Back to it…

Don’t you just hate the end of a holiday? The day when you realise you have to return to the hum drum of home, work, school. It is one of the most deflating feelings in life.

For me, the only solace is making sure the next holiday is already booked so that I can redirect my focus. Shame I have to wait 6 months this time. For many, that might not seem long, but to me it feels like an eternity. Yes, I am lucky…….. but then again that is why I work hard – for the holidays!

I love traveling to new places and exploring the unknown. Sometimes you come across somewhere you just know you were meant to visit. With my love for the water and sea creatures, Exmouth was always going be be one of those special places. Ningaloo reef did not disappointed. From the amazing corals, to the vibrant fish, turtles, rays, whale sharks and humpbacks, it felt like another home to me.

But, here I am back to reality and saving for the next one.

Someone who has been super pleased to see us home, is the cat. In fact, more so than ever before. I think she might actually be entering middle age and mellowing out a bit because usually when we get home she is quite stand offish and snobby (those with cats will know exactly what I mean).

But, not this time, it seems a few little habits are beginning to change. For example, she has never really been interested in me (other than for feeding purposes!). The first three nights back and she has slept at my feet and stayed there all night! She has tolerated more of my patting and even been willing to play with me! One day soon I am hoping she might even sit on my lap (but that might be a step too far)!

She seems rather happy to have the fire on again too!

So, as I try and settle back into the normal routine, I am going to be mindful of the phenomenon I see all around me at the moment, the ‘busy’ craze. Somehow, we (I think particularly mothers) have rated ‘busy’ as a good thing. If you are ‘busy’ you are worthy and doing well, achieving lots. In reality, we are just driving ourselves into the ground trying to be everything to everyone.

It is time to slow down a little bit, enjoy life, enjoy the warmth of the fire and the comfort of my bed (yes, just like my cat). Allowing myself time to just be and not rush…….because if I carry on like I have been, the next 6 months will be exhausting! There is no point going on my next adventure wiped out is there?!

LLS

Cup of tea anyone?

Anyone who has been reading my blog would know how much I look up to my cat, both in terms of her ability to relax and her utter disinterest in what anyone else thinks of her. Well now I have seen it all, she has outdone herself, she has learnt from us – sort of……

I come from a big tea drinking family. If we are tired we drink tea. Worried, drink tea. Stressed, drink tea. Sick, drink tea. The warm brown brew might not fix everything but it at least makes things seem more bearable.

This is what I came across a few days ago..

Yes she was drinking a ‘cup of tea’!!!! Or so it appeared. In reality, we had a rather dangerous leaking kettle and water had seeped down through this wooden bench and filled some bowls and cups sitting on the bottom shelf. But, it was from this fine bone china miniature tea cup that she chose to drink.

Either she has class or she is mimicking our behaviour! (Or……….. she was thirsty and saw a new opportunity!)

In seriousness, I do think we are always modelling behaviours and no matter whether you realise it or not, they do rub off on those around us. Whether it is adults modelling to children, humans modelling to animals or animals modelling to humans.

Where else would the cat have got this behaviour from?? Perched on a barstool at the breakfast bar!

Definitely a child waiting for their dinner…… she has that ‘hangry’ look in her eye!

LLS

Aspiring to be my cat

Yesterday I was talking about how I set super human targets for myself. Expecting all sorts of crazy things that most would not or could not achieve. The solution to my problems has been right in front of me all along………….. Instead of trying to be super woman, I should have been aspiring to be my cat!

I have just finished reading ‘How to live like your cat’ by Stephane Garner and it makes total sense!

There are a few things we all know to be true about cats. They do not care what anyone else thinks of them. They do not do anything unless they want to. They do not try to be a lion just because they are related to them.

What they do know is how to have fun, how to relax, how to sit and listen, how to comfort those in distress, how to show empathy, how to sleep soundly, how to be themselves ALWAYS. Never, ever pretending to be something they aren’t.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to live like that?!!

The best mentor has been right there in my house for the last 4 years! And prior to that I grew up with one.

Sometimes they are crazy and weird and funny but that just makes them more interesting!

I have recently been obsessed with watching videos of the weird things cats get up to. They make me laugh so much (even when I am feeling stressed and too serious). The best part is, they really don’t care what we think of them, they just do their thing and live life the way they want to.

Something else I read in this book, that I thought was really interesting, was how cats show little outward signs of ageing. They don’t get wrinkly or grey and mostly keep their lush fur. This must be a sign of little stress and a life of contentment.

In contrast I spent some extortionate amount of money today trying to hide the effects years of stress are having on my hair and body! I should have just been chilling…..

Not a grey hair in sight.

LLS

Silly me

Just a follow up to yesterday’s crazy woman blog……

I had a good day today and am feeling much better, all because I went easy on myself, I exercised and I took time out for me.

It was all about expectations. The expectations I had placed on myself yesterday were unrealistic and hard. In the light of day today, I was able to see that. I think women in particular expect too much of themselves, perhaps because we have so many roles and some days one role is in direct conflict with another role.

Of course men also have many roles as worker, father, dad, brother, son, team member, but for some reason they are better at separating them out and not letting one affect the other. I am sure they often look at us women and wonder why we bother trying to be more than one role at a time. This thing about women being multitaskers perhaps is not something to be proud of. Perhaps the one thing at a time, more male philosophy is the healthier way to be.

Speaking of expectations……… look at this picture. There is definitely some expectation…

Expectation of the coming scratch and show of affection. Does this not say love me?!!

Again I am reminded of how I want to be a cat. Sleep, eat, play, love. One thing at a time!

LLS

Oh to be a cat….

Sometimes after a long hard day, I come home to find my cat in the same place she was when I left! Do they really stay there asleep all day? Do they ever get bored?

Imagine a life where…….. you can sleep as long as you want, someone else feeds you, if you make a mess, someone else cleans it up and people always talk nicely to you.  Plus, if you are super good at being a cat, you will have these really cute eyes that look up to people with big dilated pupils and immediately people start massaging you and talking sweet nothings in your ears! Then, out of the blue at any given random moment, you can decide it is play time….

I still don’t know how my cat manages it, but she really can sound like a horse on our wooden floor boards galloping about chasing a fly or a piece of fluff! The whole family watches in awe and amusement, then 5 minutes later the cat is back in her bed again. But she actually makes us stop, watch and be in the moment……

For Stressaholics, the cat (or any pet for that matter) does have the ability to help you release stress (so long as it is in the mood).  After a tough day, try taking the time to stroke your cat or pet. Listen for its purrs of contentment. Watch for its simple signs of affection. If you are lucky, they might even sit on your lap and snuggle in (not my cat, she is too aloof). No strings attached (ok maybe one – food), they just love you because you are you.

And if all else fails you can just model their behaviour and go back to bed!

SAA