November 13, 2015

Why I love my cat so much

Filed under: About The Animals — Tags: , , , — Ann @ 12:55 pm
Geronimo Cat

Geronimo Cat

I’m sure there are some who may question the depth of my devotion to Geronimo Cat. After all, he’s not a “people.” I was thinking about it this morning and I realized that the main reason we’re so bonded is that the relationship is in no way one-sided. In short, it’s easy to love those who so generously give love right back to you. And Geronimo gives back in full measure the devotion directed his way. We clearly need each other — when he’s frightened at the vet, he scrunches up as close to me as he can get; when I’m sad, he seeks me out to climb in my lap. And we’re also there for each other — he comes running when I call him, and I jump up when he calls me.

In a Hubpages article “Eight Ingredients for a Successful Relationship,” the named essentials are Love and Affection, Honesty and Trust, Respect and Consideration, Good Communication, Unselfishness, Forgiveness, Appreciation, and Sense of Humor. G’s and my steward-companion relationship has all of those qualities. He definitely shows an abundance of affection; he trusts me to take care of him; I respect his insistence that his belly not be touched; we have developed a communication that astonishes even Neal (I can tell when G wants me to retrieve his fluffy blanket, for example); we’re both unstinting in our giving — I bring him collars and treats, he brings me dead things; he forgives me for taking him to the vet and I forgive him for scaring the life out of me by going in the street; the mutual appreciation is obvious; and — sense of humor? I’m sure he laughs in his cat-way at my dancing, and he definitely makes me laugh when he bats and chases acorns around the side patio

In a very real way, there are really only two ingredients for a successful relationship: you need to need each other; and you need to give and receive love in equal measure. G and me? The real deal.

March 23, 2014

About life, leaving, and Candy Crush Saga.

Filed under: MiscellAnnia — Tags: , , , , , — Ann @ 8:15 am
He knew a bad hand when he saw it.

He knew a bad hand when he saw it.

A wonderful thing happened to me yesterday: I encountered a Candy Crush Saga level that I simply couldn’t beat (Level 92, for any Crushers who may be reading this). And the realization gave me the freedom to walk away because I’d arrived at the point of diminishing returns – when the precious time, energy and focus I was devoting to the endeavor was failing to provide me with the fun, fulfillment and appropriate neurotransmitter releases to make it worthwhile.

And of course, that got me thinking about the times in my life when I failed to recognize that magic moment – that sweet packet of ultra-important information — when it dropped into my awareness. As the man sang, you’ve got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em. And sometimes I held ‘em until the unthinkable happened: time and life were frittered away.

For example: I stayed in the law game far too long. I was afraid to leave it for two of the usual can’t-quit reasons: money and security. And I stayed in some relationships way beyond their expiration date, long past the day when all of my instincts screamed “Now!” but my fear-tenacity centers answered, “Maybe something will change….”

Here’s a secret: At that point in the game, things seldom change. I’ve heard people say, “I’ve devoted too much time to this relationship/job/endeavor to end it.” In most cases, the minute you think or say that, it’s a year or more past time to get out.

I am not saying that there is no room for steadfastness, for better or worse, employee loyalty, and all those fine moral guideposts. What I’m saying is that you will probably know when it’s over. And what I’m asking you to do is listen to your instincts. Staying for the sake of staying? That way lies madness. Or, to come full blog-circle: at that point, you’re not mastering the art of the game. You’re not crushing candies. You’re crushing your own spirit.

UPDATED APRIL 12, 2014: After a fashion, I went back to Level 92. I played once or twice a day, and always for the fun of it. I played to relax, and I played to match candies and enjoy the pretty colors. I didn’t get upset if I lost, because I expected to lose. And one night, to my amazement, I beat the Level. I’m now on Level 102. So I’m back on Candy Crush, but with a difference: I’m playing it, it’s not playing me. I no longer get frustrated, no longer beg Friends for extra lives. I only play when I need to relax. And the metaphor still works: sometimes you don’t need to give something up; sometimes you only need to do it better. And again, you will probably know what’s best for you. Happy crushing!

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