Refresh, Nourish, Connect. That’s my 2019 mantra and the mission of this blog. Usually I share information about self care, or recipes, or about healthy eating. Today’s post will not be about ways to refresh your mental energy, and I will not be sharing a recipe. Today I’m tapping the last word of my mantra – Connect.
I have a sort of sacred morning routine. My alarm goes off at 5 am, and I pick up my phone and play two 10 minute meditations. Morning meditation has become a really important part of how I wake up. It helps me frame my thoughts for the day and reduces my anxiety. Usually my cats and my dog lye quietly on my bed next to me and breathe with me and the guided meditation. It’s kind of cool. I call it family zen. After we get ourselves grounded and centered for the day I like to read my daily bible study lesson and devotions, and then write in my gratitude journal. Its such such a lovely and peaceful process. Usually.
You see, my daughter is grown. I don’t have to rush around in the morning trying to get both of us ready and out the door. I don’t have lunches to pack or permission slips to sign, or a school bus to get my kid on. For those of you reading this who are still on that roller coaster, tighten your seatbelt and hang on. I promise the ride doesn’t last forever and the reward for all these frustrating mornings is being able to design your own routine that helps you start your day with energy, focus, and determination. You will have the opportunity to trade in all that chaos for a calm, quiet, orderly morning. And it’s wonderful! Unless…you have three cats and a puppy.
Okay, I know. I was warned before every adoption they would bring chaos. I’m a sucker for those sweet furry faces and warm snuggles and the comforting sound a happy cat purring.
But there was none of that today. My senior cat Daisy Mae heard my alarm go off and started howling for me to feed her. She had a full bowl of food within easy access, but it’s a special food because she has renal failure. Unfortunately, it’s a very bland food and Daisy would rather eat what the other cats are served. I know this because she made her point very loudly and very clearly while I was trying to get myself grounded and centered. But while I was trying to detox all the negative energy and thoughts from my mind Daisy was reminding me that cats…are assholes. So give up meditating and comfort Daisy. Then the nonsense started. The dog wanted outside, and then inside, and then outside. She went into a full barking fit when the neighbor left for work. Instead of lounging on my bed peacefully reading my bible study lesson I was chasing my dog telling her to shush. Chasing her was a mistake. My youngest cat, Blue, saw me chasing Frankie and thought it looked like a game.
Now, picture this. My dog is a cocker spaniel. Blue is a Maine coon. If you aren’t familiar with that breed of cat google it. They are huge. Blue and Frankie are roughly the same size, and they love to wrestle. Oh boy do they love to wrestle! Normally it’s sweet and funny to watch, but not at six o’clock in the morning when your trying to focus on your bible study. These two don’t just chase each other in circles around my house. Blue leaps long distances across the room from various pieces of furniture. This morning, as Frankie chased him through the kitchen he decided to get the high ground on her by leaping from the door of my bedroom to my bed. It’s quite the distance. And I might have been impressed with his strength, agility, and grace, except he sailed over my head and landed right next to me sending my journal and pen and bible study materials all over the universe of my bedroom! Before I could get a word out of my mouth Frankie was at the side of my bed clawing at me to pull her up. This god damned dog can navigate her way onto every other piece of furniture in my home, except my bed. She can jump from the floor to my shoulder when we’re playing, but not my bed. She’s barking at Blue. Blue is taunting her from the top of her crate where she really should have been at this point. I reach down to quiet her and she uses my arm as the anchor she needs to pull herself onto my bed.
Shit. Now the chase is on and I’m in the god damned middle of it! Frankie is barking at Blue. Blue is taunting her. I’m yelling at both of them. Blue jumps over my head lands on the corner of my nightstand (okay even I have to admit it was impressive. He cleared the length of my bed diagonally and executed a perfect landing on a space of about 3 inches) and slips behind the curtain and onto the window sill. Frankie jumps off the bed and lays on the floor quietly chewing her Kong. Stupidly, I think it’s over.
