cat-napAS I AGE (OK, I’m only 43, but I’m feeling wise and Maya Angelouish), I am less concerned with putting up appearances and fretting over sanctimonious scrutiny others may cast upon me. It’s quite a liberating feeling and one that I hope continues until I’m an old lady wearing pajama bottoms to Walgreen’s and singing “Come on Eileen” from the open windows of my phat Buick LeSabre. I know that saying “life is short” sounds so cliché, but it’s the truth. This physical life, that is.

My cats are like furry little retired people who do exactly as they wish (for the most part) and just couldn’t care less about what other people think. Although they sport nine lives, each one is bursting with so much lyrical laissez faire (or lazy fair) that even Maya Angelou is taking notes.

I usually write about ways I look to my cats for inspiration. This time, I’ll share the ways I’ve grown to be more like my cats. Gotta give myself credit for quite a bit of personal growth and enthusiastic embrace of life!

  • Cats don’t care if an ear is flipped inside out or they get tangled up in a blanket. These days I laugh it off when I trip over a step in front of a crowd of people. In fact, I sometimes even raise my hands and say, “Ta-da!” Hopefully, I even give someone else a smile.
  • When cats don’t get what they want, they usually just keep moving — unless it’s food, but that’s a whole different story! I finally feel like I’m in a place that I understand things don’t always work out the way they were “supposed to.” I’ve experienced this enough times to know that something better always comes along and it’s almost always a situation of which I’d never imagined — in a good way!
  • They spend time doing what they want to do. I’ve done some major soul-searching and have shed habits and activities that don’t serve me or bring me joy. I’ve also done this with friends. I used to think the number of friends I had was important. I no longer believe this — I’d much rather hang out with friends who lift me up than gossipy friends who tear others down.
  • They enjoy a good snuggle, but will tell you when they need their space. When I was first married, I wanted to be with my husband all the time. Seriously, I was pretty clingy. Now we’ve been married 22 years as as we’ve grown together, I’ve come to appreciate our time apart. I still treasure our “snuggle time,” but there’s such value in finding your own voice and independence. I’ve definitely done that!

Yes, cats are wise beyond their lives…but sometimes so are we! In this world of constantly examining ourselves and analyzing where we need improvement, we need to take a step back and really celebrate how far we’ve come. Cats celebrate themselves all the time, right? Let’s not only try to be more catlike, let’s bask in a sun puddle and radiate the greatness that already exists within us!

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