Gratitude for Change

cats

Having gratitude for change can often be tough. Life is full of changes all the time, some we are ready for and some we just aren’t. But gratitude often comes from the change at some point. Hell, it may be ten years down the road and not right away at times, while other times the gratitude comes right away.

I want to tell a little story about my gratitude for change in one area of my life…. MY LOVE FOR CATS.

Would you believe it if I told you I went through a period of neutrality towards cats? My current self is shaking its head hell no. I love cats. I take pictures of my cats all the times and probably post way too many pictures on Instagram of them. But, I really did. I went through a period where I didn’t want to be a cat person.

It has its deep roots so hear me out.

When I was a young girl, I loved cats. I started collecting cat statues whenever my Uncle Jim would buy them for me at random places. I had quite the collection and a cat statue was always on my Christmas list. I am sure that made my parents happy since they really aren’t that expensive! I could have had the next biggest toy on my list, but no I wanted a new cat statue. I even got a real cat for Christmas one year and I named her Crystal. She loved me and hated my brothers so we were quite the pair.

My Uncle Jim passed away in 1995. My family was devastated. It was a major life adjustment. Death is a hard thing to overcome and I am not fully convinced we ever overcome death. I think we just decide to focus more on memories and the love we had for the one who passed.

But I was young when he passed. I was 11. One way I grieved was to forget about my love for cats. I got rid of my cat collection.

The interesting thing is that I didn’t realize it at the time why I got rid of my cat collection. Only now do I realize that the cat collection was something beautiful between my uncle and me and that getting rid of it was my subconscious protecting my sweet, little heart.

We got a dog later in 1995 and named her Daisee May. She was a blessing to our family after such a hard tragedy. I’ve always loved dogs too (I think of myself as an animal person in general.. love them all!), but I focused more on dogs after we got Daisee.

In 2008 I met a man who has an intense and admirable love for cats. He is not ashamed to admit it! Society makes it seem like guys are typically dog people, but I find it so sexy when a man can admit he likes other animals too. And perhaps that is why God gave me this man.

Anyway, my renewed interest for cats started to grow as our relationship grew. In February 2009, this man’s parents had a cat that started coming around their house. It had kittens, but was a young one herself. She couldn’t produce enough milk for the kittens so a local vet out of Terrell bottle fed the kittens. There were 4. And they were so adorable!

When they were old enough to eat cat food, we would go visit the kittens and one day, I took one home. It has changed my life for the better in so many ways!

I don’t have gratitude for death per se. I still wish I had my Uncle here on Earth as selfish as that may be, but I can find gratitude in the way that cats remind me of him at times. I find gratitude in the connection we had when I was a kid and one of those ways being with the cat statues. I also have an intense gratitude for the change in my love for cats. This change has opened my heart in more ways than I ever thought possible. I consider my pets family and the love I have for these four-legged creatures has shown me that I will also have love for a two-legged lil’ squirt someday and be a damn good mom.

I am linking up for The Fit Dish with Jill Conyers and The Fit Switch. This week is all about gratitude!

A Break from the Rat Race

The Rat Race

 

I am having a really hard time this week. I am back in the rat race. I am generally a very positive person, but I have my down days just like everyone else. And this week has been rough.

Granted, I always know things can be worse and holy cow there are crazy things going on in the world today. I realize I am not wondering when my next meal is nor am I captured by some extremist. My problems are small in comparison. And I am grateful for that. Honestly.

My problems come from the rat race. Running in my hamster wheel just like everyone else, trying to keep everything together and keep up with the next one. I keep wondering why we do this. Why is money one of the most important prizes we all seek to gain? Why is being the next big thing important? Why are we so excited to see a celebrity, but barely have a reaction when we see the normal Joe walking down the street? He may have saved a life the other day.

I took a break from the rat race and it was GOOD. Too good, in fact. I love vacations and usually am fine adjusting back to my regular life afterwards. I even promote taking vacations as part of wellness. But, this past weekend I went to Colorado to visit my parents. And I didn’t want to leave. My heart was heavy. And still is.

I find myself questioning a lot of different things. I don’t think questioning is bad. In fact, I think discomfort is the catalyst for change, and perhaps all of this means that some type of change needs to happen and will happen for me. I am not afraid of feeling this way nor am I afraid of change. I can feel these negative emotions and still realize that they do not define me. They do not make me who I am. And that is so key. Many of us feel negative emotions and turn to something else for comfort. But that comfort is temporary. It is important to feel your feelings and work through them.

So here’s to working through feelings instead of avoiding them. 

Do you ever find yourself questioning the rat race?