I pick up my bible study materials, my scattered crystals, my journal, and after some hunting I find my pen. I’m frazzled. My head hurts. I wonder if shaken puppy and cat syndrome is a thing like shaken baby syndrome? I scold myself for thinking it. I decide to start over. I make my bed. I get myself a glass of Coca Cola over ice (I don’t drink coffee or tea. Actually, I just don’t like hot drinks. Weird but true.) and I settle atop my freshly made bed and start my bible study again. I’m fully engrossed and halfway through when it happened. I don’t even know what precipitated it but suddenly Frankie was chasing Blue who jumped onto my lap and used my thigh as a launching pad to the window sill. Blue is not declawed. Today was the first time I’ve ever regretted that decision. His back foot dragged just enough for his claw to sink into my thigh and leave me with a long bloody scratch. But before I can react to that Blue has landed on my nightstand only this time not so perfectly. This time he wipes out everything on my nightstand.
The lamp next to my bed. The large pile of books. The notebooks and piles of paper I’ve written notes on. Bottles of essential oils, pens, a box of Kleenex, hair ties, and that glass of Coca Cola perfectly chilled over ice.
I snapped. I broke. It’s Thursday. It’s been a long week and it’s nearly over. I’m low on patience, understanding, and humor. I screamed FUCK!!!!!!!!!!!! so loudly I don’t wonder if the neighbors across the courtyard could hear me.
There is pop on my carpet and dripping down the side of my bed. Frankie has given up on Blue and is shredding the box of Kleenex behind me, and Blue knows. Oh man does he know.
I grab the dog under one arm and snatch the box of Kleenex away. I grab Blue under my other arm. I she-hulked the strength necessary to throw both of them unceremoniously out of my bedroom and then slammed the door shut.
I sat down on the floor and used shredded Kleenex to wipe the blood off my leg. I look at my bed and the ruin of my nightstand and my throat tightens. I don’t know if I want to scream or cry. Now some of you may be saying to yourself “Why the hell didn’t she just put the dog back in her crate?” I crate Frankie during the night. She usually sleeps soundly except for last night. Did I mention Frankie kept me up all night howling in her crate? I let her out at 3:30 so I could get some sleep. When I leave for work I put her in her crate. My daughter lets her out for an hour at lunch and then she goes back in her crate. This is part of getting her housebroken. So, I do not use the crate as a form of punishment. But I wanted to this morning. Oh man did I want to!
Today, I shut her out of my bedroom along with the cats, and my daughter who also kept me up during the night because her anxiety was high. I picked up my nightstand and wiped up as much pop as I could. Then, I tried to get back into the rhythm of my morning routine. I got dressed and put my makeup on while the dog rammed herself into the other side of my bedroom door. I put my jewelry on while all three cats pawed at the door and underneath the door. And then I put the dog in her crate and left for work. I drove in silence. No radio. No podcast. Just silence.
So why am I sharing all of this with you? What’s the point of this boring long winded winding story? You’re praying there’s a point right? Well here it is.
The point is I had a shit morning. And it’s okay to admit that. I’m human. I’m not perfect and neither is my life. Scroll through Instagram in the morning and you’ll see pictures of influencers doing yoga on the beach at sunrise or holding a cup of coffee with a cute foam design on top. Open your Facebook feed and scroll past at least a dozen memes telling you to Make it a Great Day! or Happiness is a Choice!
Well, I’m telling you all those influencers and meme posters have mornings just as shitty as mine. Every day is not perfect and sometimes we need to post without all the filters to remind ourselves and everyone else that we are humans doing the best we can every day, and sometimes it works out, and sometimes you drive to work in silence with a bloody leg and a thumping headache. Every day I try to be Wonder Woman and some days I amaze myself, and some days I’m more of Blunder Woman than Wonder Woman, but it’s okay. It’s not a failure. I am not a failure. It’s just a shit morning, but with a little bit of luck, and maybe a chocolate cupcake, it turns out to be an okay day.