As part of my ongoing attempts to shift my mood and emotional state, I have been slowly doing a bit of rearranging at home. I’m trying to reduce clutter, brighten things up a bit, clean out stuff I no longer want/need, change things around to give a sense of newness.
It feels really good … to me, anyway. My cats are much less enthused about this process.
My cats are reacting to each change as if it is a sign of doom pointing to the imminent end of the world. The movement of decorations from one flat surface to another prompts careful inspection of the well-known item in its new location with all the fear, trembling, and arched backs of one approaching a ticking time bomb that they have never seen before in their whole lives. This is often followed either by mad dashing up and down the hall and around rooms in an attempt to escape the aforementioned impending doom or by attempts to displace the moved item onto the floor to protest the diabolic change (or sometimes both).
Each change produces the same sort of panicked frenzy night after night as I slowly work my way through the house. It’s rather entertaining to watch (and also sometimes a bit frustrating to deal with … like the desk lamp that is now affixed to the desk top with large amounts of packing tape to prevent it being thrown to the floor!).
But even my entertainment is that of wry amusement because I am so aware of how closely my cats’ reaction to change resembles my own (particularly change that is not of my own making). While I do manage to avoid racing up and down hallways, throwing objects to the floor, and approaching new things in my environment with raised hair and an arched back, I do often react to change as if it is signaling the end of my world.
As I watch my cats race madly through the house protesting the latest change in the placement of a knickknack, it reminds me that perspective and keeping the bigger picture in mind are real assets when dealing with change. The next time I find myself resisting some change that is occurring in my life, I hope to remember the sight of my cats streaking madly through the house fleeing their impending doom from the rearrangement of a room to remind me to check my perspective.
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