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A cat, some clouds, and the importance of today

My cat woke me up early this morning, as he does this most days. He begins by patting my face with his soft paw. If I open my eyes he puts his face near mine and breathes into my eye. If I don’t respond, his claws come out just a little when he pats my face again. I have to hide my face or push him off. When I do, he moves to my nightstand or dresser to knock things off there, or to the box I keep in my room for him, to scratch it wildly. Sometimes I’m sleepy enough to be able to ignore him, but for the most part, I bend to his will and get up. He wants nothing but my motion. He walks out of the bedroom ahead of me, accompanies me to the bathroom, and that’s where we part ways, I return to bed and he does whatever he does.

This morning it was just a little past 6 am when I gave in to his routine. I walked out of my room, looked out the window and saw snow.

Look, Ninja! It snowed. Yay! Snow!

~Me this morning

Normally I wouldn’t be happy about snow (moving to a place where beaches are ocean-related is always in the back of my mind), but Chicago is in the middle of a number of record-breaking cloudy days, nine straight to be exact. Snow still makes for cloud coverage, but at least it helps it make sense.

I still ended up going back to bed, but at least I felt a little more positive about the day.

Last year was filled with so much stress and illness, I expected that 2020 couldn’t be worse. But not even one full month into the year, a truly somber week. There was the stunned sadness from the death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter and the others in the helicopter on Sunday morning. Then, an acquaintance I admired passed away unexpectedly; a young man in his 30s with a bright future. Stunned upon stunned and days later, I’m still trying to process it all.

I started therapy a few weeks ago, and three sessions in, I’m finding that I don’t understand life or myself as well as I imagined I did. There have been some aha moments, some skepticism (health and unhealthy doses), lots of tears, and so wondering if I will ever feel “normal” whatever that is. There’s a lot of work to be done, but I’m hopeful and can imagine an emotionally healthy future.

More importantly, I can see an actual today.

I can feel the softness of a fluffy cat paw patting my nose, and then be excited to see snow on the ground, even on a cloudy day.

Before starting therapy I read/listed to the book Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, which I highly recommend if therapy is something you’re considering. See my short review below:

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone wasn’t on my “books I should read” radar, but deciding to give Audible another try after a disappointing initial experience, I opened the app. I scrolled through their recommendations and there it was. I think it caught my eye because I was also working with a therapist to schedule a first appointment. I’m so glad it did. It was the right book at the right moment.

John, Julie, Charlotte, Rita, Wendell and yes, of course Lori, are people whose stories, or what I know of them, will stay with me for a long time to come.

If you think you or someone you know needs therapy, read this book. I want to say you will be changed, but that seems extreme (though it feels right), so I’ll just say that you will gain something.

Follow me on Goodreads.

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