I’m a busy person; yes, I know you are too, but my problem stems from not being able to say “no” when asked to participate. Even if I have something planned, I will try to find a way to schedule more into any space on my calendar–however small–just so I don’t have to say no.
Recently, I was out of town for two weeks; followed by a couple of weeks spent playing catch-up with my j.o.b., my business/networking commitments and my life in general–mostly in that order. I have a room mate, who helps me take care of my 3 cats and dog; and she told me that they were “pouting,” feeling slighted by my absence.
I was constantly trying to keep up, and falling further and further behind. Finally, one night I was “walking” the dog and just had to stop; he looked at me and then he started sniffing around, checking out all the smells around him before finally moving on to the next yard.
It was hard for me to slow down; but now, when we go on our walks we’re walking together, stopping to investigate the neighborhood; seeing the landscape, the neighbors, the houses. The advantage I’ve found here is that I am relaxing, slowing down and feeling renewed by the time we get back home.
Sandy the cat had become very tempermental too; she would sit in the kitchen or the hallway and swat at anything that walked by. Giving her treats seemed to just make it worse. Finally, I grabbed one of her toys and we started playing “catch & fetch.” (Yes, my cat actually plays fetch).
She was demanding my attention–my full attention; none of this distracted, multitasking, pat-on-the-head stuff. After a little one-on-one attention, she goes off to do other cat things until later when she’s ready for more from me later.
Maybe mothers know this one; but not being a mother, I’ve always used the excuse that I don’t have time to nap. It’s hard to multitask when you’re asleep. Lately, as soon as I sit down Rotten will jump up into my lap and make herself comfortable.
After about 30 minutes, she’s done with me; but I have found these cat-naps to be very refreshing. Besides, it’s hard to get much done with a sleeping cat in your lap, so why not take advantage?
Listen to the call of the wild
When I’m home in the mornings now, I will take my coffee into the backyard and leave the door open. Phoebe has always been a recluse–hiding under the bed, staying out of sight. But when I sit on the back patio, she will come out and sit with me; watching the birds, lizards and butterflies (probably plotting their demise).
These mornings outside have created a new cat. She loves being in the backyard; to the point that some evenings are spent chasing her back into the house. The peace and quiet of the mornings are helping me too; giving me time to breathe and actually enjoy my morning coffee.
What kinds of things have you learned from your pets? Are they helping you cope better with your life? Leave me a comment and let me know–maybe there’s more I need to learn!