Speed Bumps.

So I have two cats… they are cat-dogs really – cats by body, dogs by nature.  They love attention and human company.   I love them dearly, and couldn’t imagine my life without them… although, at times, it does seem that life would be much easier if I didn’t have to concern myself with having to love, feed, and care for two very demanding (but very tiny) little ladies.

Anyway, the story I share tonight is about one of the ladies, Zoey.  She is the “baby”, the furry one, the one with the sweetest disposition, and really only cares about taking care of and/or receiving care from her mother, Sophie.  She is an amazingly loving cat, the gentlest soul you will ever meet. 

Tonight I did a face plant in my dining room.  Now, its not what you think – its not because I drank to much or there were no lights on.  It is entirely due Zoey.  I had just let the cats into the house, from outside.  They do get excited to be let in.. tonight being no different.  Zoey ran ahead of me and “threw” her body in the path…. the walk-way between the front door and the kitchen.  She was seeking attention of course.. and yes, she got it, and I gave it to her, but not in the way either one of us was expecting. 

In order for me to NOT step on her, I tried to step over her (up-size my regular step)… lost a slipper, twisted my ankle, and now have what can only be described at “carpet burns” on the side of one knee.  Yes, I went down like a Wall Street bank, a crumbling house of cards… but I did survive, and Zoey is un-injured, unharmed, and in perfect condition. 

Of couse, had anyone seen this, they would have committed me.  Once I hit the ground and realized I was o.k… I laughed for a full five minutes.  Hysterial… at least to me.  But of course, Zoey got exactly what she wanted – she dragged herself over to me, stretched out, and meowed.. she was completely irresible I had to reach over and pet her.  Of course, I realize now, that all I have done is reinforce this behavior, which means, that I can expect a few more “trips”.

But it got me to thinking about “speed bumps”.  Speed bumps are fairly common.  They are typically used to slow things down, to reduce velocity.  I couldn’t help but think about life as I was laying on the ground, injured.   What typically happens when life throws a small (or large) speed bump in our path?  The “speed bump” could be anything, it could be something as simple as a friend who is tardy for a dinner date, a car breakdown , a job loss, or god-forbid, an illness.  Whatever.  What is important, or what defines us in general, is how we respond to the speedbump.  Do we get angry, feel despair, lash out, do nothing?

Sometimes it takes a major tragedy or setback  to stop us in our tracks (like a divorce, financial devastation, etc) .  But its these smaller, everyday bumps that serve up important  life lessons.  Question is, are we able to recognize them and use them as opportunities to improve ourselves and the lives of others?   Wouldn’t it be nice if people could see these speed bumps for what they are – an opportunity to slow down and relax?  To experience these “bumps” as adventures, an unavoidable part of life, a chance to gently apply the brakes, taking a deep breath, and enjoying (tolerate) the ride (and others)?  To make a difference in our lives (thru the response) and others (by being kinder, gentler, more patient, etc)?

So where am I?  Feeling very lucky.  Yes, a tiny bit injured, but safe none-the-less.  I smile at the fact that I have such love in my life, that my little lady is willing to throw her body in harms way just to get a few minutes with me. Now that feels good!!

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