Posts Tagged With: introducing a new cat

Day 489: Mistakes and Consequences

Wow!  That’s quite a title: “Mistakes and Consequences.” I wonder if that sounds too grim or lecture-y … and might scare some readers away.

Since I don’t know (1) what I’m going to write here or (2) how other people are going to react, why should I wonder (or worry)?

Okay, I won’t!

So, where did that title come from?

This morning,  before I began writing this, I made a mistake on this blogging site. It’s a mistake I commit quite regularly, in This World of Living Non-Judgmentally.

Here’s the mistake: When I am trying to respond to the latest comment on a post here, I often erroneously create a new comment, instead of creating a response.

Here’s my theory about why I repeat this error so often: The layout of my blog page invites me to make this error.

I am actually a bit embarrassed to confess these multiple mistakes, today.  Why?  Because I believe I’m capable of learning from my mistakes, and this kind of on-going erring might seem to contradict that.

And based on past evidence, I can learn from mistakes. However, for whatever reasons, there are certain errors I make over and over again.  And this Response-Misplacement Mistake is one I’ve been making since I started this blog, and it’s one I just …can’t …. seem …. to shake.

I continue making this mistake even though I am aware of it — that is, I’m vigilant about my tendency to make it.

I continue to make this mistake even though I am aware of the consequences and consider them important.

Ah, the consequences.  And what ARE the consequences?

Well, if I create a new comment — instead of replying to a reader’s comment as I intend —  then, the commenter will not get a notification about my reply. To the reader who made the comment, it may seem like I have NOT noticed nor responded, even though I really have.

So what?

Well, this is one of my major concerns — here and elsewhere — which is related to communication and connection. I dread a disconnection. I worry about responses that go unheard or received.

Why?

Because, based on personal experience (and clinical research1), I know this:  When somebody communicates something and there is no response…. that can cause the reaction of shame.2

I’m not saying that my (1) responding (2) not responding, or (3) not seeming to respond to a comment is necessarily that important to anybody else. Also, regular readers of my blog probably know that I avoid shaming anybody else, if possible.  So chances are that people would understand and forgive this mistake of mine.

Nevertheless, I spend a lot of time and energy — here and elsewhere — trying to NOT shame people.

Why?

Because I know how much shame can hurt.

So, where do I go from here, with this post?

I will declare these things, to be evident:

  1. I do my best to respond back to comments.
  2. I am prone to making a particular mistake3 here, that might create an appearance or impression that I have NOT responded (even when I think I have).
  3. When I discover this mistake, I fix4 it, which means readers might get a notification about a very old comment.
  4. When I make that kind of fix, I wonder how that appears to people, too.
  5. I am working on letting go of concern about what other people think, in general.

Well, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I don’t know what reactions this blog post might evoke in others, but … it sure has helped me, to write it.

What now?

Well, I may have made another mistake here, today. That is, I wanted to show you some pictures I took yesterday, and I’m not sure whether I’ve created a framework where those photos will fit in.

But looking at declaration #5, above …. who cares?

Let the photo sharing begin!

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I took that photo, yesterday. Possible mistake? Going outside. Possible consequences? Slower recovery from my pneumonia.

I’m going to pause the photo sharing, for one moment, to declare these things, which may (or may not) be evident:

  1. Subsequent photos may share the same mistake and consequences.
  2. I believe I am okay.

Where was I?  Oh, yes … photos from yesterday.

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That’s the same location shown above, with a different perspective.

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This is the refrigerator door belonging to my son’s piano teacher.  As I was taking this shot yesterday, my son asked, “What’s Whirlpool?”  I realized, at that moment, that my son has yet to descend into the World of Major Appliances (unlike his mother, who is still dealing with an Evil Stove-Top).

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I had to return to the dentist yesterday.  I saw the above doorway, nearby. I am not making this up.

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Something else I noticed, near my dentist‘s office.

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photorania

Now, isn’t that the perfect concluding photo for this piece, about mistakes and consequences?  I mean, it shows me getting ice cream on the same day I had to go to the dentist, people!

That’s not why I took the picture, though.  Rania (pictured above, with cone) complimented me on my t-shirt, which was this one:

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That t-shirt is a direct outgrowth of my blogging.  So, I told Rania about this blog and she kindly agreed to appear in a  post. Thank you, Rania!

Hmmmm.  Maybe that’s NOT the perfect photo to end this piece about Mistakes and Consequences.

What about this one?

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Why is THAT photo a good ending for this post? Because when we introduced our second cat, Harley (left), to Oscar (accustomed to ruling the roost for many years) last October, we thought it might be a mistake. The possible consequences? Two unhappy cats.

Equally possible, as I realized back then: No mistake and no consequences.

What do you think, dear readers?

Thanks to people who make mistakes, to all those brave enough to take action (despite fear, shame, concerns about what other people will think, and other obstacles), to those who comment (here or elsewhere), to anybody who has experienced a blogging mistake of mine, and to you — of course! — for reading today.


1 As usual, I am not citing any formal articles or research.  This is MY blog, people, and I’m not in school anymore, so I don’t NEED to back things up with other people’s writings. Yippee!

