Guest post by Angie Bailey
I’m not really one for New Year’s resolutions. I guess I believe in intentions that can change in any moment. I don’t need to wait until New Year’s Eve to decide what’s important to me and set goals for myself. But since many people use the new year as a kickoff point, I thought I’d once again look to my wise felines for cues as to what I’d like to intend for myself in the new year.
Be present with one thing at a time
I know I’m a good multi-tasker, but that doesn’t mean it’s always a great attribute. Sometimes when I’m busy with one activity, I’m thinking about something else. Cats are laser-focused on whatever they currently have their paws on, and when they’re finished, they move on to the next thing. Presence is something for which I constantly strive. Keeping one browser tab open at a time on the computer is a start. It’s way too easy to pop over to Facebook and waste some major time when I have an article deadline. I can find myself easily distracted — and that does nothing for my time management or presence. Cats don’t care about multi-tasking, tabs or time management — they just live in the flow, which is an excellent example for all of us.
Stare into space more often
My cats are masters at staring into thin air. It’s funny to me how sometimes they’ll be completely laser-focused on a spot on the wall, which looks invisible to me. I think staring is sort of meditative to them. I am a daydreamer by nature and love that about myself; however, I find that I sometimes scold myself for doing this and, really, there’s such good that can come from tuning out and allowing one’s mind to wander. I’ve cooked up some of my most creative ideas while in this dreamy state.
As soon as cats emerge from a nap, they stretch. Seriously, it’s the first thing they do. When I stretch in the morning, I feel so much better — and even taller! Why, oh why don’t I stretch when I know I should? Why don’t I take breaks from writing and stretch when my neck begins to hurt? No matter. I’m going to start doing it right now. For real — my neck needs a stretch right this minute!
Lie around in bed once in a while
I read once that cats sleep for around 18 hours a day. Sometimes they just lie around, wide awake, but looking oh-so-comfy and relaxed. I average about seven hours a night and don’t do much in the way of lying around when I’m not snoozing. When I do decide to take a break and curl up on the sofa or bed for a few minutes, it feels so right, but so wrong! I am going to start giving myself permission to lie around like a slug every so often. Maybe a cat or three will join me.
Feel great in my own skin
Cats are the most confident and comfortable beings. They are completely happy in their own skin (or fur, as it were). They don’t worry whether someone will like their spots or stripes. They’re just who they are and are completely cool with it. We can all learn something from that example. Let’s love ourselves — we’re the only “we” we have!
Although setting intentions is an ongoing process for me, I do believe we can use the new year as a time to consciously review our goals, who we are, and what we want for ourselves. Need some inspiration? Here, kitty kitty!
Copyright © 2013 Angie Bailey. All Rights Reserved.
This article was previously published in Edge Magazine and is republished with permission. Angie Bailey is an award-winning Minnesota writer/blogger, cat fancier, word game junkie, creative-project dabbler, music lover, food enthusiast, wife, and mother to two humans and three cats. She spends most of her days enjoying her family, writing, blogging, playing Scrabble, laughing at her cats’ shenanigans, and finding the silliness in most everything. Visit Catladyland for a daily dose of Angie’s cat-centric humor.