Categories
mindfulness

Lessons My Cat Has Taught Me

I’ve been a cat lover for as long as I remember.

When I was a little girl I tried to interact with a family friend’s cat, who immediately ran away from me as I vied for her attention.  “Well, this isn’t fun,” my four year old self thought.

We finally got a cat of our own, Kattie, when I was seven years old.  My mom took care of all the “heavy lifting;” the bills, the doctor appointments, and of course, the litter box.  Kattie wasn’t as cuddly as I would have hoped, though- and it was probably because I wasn’t patient with her.

I’ve lived with a variety of cats over the years, from Kattie to Cali, and later in Boston when I helped care for Clarissa and Tuxedo.  Now, at 34 years old, I decided to adopt a cat of my very own- and I’m his sole caretaker and companion.

Ollie and I have only been each other’s partners for a few days now, but he’s teaching me important lessons all of the time.

Before meeting me, he came from a hoarding situation and lived at the humane society for seven long months.  It wasn’t his favorite place, and many people overlooked him because of his shy nature.  However, as soon as I met him, there was something special- and I was thrilled to be able to give him a forever home.

He may have cowered away from me at first, but I understood he was scared.  I didn’t know what happened to him in the past, and much like a person, he probably had every reason to shy away from unknown people.  Oh, Ollie- how I relate.

Even though I’d love him to want to hop on my bed and give me affection, I know it will take him time.  Thanks to Ollie, I’m learning to be even more gentle, patient, and responsible.

He’s made me think about caring for someone other than myself, and at times, care for myself even more.  I’m more conscious of my home, my finances, and spending enough time with him.

We all have pain in our past, whether it’s loss, trauma, addiction, or loneliness.  Cats are no different.  He may be irresistibly cute, but I need to remember to respect his space, just like I would want from a person.

We’ve enjoyed sitting still together, playing with his bird toy, and exploring my townhouse.  I’ve found him in unexpected places, and he’s never failed to make me laugh or smile.

Learning to care for love a little being has been one of my biggest joys, and he gives me something to look forward to every single day.  I may not have any interest in having a human child, but I’m absolutely content with my beautiful fur baby.

Categories
conscious living

Ollie Orlando

Meet Oliver!

I brought Ollie home after his long (but loving) seven month stay at the Cherryland Humane Society.

Formerly Orlando, Ollie Orlando is now enjoying his forever home with me.

On his first day, he immediately ran behind my living room couch. After staying there for an hour, I brought him upstairs to my office (temporarily the “safe room”) to ease into townhouse life. He certainly has the life here, but it’s a lot for him to handle all at once.

I’m so grateful to have found Ollie; I needed him as much as he needed me. As much as I love living alone, I have wanted a feline companion of my own for as long as I can remember.

He is a shy but affectionate cat who loves gazing out the window at the trees, getting scratches on his head, and finding hiding spaces to keep him safe.

Don’t worry, little one, I will take good care of you. ❤️

Categories
mindfulness self care self discovery

Take Time To Yourself While You Can

There’s no “finish line” of life.

Sure, life will come to an end at some point, but we never know where our journey will lead.

We don’t run the show as hard as we may try.  We can’t finagle our own little plans and designs to go our way, because the Universe already knows where we belong- and when pieces will fall into place.

While sitting at my favorite cafe, Brew, I chatted with one of my dearest friends who I met in 7th grade.  Both bullied, we bonded over the years due to our struggles and strength.  Today, she’s married with two kids, a house, and a lot of responsibility.

“Take time to yourself while you can,” she told me.

“I tell my sister the same thing.”  Her sister, also a friend of mine, is beautiful, strong, and sophisticated- and single.

Lately I have been feeling lonely (obviously- I left Boston to return to my hometown), thinking I want a partner.  I have been thinking about all the guys I have met, wondering why they didn’t choose me- and why people I know have partnered up and I haven’t.

Then, I realized:

I’m not quite ready.

Loving myself, spending time with friends, and embracing my family is where I am at now.  I’m becoming the most authentic version of myself that I can be, and I am no longer willing to let someone try and change me.

When he comes along, he will come along- and he will be strong. He will love me for me. He will encourage me to be thrive.  He will be ready for me, too.

But for now, I’m taking time to myself while I can.

Categories
mindfulness

Listen to the Birds

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“Pay the thunder no mind – listen to the birds.”

Our minds race each and every day.  That problem I had last week?  I’ve already forgotten about it.  The worries I have today?  They’re going to be resolved effortlessly.

Our higher power speaks through other people, but sometimes our egos don’t stop and listen.  Meditation is a huge part of my daily life, but I often forget to ask for help.  Sitting by myself has its purpose, but connection with people is equally important.

Since being home, I have had an amazing time reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones.  I’m so grateful to have realized I am loved, cared about, and can give my love back to them in return.

This is a whole new chapter, and I choose to listen to the birds, not the thunder in my mind.

Categories
mental health mindfulness self discovery

Check On The Strong Ones

You never know what someone else is going through.

Last summer, while living in Boston, my life seemed fantastic. I was working at a law firm downtown, living in a cute studio, and smiling for photos.

I visited friends in New York City, went to museums, enjoyed baseball games, and wore designer clothes.  I spent days in the Public Garden and wrote inspirational blog posts- yet what most people didn’t know was that I was on the verge of the unraveling of my final year in Boston.

Society spends so much time comparing our own lives to other people- but we only know part of their story.

We check Facebook to see what our friends are doing on vacation, we compare our jobs, and we make up stories in our own minds as to what someone’s life is truly like.  We see people and their seemingly perfect families, adorable kids, and handsome husbands.

This is a reminder to check on those who seem to have it all together- the strong ones who may not seem to need help at all.

I never wanted to admit I needed help, that I was lonely, or that I was unsure of where my life was going.  Thankfully, I realized that I can’t write a story that wasn’t meant for me.

Now that I am back in Michigan, I can reflect on the good times, the bad, and have immense gratitude for surviving (and thriving!) through everything I experienced.

Remember to check on those friends who seem like they have it all together- because each story has its own twists and turns.