2 Other posts I’ve written about shame include here, here, here, and here. Yes, I have no shame about linking to my own writings.

3 If you don’t know what that mistake is, you might need to start reading this post over again, from the beginning.

4 Here’s how I fix that mistake: (1) I copy what I originally wrote (sometimes many months ago) into the correct “response box” and (2) I trash the original comment. Hey!  I never promised that my footnotes would be particular (1) illuminating or (2) interesting.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 59 Comments

Day 349: How We Are Doing

As I’ve mentioned many times before, I’m a group therapist, so I see groups in most things, and I see most things as groups.

Not uncommon, wouldn’t you say? We tend to see, in the external world, a reflection of our internal experience.   That which is important to you, you will see reflected back from the world around you.

I wish I had some cool examples or images of that to show you here — for example, motorcyclists seeing motorcycles everywhere, teachers seeing students everywhere, or something like this saying:

Image*

…  but I’m eager to get to my next point.  So I will let you fill in this space, with your own examples and images:

INSERT

YOUR IMAGE

(of seeing your interests, thoughts, assumptions, and experience reflected back from the world around you)

HERE

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So, where was I?  Oh yes, I see groups everywhere and I see these groups in terms of my personal experience and assumptions about leading groups.

And, for the groups I run, I allow people to join in and attend, whenever they choose.  Which is not unlike the situation here, in my blog.  That is, new people are constantly joining with veteran readers. Some people have been reading since Day 1, and each day, new people appear.

One thing I work on, as a group therapist, is helping new people come up to speed, while still meeting (some of) the needs of the long-timers. I don’t mean to brag (although I’ve been working on allowing myself to brag, this year) …. but THAT is NOT an easy thing to do well.

I’ll give you an example, of how that issue occurs for me, here.  When I just looked at the first sentence of this post –“As I’ve mentioned many times before” —  I considered rewriting that,  because I thought, “Hmmmm. That doesn’t apply to new readers.   How can I make that sentence work for everybody?”  And  my response to that question was:

I can’t.  Oh, well. Now what?

…. which is not a bad answer to other questions, pertaining to the urge for perfection in difficult tasks.

Okay!  Time Out!

**

I want to take a moment here and point out my state of mind while I’m blogging right now.  Here are the relevant facts:

  • I didn’t get enough sleep last night.
  • It’s Sunday, so I have more space and time to blog.

Those can be a dangerous combination, when it comes to digressions, ramblings, and (to use a word my new reader, Brenda, used yesterday, in a comment here) …  babbling.

Here’s another factor to add to this dangerous combination:

  • It snowed, quite a bit, overnight, so I’m feeling some anxiety, right now (because of some obligations, later today, that involve driving).

Therefore, this will be a digressive, rambling, and babbling post, today. There’s no getting around that.

Okay, I think I’ve done a good enough job, right now, managing people’s expectations about this post. Therefore, it’s time to move on to the “meat” of it.

In other words,  what WAS the major point (as reflected in the post title and in all digressions, ramblings, and babblings up to now) that I wanted to make, today?

Here it is:  I wanted to bring longer-term readers up to speed on some pre-existing issues, while still providing something for new people.

What were the issues I was thinking about?  Two of them:

  1. How our new cat, Harley, is doing, adjusting to his new home.
  2. How I’m doing, adjusting to my new heart “condition” (that is, the October addition of atrial fibrillation AND my new need for daily anti-coagulant medication).

Actually, speaking of adjustments and How We Are Doing, I’m going to try to add another, more recent one, to that list of two:   The First Major Snow of the Winter Season.

How am I going to tie all these things together AND provide something valuable for readers new and old?

Simple!  A Photo Essay!

How We (Harley and I) Are Doing***

A Photo Essay

by Ann

Harley is doing quite well, thank you, adjusting to his new home. Here is some recent photographic proof:

Image

Michael, my bf, took this photo last night.  Actually, as much as I might admire Michael’s photographic sense of composition and emotional content, this does NOT prove that Harley is doing okay. To me, he looks totally freaked out.  However, this is not an inaccurate representation: Harley still looks freaked out, a fair amount of the time. However, Harley looks (and acts) freaked out much less, these days (compared to how he was when we introduced him in October). And that’s getting better, every day in every way.

So, again, Harley is doing quite well, thank you.

And here’s proof that more often than not, Harley is not freaked out:

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(Notice how I snuck in the presence of snow, in that photo)

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(and also the presence of Michael, there).

One more photo of Harley, this morning, to show that he is doing quite well:

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For those of you who are wondering about how (New Group Member) Harley is affecting (Old Group Member) Oscar, Oscar is also doing quite well:

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… which I hope you can see, in another photo by Michael.

Okay! Now, what do I have to do, before I conclude this post? (As I mentioned before, I’m tired and a little anxious about the day, so I would like to end this post soon.)

Oh, yes!  I was going to bring you up to speed on how I’m doing, too.  I have to admit that, since the beginning of October (and the appearance of the atrial fibrillation and my need to take daily anti-coagulants), I have not been feeling as well as I was, before that.  And that’s been difficult.

