Stream of Unconscious

Often I wake in the middle of the night with thoughts and visions that must be written. A lot of it may seem like mere rambling, but I am a born writer; I need to see what happens to my words once they stare back at me from the pages of my computer screen. Since I am ususally more than half-asleep when this happens, I jokingly entitled the original document: "Stream of Unconscious." Now that I am finally starting to publish in a blog (as so many people have suggested I should do!), I thought the title remained appropriate.

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Life Lesson in the Little Things

"Are you kidding me??" I screamed aloud, having come back from a very short trip to the bathroom to discover one of my kittens having a boxing match with my keyboard. And, of course, the paragraphs I had just been working on were deleted, and a lot of gibberish had taken the place of my attempt at creativity. As a former English Major, I hold myself at fault for not having saved my work before leaving the computer unattended. But still...

It's amazing the things that come out of your mouth when you've had a typical Monday. I find myself yelling a lot these days. Things like: "What were you thinking?" and "Can't I just have ten minutes to myself when I get home??" and "Are you kidding me?" if cats are quite skilled in the art of comic mockery. There are times when I am convinced that they have nothing better to do than piss me off. Just for the heck of it.

So why, you ask, do I even have cats? That is a very good question. I think they're here to teach me something. I don't want to be one of those annoying Pollyanna-type people that tries to make a lesson out of everything. But in this case, I really think it's legit.

See, the thing is, I wasn't ready for cats. I know that by now. I've been wanting a cat for a long time, now that I'm out making it on my own, but I hadn't purchased one yet because I didn't feel like I was quite ready. But the problem is, I have this soft spot in my heart for the abandoned, and they were about to lose their home... I guess I took them in as a kind of foster care service, to try to find them a good place to live. But of course I got attached, because I always get attached. And now I have no idea what I'm doing. Which just means I come home to whatever new mess they've made and get angry at creatures that have no idea why I'm upset. And that's not a good situation for anyone.

Just a few weeks ago, a guy I sit next to at work told me this very thing; that I wasn't ready for cats, and I got very upset with him. Did he really think I'm so incompetent a human being that I can't care for a couple of kittens until I find homes for them? I was quite insulted. But now I'm starting to see the wisdom behind his words. I don't think he meant to be offensive. It's just that I've had a rough couple of years, and things are finally starting to get better, and I really think this season of my life is about learning to take care of me. I wonder if having kittens is going to prevent that at all?

My problem is I put my whole heart into everything I do. It's a blessing and a curse, all wrapped up in one package. I stress out at work if I think I haven't paid a claim correctly. I want to get it right and do my job to the best of my ability. I want to be there for all my friends, right when they need me. I've found it difficult to be creative lately, because I just want things to be perfect. And Lord help me when I get into a relationship, because I give it everything I've got, whether or not it's worthy of everything I've got. I guess if I can't do something wholeheartedly, I find it hard to want to do it at all. And it's exhausting, let me tell you!

It's funny... because what I just said makes me sound a little perfectionistic. And I wouldn't really consider myself to be a perfectionist. If you look around at my messy apartment, or know anything about my messy life, you would think the same. But when it comes to matters of the heart, it's all or nothing for me.

If nothing else, I'm learning a lot from my crazy cats. I guess it's hard to have too much regret in life if you choose to learn from your mistakes and disappointments. I haven't decided yet if taking them in was really a mistake, or if this just means I need to let them go and admit that I'm just not ready to be taking care of anyone but me right now, or if I need to make room in my life for them and choose to give them what they need whether or not it's what I need...

I suppose there are very few people who would put this much thought into the decision. :) But I've committed to discovering the secret of living a full life, and this is just another attempt at it... even though it's just taking care of a couple of cats, I want to do this well. And if I can't do it, I want to find someone who can.

Just for the record, they're both acting crazy right now, running around my tiny apartment like maniacs, attacking each other, my couch, or my feet, whatever they happen upon first. In a minute or two, they will be attempting to climb onto my keyboard and my lap, purring deeply and ready to settle down for the night, simply wanting the affection I am anxious to give. It's these times when I think giving them up will be impossible. But time will tell. I want to learn all I can while they're here with me. Maybe they're supposed to help me appreciate the silence when they're gone...

I thought I would be up for hours tonight, because I drank an iced coffee just a little while ago, but a nice warm bed is starting to sound pretty awesome right about now. So I think I'm going to say goodnight for now... I'll write again soon.

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