Friday, January 20, 2012

What Do You Celebrate?

Today I decided to be a more celebratory person. No, I'm not going to drink champagne all day or be that lady who yells "Whoooo!!" in public. Here's what I mean - I've noticed that our lives are usually so hectic here at the ranch that sometimes, the only time that I slow down enough to notice things are when things go wrong. I've decided to turn that muckey muck around. I'm going to start noticing when things go right.

This week for instance - We saw the five month anniversary of Skippy Lou going missing. The search goes on. It's so easy to get caught up in the sad parts and wonder why we haven't found her and if she's okay. But often, I get so caught up in that avenue of thinking that I forget about all of the lost and abused animals that we've been able to save - more than I can even count now.

Just this week, I reunited a lost husky with his daddy as well as a lost wedding ring with it's owner. I was also able to help get a sweet, scared little Papillon sprung from the shelter and on his way to a new, happy home. All because I was looking for Skippy Lou.

Also, a volunteer called me to give me an update on a dog that was found a month ago by a lady who thought that she'd found Skippy Lou. This sweet old lab was found wandering with her paws completely raw. She could barely walk a step further. She was taken to a no-kill shelter and treated for what turned out to be a horrible skin infection in her paws. The volunteer called to tell me that she was about to go home to a new family who would love her for the rest of her days.

And today I realized that I barely took half a breath to celebrate before moving on to more work and worry. That's three lives saved and a sentimental item back where it belongs and I'm all, "Damn...SO much to do! Why can't I get a break?" Something is sooo wrong about that, no?

This brings me to our kitty Mishka:

I love my Mishka. She is my number one snuggle buddy. And lately, she's had some major health scares. Just last month, she went under the knife and the vet feared that he'd find cancer. The Mister and I were scared to death and walked around in a stupor for days, talking about the horrible things that might be about to happen. Luckily, she was cancer free. I remember us feeling very relieved but I don't remember us taking even a smidgen of the time to celebrate that we did to worry. Can you relate at all?

Today, we were back there again. I took Mishka to the vet this morning for another surgery and due to some more health issues, the vet suspected that she might have FIV or Feline Leukemia. We'd had her tested when we rescued her from outside but sometimes, you can get false negatives on the tests. The tone of the vet's voice had me in a daze by the time that I left, passing an owner receiving the body of a euthanized pet as I left the building to await her test results.

I called the Mister and off we went again on the tangent of worry and sadness and fear. We started talking over all of the possible bad endings, both of our voices quivering on the phone. All morning, we walked around thinking and predicting the worse. Then I got the call - Mishka doesn't have either FIV or Feline Leukemia. All of her test results came back fine! Whew! <---let me tell ya. I called the Mister with the good news and then sat only for a couple of minutes before getting up to worry about something else.

And then thankfully, I caught myself. Something said "Celebrate This" and I stopped to realize that so much of our lives are spent worrying and dreading and looking back on sad events. And it's very seldom that we devote as much time to the happy things. Sure, we celebrate the big ones - weddings and birthdays and new babies. But do we stop to celebrate the everyday happy spots? And I started decorating. Because I wasn't sure how to adequately celebrate a disease free Mishka.

Hell to the yeah...paper chains

I know what you're thinking - Cat's can't read signs. Nor will she understand paper chains. Or the pizza party that the Mister and I will have. They're just gestures of thankfulness and joy. Mindfulness. I think of the sad face of the man who I passed this morning, watching as the vet softly placed his deceased dog in the back of his car and I know that chances are, he wishes that he could go back in time before whatever took his dog happened and just watch his pup run, and his eyes dance when he called his name or scratched behind his ear. To have the time to be mindful and to live in that moment and let his heart be glad.

I can easily look back on loved ones who were once with me but are now gone. Or times when my health was better. Or that snippet of childhood before I learned about grief. If I'd known then to appreciate every second of those times, it would be a wonderful thing. But I can't go back and change that. None of us can. But I can hold myself up to do better now that I realize.

