Friday, January 13, 2017

The Old Cat Died- Sir TigerTail of Bast - March 1996- January 2017

                                                            Ode to the Old Cat

                                                  Do not have the gall to say to me
                                                     That he was just a cat.
                                                 To me he was my Main Meow
                                                     And so more than that.

                                                 He was my friend for many years
                                                    Close to 21 at that.
                                                From tiny kit to aged tom
                                                    Sometimes angel, sometimes brat.

                                                  When I was sad, he dried my tears
                                                     His purrs strengthening my heart.
                                                 When I was sick he'd stay by me
                                                      He refused to be apart.

                                                 He was poppa to the fostered kits
                                                   And he raised them very well.
                                                He loved them all and they loved him
                                                   As their grief for him does tell.

                                               He loved us strong up to the end
                                                 Knowing his time was near.
                                               With a last cuddle, caress and purr
                                                   He told us he loved us dear.

                                               His love is branded on my heart
                                                   My very soul and mind.
                                              My Main Meow has gone away
                                                  But his love he's left behind.

                                              Sir TigerTail of Bast was here
                                                 He shared this life of mine.
                                             Sir Tiger Tail of Bast is gone.
                                                  His love ever stays behind.

                                                 © phyllis griffiths 2017

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Cultivating Contentment in 2017

~ Good-bye 2016- Welcome 2017~

Whew- that was one difficult year, 2016 was.

In the immortal words of Edgar Rice Burroughs character John Carter of Mars:

The year 2016 ends in that defiant roar- I Still Live!
I am still here. I still live. 

It is a starting place as well as the giving a proper salute to the "Fickle Finger of Fate"

 "I Still Live!"

So what to do about 2017?

This is what I would like to have as my goals for the next twelve months: 

After the last twelve months these goals should be easy enough for even me to accomplish.

Simple, easy goals for the most part.
Difficult to manage goals in some ways.
Simple pleasures.
It's a matter, in the end, of giving one's self permission to do what brings you pleasures in spite of being in a state of perpetual, chronic pain and illness. 

There are people who feel that if a person who "claims" to have a debilitating chronic condition that if they achieve a "good life" that they must be faking it.  Either their physical issues or the claim to not being in perpetual deep emotional suffering. A person can't have both situations in their lives. Unfortunatelysomehow those folks show up as professionals in the medical, insurance and social welfare world where we can't avoid them. 

But those people are WRONG!   

We may be stuck living in these damaged bodies so we might as well get what we can out of the lives that we have.
It isn't easy and it doesn't happen all of the time but we can have periods where we can be content, even happy.

As Ringo Starr sang "It Don't Come Easy, You Know It Don't Come Easy". But it is so worth it in the end.

~ The goal for 2017- To Cultivate Contentment.~

More Sleep-  as Garfield said "A nap is always in order." Cultivate naps to retain energy and ease body pain. Quality sleep is often difficult for us to achieve so napping can be a good tool if we only allow ourselves the use of it.

More Music- Cultivate music making as well as listening. Not all music is man-made. The birds, the surf, and the wind- all of nature- produces music. We but have to notice, listen and appreciate. Music is good to reduce stress and stimulate the brain.

More Tea- Cultivate a palate for teas and tisanes, enjoy experimentation with the tastes of teas of all kinds. Tea Time- a break with a goal and little ritual. We need to keep our fluid levels up as our bodies and teas are one way to do so. 

More Books- Reading is a wonderful gift that we give ourselves. Writing is a gift to ourselves and to our readers. We can leave behind our cares and woes and enter into other worlds. We can dream through books. We can learn new things. Books are a good tool to stimulate the mind as well as easy anxiety. Cultivate your love of books.

More Sunsets-  Take the time to appreciate the splendor of the setting sun. Every cell phone has a camera these days, so why not take photos of the sunsets. Cultivate the appreciation of the beauty of the end of the day's sunlight.

More Creating- Cultivate creating. This may seem a daunting thing at first glance, but give it more than just a glance. Creating is within you wanting- needing- to get out. Simple things, even a doodle, is an act of creating. Get some crayons or coloured pens and a colouring book that appeals to you and get lost in the moment. Bake cookies, plan and/or plant a garden, write a blog, take photographs, play a musical instrument, make stuffed toys, knit a scarf, or fold a thousand paper cranes.  The spirit soars when we create. Our bodies produce endorphins, stress is reduced, pleasure results.

More Long Walks- Leisurely walks is the goal here. If you can manage walking it is good for the body. Out in nature or indoors around the mall. If you can't walk then ride. Ride a bike, ride a mobility scooter, ride your motorcycle or motor scooter. Ride in your wheelchair. Cultivate getting out of the house and seeing what there is to see. Take photographs, listen to the word- combine with Music, Sunsets and Creating and other positive activities.

More Laughter- Cultivate laughter. Laughter is good for the body, mind and spirit. A good laugh gives your innards a massage. Even spending a few minutes a day faking laughter produces good effects in the body. 

More Hugs- Cultivate hugs. Soft hugs, snuggle hugs, quick hugs, bear hugs, pillow hugs, pet hugs. People need hugs. Good things happen with hugs. Even sharing hugs online is helpful to those giving and getting the hugs. 

More Dreaming- Cultivate positive, pleasurable dreaming. Day dreams. Let your imagination take you away. Nap time is a good time for dreaming. Reading can be part of the dreaming, as can creating and music. Dream about what you would enjoy doing if you could. 

More Road Trips- Cultivate adventure. For shut ins going out for the day qualifies as a road trip. Plan for those days out. Go out to a park, a museum, spend a day going to yard/garage sales. Do a day trip to someplace new.  Go do an overnight at a spa or resort. Go to a festival. Take a vacation away from home.

More Fun- Find your fun and cultivate it. It need not be anything more than the other goals in the list- but do them all for the pure and simple pleasure of it.

More Love- Cultivate love. Love comes in many forms. Seek them out. Love makes the heart sing and the spirit soar. Loves brings a light, a warmth. Love is peace and contentment. Love is fun and joy. Cultivate simple random acts of kindness- acts of love. Put love into the things that you create. Don't forget to allow yourself to receive love- love in it's many and varied kinds. 

These simple goals are my plan, my road map for 2017. 

You are invited to join me in this journey. In this quest.
To Cultivate Contentment.