Life strategies and inspiration
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The Secret of Happiness
A two and a half pound bundle of energy in the form of a kitten named Charlotte has taken over our living space. When our dog died last year and our cat a few months ago, my husband and I decided that for the foreseeable future we would not have any new animals join our family. That would create some greater flexibility in travelling and pursuing other activities. Enter Charlotte.
Charlotte is my daughter’s newest companion who will be accompanying her back to Saskatoon in a few days as she continues her veterinary studies. She has wanted a cat for some time and when the opportunity to adopt Charlotte arose, she couldn’t resist. So for the past couple of weeks Charlotte has been living with us.
It’s been more than 16 years since I have lived with kitten energy. If we could harness it, there would never be an energy shortage. Apparently it is a renewable resource. In watching this whirling dervish of fur, there are some life lessons to be learned. Here are a few of them:
Curiosity is a good thing.
I know the saying is that curiosity killed the cat but it seems that curiosity is what makes Charlotte lively. Everything is there to be explored, tested, examined, or observed.
How curious are you about the world? Do you go through your days with blinders on, or do you notice all of the delightful, fascinating or intriguing things around you?
Keep stretching your comfort zone.
When Charlotte first arrived, everything startled her. She would take a few steps forward and then run and hide. But each day, she became a little braver and expanded her territory.
How often do you run and hide from new things? How far are you willing to step out of what is familiar and comfortable?
Creativity removes obstacles.
Just about anything can be a toy. Sure the toys from the pet store are fun but Charlotte has just as much amusement, if not more, from a ball of paper, a bathrobe belt or a shadow on the floor. If she wants to play, there’s always something to play with.
How creative are you in overcoming obstacles? Are you willing to work with what you have in order to get what you want?
Persistence has its rewards.
The first time Charlotte attempted to jump up on the couch, it didn’t turn out so well. Day after day she persisted, continually landing back on the floor with a thud. Until the day she finally she made it. Now she jumps up on the couch with ease.
How quickly do you give up? Do you take failure as a learning opportunity or an excuse to abandon your dreams?
Play and then play some more.
Charlotte’s job is to play. I think it is play for the sake of play. But it’s also a way to learn. She plays. She learns. She plays some more.
When was the last time you played? How can your learning be more playful?
There’s one more lesson worth learning from the kitten. Take a nap. Play hard. Be engaged. And take a nap when you need one. I think I just might need one once Charlotte finally moves out.
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This article was first published in my community blog Life Goes On for the St. Albert Gazette. One July night a long time ago, two men taught me something important. After watching those grainy pictures of Neil Armstrong stepping onto …
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