Leave of absence

I really want to share the story of why Facebook has now been deleted from my phone and my social feed disabled on every computer I own…

If I’m being honest, lately, hasn’t been awesome. Not that there has been anything specifically ‘wrong’ per say, but my schedule has been abnormally chaotic and my anxiety through the roof. All of this combined, leaves my skin paper-thin and everything I see/read/hear pierces that vulnerable layer and some days, the pain is just too much to tolerate.

Social media feels like a ‘trigger’ for me. It’s a wonderful space to keep up with friends and family and an absolutely invaluable tool for my business. However, I have a love/hate relationship with it. While its benefits far outweigh its faults, sometimes my anxiety riddled head just can’t walk away from it; even when I know it would be much better if I did.

Case in point, the article that has finally caused me to take a ‘leave of absence’ from my personal presence on Facebook.

The other day an article titled “Pets Are Not Children, So Stop Calling Them That” (I’ve linked to it there so feel free to read if you haven’t seen it yet. Plus this post will sound even more nonsensical if you haven’t read it; granted the title does sum up the main point quite nicely) was quite popular online. Numerous friends shared this article, all laughing about how funny it is, how ‘true’ it is. People called it adorable and hilarious. Tears blurred my vision while I was reading it but they definitely weren’t from laughter.

What so many people read as funny I can’t call anything other than self-righteous and entitled. I know that many will disagree with this statement, and that’s ok. But what isn’t ok is this person calling people out solely for the titles they use within their family unit. M.A. Wallace notes, “I have two children, and when I meet people with pets who equate their experience to mine, I don’t know how to react.” You know how you should react, kindly. Why? Because all that person is trying to do is have an amicable conversation with you. No, they’re not delusional and under the impression that their pet is actually like having a human child (however some humane societies make you go through more of a process to adopt a pet than anyone I’ve ever know has had to go through to give birth to and keep their own child, but that’s a conversation for another day). They are simply trying to find something through which they can relate to you, because their family unit is different than yours.

More days than not I’m meant to feel ‘other’ or incomplete due to the fact that my family unit looks different than those of so many of my peers. That hurts, but now, I’m being criticized because of the titles we use within that family unit. It seems that no matter what I do it’s never going to be considered ‘right’ and always miles away from ‘normal’.

With all of the mean-spirited articles and anger out there, why, for the love of all things good, does someone have to write a hate-filled article criticizing the names we choose to use within our family units? Telling my dogs to go and sit with their ‘Dad’ does not undermine the Dad of human children. It’s just a title we’ve chosen to use within our family. It’s one of love, not disrespect.

 

Dancey Cat

I’m a sucker for animals.  I seek out their interaction and attention more so than I do humans.  I’ve always been this way.  I was the sad little seven-year-old feeding her goldfish with a toothpick when his swimming bladder burst and couldn’t swim upright anymore.  Most would have simply flushed him off to fishy heaven, and maybe I was doing nothing more than prolonging his pain and ultimately inevitable death, but I couldn’t let go until I gave it my all.  He held on for a few weeks, bobbing upside down in his little tank until he passed.  Well, that’s my mother’s version of the story.  Looking back now, maybe she had the good sense I lacked and put him out of his fishy misery during her allotted ‘fish watching’ time while I was away at school.

Anyway, the point of my tail er…, tale,  is to reiterate the way my heart swells when around animals.  You can imagine what a trip to the zoo is like with me…

So, my story – a few years ago my husband and I were walking around our quaint little town and wandered by an apartment building.  They had large living room windows which opened up to the road.  It was early evening, the sun was starting to set, so their window, blinds open, was being backlit by their tv and lamps.  …I know this is starting to sound like a stalking story, but it’s not, I promise!  In the middle of their large window, presumably on the back of this person’s couch was a tabby cat, dancing.  He was dancing and it was hilarious and warmed my heart more than I can articulate!  He kept reaching up, like he was climbing an invisible ladder without gaining any height.  We stood, in the middle of the road and laughed at this cat.  It was a good ten minutes before we were able to peel ourselves away from the show; the cat, not what was playing on their tv.  In the following weeks and months we talked about that cat nearly every day.  We immediately called each other if we drove by and dancey cat was performing again.  For a good six months, dancey cat was a constant source of laughter and happiness in our lives.  We loved that cat.  Then one day, he just wasn’t there anymore.  I’m pretty sure they moved.  It broke my heart.  I’ve been sad about dancey cat for quite some time.  Until today.  Today, my husband sent me an email with a wonderful GIF.  It was a GIF of dancey cat!  …well it’s not THE dancey cat, but it’s A dancey cat and it made me smile.  I’m sharing it with you here today and hope it will make your day just a little better as it did with mine 🙂

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