With the holidays around the corner and our women writers group throwing the theme attitude vs. gratitude out there, I was thinking my cat deserved a little gratitude from me. I know I sound silly, but truly, I am grateful to him because he teaches me catitude, reminding me that there is pleasure in being sweet and grateful, but there is also a deeper pleasure in not always giving of yourself, not always saying yes, not always jumping when someone calls.
My cat comes to me on his terms, snuggly and purring. But, if I pick him up and put him on my lap, it’s no good. He hops up and leaves, often returning, but on his terms. Sometimes if I call him to come and he doesn’t feel like it, he’ll stare at me from across the room with that look that says, “who do you think I am – a dog?”
Now, I’m not suggesting we all become narcissists, but there are things to learn from cats:
- Know when to say no when it just doesn’t work for you. Life will be much more enjoyable and it will free up time for what you really want to do.
- Understand when to be sweet and thankful for the wonderful things and people that you’re blessed with, but know when you deserve something too and don’t feel guilty for being on the receiving end.
- Realize when to stick up for yourself, when to stick out those claws and say enough is enough, rather than bottling anger up. Shoving emotion down can make you sick.
- Know when to play, when to chase that string around and have fun while doing it. Allow yourself to live in the moment.
- Allow yourself to be stubborn and bullheaded. There are things too precious to just give up on because someone else or maybe even your own self says you should.
This fall I’ve been fortunate enough to land a book deal with Atria Books with Simon and Schuster for a mystery. I’m thrilled, grateful and appreciative to a whole host of people in my life for having this opportunity. But, I know one thing for sure, without having a little catitude, knowing when to say no, knowing when I really do deserve something, knowing when to stick up for myself, knowing when to play and knowing when to be stubborn and bullheaded, especially about my writing, I would not have gotten this far. Some of these lessons have taken a very long time to learn and some I have yet to master. As simple as they sound, they can be really difficult for some of us.
So, Happy Thanksgiving and don’t forget to add a little catitude every now and again!