themselves as the dog . . . instead, they’ll characterize their incessant whining and moaning as a “cautionary tale” for others.

9. kateshrewsday - January 29, 2013

Fantastic story, Nancy. I loved this.

nrhatch - January 29, 2013

It’s a great reminder ~ we can be the prisoner of our past or the architect of our future. 😀

10. viviankirkfield - January 29, 2013

Oh Nancy…I love this post! Yes, I think I have definitely gotten off that nail (although I don’t think I was moaning before 🙂 And it is not only a person’s present situation (unhappy at job, marriage, residence, etc.) that can be the nail…as you hinted in your reply to Kate, ‘we can be the prisoner of our past’…many moan about events that happened so long ago, most of the people involved are no longer alive…but the ones who are still here are still moaning…or allowing those memories to hold them back. 😦

nrhatch - January 30, 2013

Yes! Sometimes the nail is nothing more than the thoughts we think . . . because we’ve left our mind on “auto pilot” for too long.

Glad you’re enjoying your new found freedom, Vivian!

11. vivinfrance - January 30, 2013

This reminds me of the old song “Life gets tedious, don’t it.” –
Hound dog howlin’ so forlorn
Laziest dog that was ever born
He’s a-howlin’ ’cause he’s a-settin’ on a thorn
An’ just to tired to move over.

You can hear it on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HlEdMg7d_o

nrhatch - January 30, 2013

Oh, my! I wonder if that’s where the author of this e-mail got the idea. Sure sounds similar.

Thanks, Viv!

12. Grannymar - January 31, 2013

What a waste of life to moan all the time. I know quite a few who seem to thrive on moaning. When I see them coming, I switch to selective hearing.

nrhatch - January 31, 2013

Smart thinking . . . it pays to be selective when listening to those who are prone to sharing the negatives. If we don’t tune them out, they can be energy drains.

13. jannatwrites - February 1, 2013

Oh, I’ve known people like this…it drives me nuts! I don’t want to hear complaining about what’s wrong in your life when you do nothing to change it. (I know it sounds mean, but it’s draining to listen to it all.)

nrhatch - February 1, 2013

I don’t think it sounds “mean” at all . . . why should the whiners get to decide what we “have to” listen to? If someone’s just had a death in the family and needs a chance to share, I’m all ears.

But if Wendy Whiner is telling me for the 47th time how she WISHES she had TIME to exercise so she could lose weight . . . I’m going to tell her to “take a hike.”

“Hey, Wendy. Why not stop talking and start walking?” :mrgreen:

14. Perfecting Motherhood - February 2, 2013

Alright, your planting pot guy along with the little one next to him is really cute!

nrhatch - February 2, 2013

I was tripping along, enjoying your topiaries until I saw YOUR potting plant guy:

I’ve never seen one before and now I’ve seen two in one week. 😀

Perfecting Motherhood - February 2, 2013

I really like yours, especially since there are two of them on your photo. I bet you can find a lot of them on Pinterest!

nrhatch - February 2, 2013

Mine looks perfect for Halloween . . . he seems to be first cousins with Scarecrow. 😀

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