New Year's Resolutions Inspired by my Cat
Eat. Play. Love.
For me closing out one year and ringing in another has always been a time for reflection. Reflection about the triumphs celebrated, the milestones achieved, the challenges overcome and the lessons learned- to name a few. I don’t typically set New Year’s Resolutions, but then again, nothing has been “typical” about 2020. Moms became teachers overnight, dining rooms got turned into boardrooms, everyone learned how to use Zoom and I got to spend a lot more time at home with my cat, Scout (and learned a lot)! I have always thought of Scout as a “wise, old soul” and at the tender age of 19.5- believe it or not, she has taught me a thing or two about life. My New Year’s Resolutions for 2021 have been inspired what I’ve learned from her. I hope they inspire you too.
Like most cats, Scout doesn’t care what other people think of her. If you stop to think about it for a moment, most of us care way too much about what others think about us. Way too many people do or don’t do things in order to obtain approval, respect, acceptance or what they think is love from others. Cats stay true to themselves and their individual personalities- ignoring how others think they should behave. You know what? They are spot on! What other people think about us is actually none of our business. I’m taking a page from this and am going to embrace my own individuality independent of the opinions of others.
Scout spends most of her day sleeping and at her age I’d say she has more than earned it! The most precious thing about this is that despite being in the deepest of slumbers, she somehow senses when I walk into the room and she instantly wakes up, walks over to me and gives me a chirpy meow. It melts my heart every single time. Whether it’s me walking in the room, scooping her litter box or giving her treats- she is appreciative for the smallest of things, rewarding me with purrs, snuggles and her signature head bump. We can all learn from this. I don’t know about you, but I am often guilty of focusing on the challenges I’m facing or on what I lack vs. appreciating what I have. Whether it’s a belly laugh, a cup of hot chocolate or the love of my parents, I am going to make a conscious effort of recognizing all the wonderful things that I’m blessed to have in my life.
Live in the Now.
This is a big one! Cats don’t stress out about keeping up with the latest trends, they don’t worry about what might happen tomorrow and they certainly don’t lose sleep over something that happened yesterday. With so much going on around us, it’s easy to get swept up in making plans, worry about something that may or may not happen next week or over analyze something we did last week. I’m going to try to be more like Scout in this sense in 2021. I’m going to challenge myself to enjoy the moment, to be present in the conversation I’m having and appreciate the person I’m having it with. Worrying over something you have no control over only robs you of the precious moments you have now.
Take Naps. I would say that Scout sleeps anywhere from 16-20 hours a day. I’m definitely not suggesting that I plan on doing the same, but I am adding relaxing and self care to my resolution list. I tend to burn the candle at both ends and don’t quite know how to say “no” to anyone. As a result, I’m often running around doing a million things, too exhausted to realize how exhausted I am! Experts say that a 20-minute power nap can reduce stress and help you stay focused. If Scout’s siestas are one of the reasons she’s so serene and carefree- why can’t it work for me, right?
If You Want Something, Go For It!
They say in life you don’t regret the things you do, you regret the things you don’t do. Cats must be born knowing this because I’ve never met a feline that doesn’t stalk, pounce and go for something they want. If they like something, they go for it. If 2020 has taught me anything, it’s that life is extremely unpredictable. So on my list is to go after the things I want now instead of planning for a later date that is not guaranteed. I also plan on embracing a “why not me?” attitude. There is no reason to place goals (whatever they may be) on an unfeasible pedestal. If I have the vision and put in the work to achieve that vision- there is no reason I shouldn’t be able to obtain it. Same goes for you!
Perhaps one of the best traits and biggest lessons we can all learn from our pets is this one. From enthusiastically greeting us when we get home (or walk in the room) to quietly being there when we’re having a bad day- they love unconditionally. Think about how incredible the world would be if more people loved the way our pets do. As easy at this one sounds, I dare say it’s one of the most challenging. Many of us have a set idea in our head about how someone should react (or not react) to a certain situation. We expect people to behave a certain way in particular situations and get upset with them when they don’t. I know I’m guilty of this.
In 2021 (and hopefully the rest of my lifetime) I will remind myself that I don’t always have to “understand” the way someone else acts or reacts. I will remember that people aren’t perfect, starting with myself. We all make choices- some good, some not so good. To me, unconditional love means unconditional acceptance. I will forgive mistakes and learn from experiences, while maintaining comfortable boundaries. I will remember that people I care about can be what they choose for themselves without it needing to satisfy me and will remember to do the same for myself.
We’ve all heard that “curiosity killed the cat” and if you’ve ever tried to open up a package with your kitty around- you’ll understand how that saying came about to be. Even at the tender age of 19.5 years old, there isn’t an empty box Scout doesn’t inspect or a crinkled up piece of paper she doesn’t investigate. Hardly anything deters her from checking out what’s going on in her territory. Not only do I love it, but I’m inspired by it! I’m going to dust off my bucket list and become an “explorer” in 2021. While I recognize that we are all sort of living in a state of “limbo” these days, I also recognize that the world will open back up again … hopefully soon! When it does, I challenge you to dust off your bucket list, take that trip to Hawaii, write that book, join that Pilates class, take up painting. Time is the most valuable currency in life and regrettably it goes by too fast and there is no way to check your account balance.
When you are ready to book that trip, contact Posh Pets to take care of your fur babies.
About the Author The daughter of an award-winning travel writer, Kimberly has followed in her mother’s footsteps and has had articles published in numerous publications. She got her first puppy from Santa Claus when she was four years old and has never known a life that didn’t include four-legged family members. An animal advocate, she has rescued pets, volunteered at shelters and has even been known to nurse an injured sparrow back to health. When she’s not busy running a successful pet care business and providing care to her four-legged customers, you can rest assured that she is pampering her 19-year-old kitty, Scout.