What do you celebrate?

Until next time,
x's and o's,


Cory Funk said...

I love that last picture in the post with the paper chains on the ceiling light.

Glad to hear Mishka is doing well!

I celebrate good A1C readings. I've been Type 1 diabetic for 27 years. An A1C is the average measure of blood glucose readings for a 6 month period. A good A1C means I have been taking care of myself (which you can lose focus on for any given day).

Love your blog!

Sara In AZ said...

Hell to the yes paper chains!!! I LOVE it!!!!!

I think you are right, we get to wrapped up in the worry to really appreciate even the small victories. I try to monitor that about myself all the time. I want to really appreciate every day and be joyful for what it gave me, even if it is just a simple lunch with the Mr., or a walk, or a compliment. Life is to short to spend all my days in worry mode.

So glad to know that Mishka is OK! Now go get yourself an olive pizza!

Lynn said...

I am usually a worrier or a "what went wrong" sort of person. I have joined the Positivity Project on flickr and try to think of good things in each day. That helps my mind be in a better place at the end of the day.

Also, I celebrate whenever my boys are home. We have pie for breakfast!! It is so different when the kids go off to school. Whenever they come home it's like Thanksgiving. I do more cooking and baking. I think we are all happy eating home baked goodies.

Georgie Horn said...

Sookie says, it's partay time!

DearHelenHartman said...

How sweet to celebrate Mishka's good news. You have to celebrate the small things along the way.

Jen said...

First of all, I am so glad Mischka is okay! I can't blame you for being frightened and worried, all of us would be.

So far as worrying and then not stopping to celebrate the good things that happen or that we've accomplished...I wonder if in our kind of pessimistic culture, and in a world that puts so much emphasis on bad things—and of course because bad things are so painful—that maybe we're afraid to celebrate. Fearful that we're tempting fate by getting too excited or joyful about something. It definitely affects me.

Also, after someone has already been through a lot in a short period of time, it seems even harder to celebrate the good things, though it seems like doing just the opposite would be normal. Being busy and emotionally and mentally and physically drained...

I like your paper chains (LOVE the paper chains, YES!). They're like little signal flares of triumph after a battle.

Not sure I have really celebrated anything in a long while, but I do try to enjoy each happy moment and create them—giving Ben or the kitties a hug or snuggle, leaning up against my husband as I read or embroider, sending something that makes me laugh to friends, knowing it'll make them laugh, too. Mindfulness, as you said.

But paper chains...I like that...especially in this neutral he** of a house! LOL

Rae - Say It Aint So said...

that is such a great idea! i need to do that too. i dwell on all the things that don't go how i want, but don't take time to be glad about the awesome stuff that happens. yay for mishka!!

Kate H said...

First, I LOVE your spiky atomic light fixture. That's a celebration right there.
Second, I wouldn't be so sure cats can't read. I think some can, some can't. I had one cat that I'm pretty sure was literate (when we played cards, he always wanted a hand, too), and another who, sadly, was just dumber than a stump and only knew about four English words (none written).
I have a new year's resolution, but have been thinking about Lent -- maybe counting my blessings would be a good thing to do. Kate

Amber Von Felts said...

This is a very sentimental post. I like the awareness to celebrate the small victories! This was a very good message :-)

yinzerella said...

I've been successful so far this year in appreciated the little things. Although I do tend to celebrate things with a glass of wine.

I dusted the living room! CHEERS!

And everyday I celebrate my Brian who bears a striking resemblance to your beautiful Mischka (I'm so happy that she's healthy!)
Here's Brian...

cheshirecat666 said...

Hooray for well kitties and paper chains and PIZZA PARTIES! You know what I celebrate? Every year that I get to spend another Xmas with my Mom. She ain't getting any younger and I can't imagine Xmas without her. Every year when Xmas passes,I think "please let me have another Xmas with her"