However, yesterday, when Michael and I were at the supermarket (stocking up for groceries for the predicted snowfall), I turned to him and said, “You know what?  I’ve been feeling better lately. As a matter of fact, right now, I feel …. as good as I was feeling before.”

Now, I don’t feel that good, every day.  But it was wonderful to feel that — and realize it — yesterday.

Yay!!!!

****

Despite my celebration, I will confess to you, dear readers,  that I resent having to take medication every day, for the rest of my life.  And I always am on the verge of forgetting to take my daily pill (although I’ve taken it every day so far).

Also, in general, I have been feeling more anxious, especially as the snow and ice appear. Why?  Here’s a direct quote from one of my cardiologists (regarding my being on anti-coagulants):

“Ann, please make sure NOT to fall on the ice, okay?

And my response to that (as with other doctors’ orders, in the past), was to say,  “I’ll do the best I can” (while feeling, inside, a new anxiety).

But, like Harley, I’m doing better with that, too. Still freaked out, but a lot less frequently.

Here’s my penultimate image, for today:

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Why am I choosing that photo?  Lots of reasons:

  • It’s a group of objects, and as I said (way back in the beginning of this post), I tend to see things in terms of groups.
  • In the foreground of that photo is the fancy-shmancy pill-box I recently bought myself, to help myself feel better about having to take medication, every day.
  • My son put my glasses on that grapefruit yesterday, and that makes me happy.
  • There are some objects in that photo that I’ve been losing track of lately (including my keys) but that photo is proof that I keep finding them again, too.
  • The cat in the background looks a little like Harley, but it’s actually a computer screen cleaner I bought earlier this year (I like adding fun — or beauty —  to things I don’t like to do, whenever possible).
  • The girl looking out the window is a dancing-hula-girl toy, which was a gift from the very nice owner of a nearby Chinese Restaurant (which we haven’t been to lately, so I’m letting go of guilt about THAT).

Okay, now that I’ve managed to let go of some guilt and anxiety (and to embrace some joy,too), it’s time for the final photo of this post. This photo is what the hula girl, in that previous picture, is seeing, right now:

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That’s not so bad, is it?  Actually, I believe I can add that to my lists of Things That Won’t Kill Me (those lists are here and here, in case you haven’t seen them yet).

I hope so, anyway.

Thanks to Michael (for shoveling off my car this morning, among other things), to anybody I forgot to thank (because of tiredness and anxiety),  to group members old and new, and to you — of course! — for reading today.

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* I found this image here.

** Thanks to FreeSoundEffectz

*** NOTE: All these photos were taken within the last 12 hours, so they are pretty much “in the moment” (something that’s important to me).

**** Personally, I think we all need to hear applause sometimes,  and cheering, too! Feel free to play that, for yourself, whenever you need it.  And thanks to TheHalloweenHaunters, for posting the video on YouTube.

Categories: humor, inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 294: Born Sensitive

When I was in my 20’s, a very wise woman said to me,

Ann, some people are just born sensitive.

While some may be

eng_born_free1,

Born Again,

Born_yesterday,

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and/or

btw1year1,

I announce, loud and proud, today, that I was

BORN  SENSITIVE.

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While those of us who are born THAT way, may sometimes think that we are

TOO  SENSITIVE,

… is that a helpful thought, really?

Because when I have worries about anybody — human or otherwise —  being

TOO SENSITIVE

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… usually, there is nothing to fear.

Thanks to my bf, Michael;* our two cats, Oscar (old/front) and Harley (new/back); John Barry;** sodahead.com;*** Bruce, Garson Kanin;**** Lady Gaga;  all creatures born  free, again, yesterday, to run, this way, or otherwise; and to you, especially, for reading today.

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* Who “despises” puns and suggested I include this, today:

bourne1

** The composer of “Born Free” (and many other wonderful things).

*** For the “Born Again” image (I think).

**** The writer of “Born Yesterday” (and many other wonderful things).

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Day 291: Introducing a New Member/Cat to a Group/Household

This is one of those posts, dear readers, where I try to be clever, with a topic that applies to more than one situation.

As a group therapist, I have some wisdom about effective ways to introduce new members into established groups. As a cat owner, I am now dealing with the experience of introducing a new cat into a household that includes one other cat.

So let’s see how I do, today, being clever (I wish) and helpful (I hope).

Here we go ….

Ann’s Helpful Tips for

Introducing a New Cat/Group Member

into an Established Household/Group

Phew!  Even the title was exhausting. Nevertheless, let’s continue ….

Tip #1.  Be respectful of the differences in each member’s/cat’s experience of the situation.

A group member/cat who is familiar with the group/household is going to be more comfortable. A new member/cat is going to be less comfortable and (we might assume) more anxious in the group/household.

Therefore, it is helpful to skillfully leave room for each member/cat  — new and  old —  to be where he/she/it needs to be.

I don’t know, readers.  This post might be too ambitious/complicated.  What do you think?

Maybe I should quit while I’m ahead.

The best I can do, right now,  is to provide an image that, somehow, helpfully illustrates something in this blog post.

I hope this works (fingers crossed):

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Thanks to new (and established) cats and group members, everywhere. And special thanks to you, for visiting today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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