Ahhhh, the joys of freedom; my freedom.

Raising two amazing sons was the joy of my life. In fact, I tell my boys that I was truly born when they were born. And that’s the truth.

Late evenings overseeing homework; rising and shining early in the morning cooking their breakfasts; hours in the kitchen preparing family dinners; countless days juggling the social and sports calendars and attending events; and ongoing chores of cleaning, laundry and the like. Add that to owning and running a successful business; I had a full plate.

Today’s days are quite the reversal. My boys are out of the house; one at college and one in his own apartment. My mornings and my evenings are my own. So are my weekends. It’s a full home life of doing what I want when I want; traveling, dining, working out, indulging in sports fanaticism and binging on Netflix.

The one hold-out for ongoing responsibility after my sons left the house was my German Shepherd Yasu. He required early morning caretaking and walks, home cooked meals, midnight hugs and oh so much more. He waited patiently for me to arrive home from the DDCC Studio, so a dinner out was not the best idea. Nor was a weekend trip, let alone a week-long cruise. I had a family friend stay with him when I traveled. Yet I always knew that he was waiting to enjoy life once again only when I finally arrived home.

Last Fall, Yasu succumbed to cancer with only several days warning. As with the joy of parenthood, the pure joy and comfort of him far outweighed the responsibilities he required.  I miss him more than words can say.

Yet, with neither animals nor children to spoil, I was bestowed the great privilege of complete and absolute freedom for the first time in a very long time. No guilt for going out to dinner after work; not a care in the world for skipping out for nights or weekends; and no chores to do for anyone, anytime, other than for myself.

The result was no less than bliss. I miss my sons; I miss my dog; AND I love my carefree existence. So when my sons decided to bestow me the birthday gift of a soon-to-be-born puppy, I had mixed feelings. The companionship of a new German Shepherd sent my emotions into a chocolate-eating frenzy. Would it be fair to a puppy to not have children at home? Would I ever be able to travel without guilt again? Was I ready to give up my new-found unbridled freedom for a devoted, nature-loving canine companion?

Clearly, the saddle of responsibility for a puppy—like owning a business—is more than most people eagerly accept. Here in our DDCC Studio, I embrace inspiration and accountability for performance,  livelihoods, pace, quality and culture—and time off comes sparingly. Even when it does, my thoughts are often about all those things and more. It’s true of raising a family, or a pet, and it’s true of being an entrepreneur.

Truth is, living fully for me seems to require this “all in” approach—whether for business, for clients, for adventure, for building a family or…for bringing home a new puppy. It’s an irresistible way of living for me; mainly because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that a true hedonist always goes for the greatest rewards.

Clearly, I am blessed with the most amazing people in my personal and Studio life to make it all work. Despite the corniness of the saying, “it takes a village” really captures what’s needed; and in my case, it’s the most amazing village anyone could ever wish for.

Indeed, this puppy will take a team approach, just like everything else that’s good does. Unbridled freedom tastes sweet; yet the best parts of my life come from my connections with family, friends, my DDCC team members and our amazing clients. And those connections are certainly worth leaving a little freedom behind.

Ruth Drizen-Dohs

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