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Monday, October 30, 2017

Finishing What You Start

Recently when I was packing up my Mother’s apartment I couldn’t help but notice the number of unfinished projects she had lying around. Projects started with an earnest wish to complete, but something came up of more importance or a better idea came to mind. Whatever the reason that project was set aside for another. Left in a dejected pile.

How many such projects had she started throughout her life and then left them by the wayside. How many good intentions had she had to finish this embroidery project only for it to be set aside so she could crochet another baby blanket for a family member. I wonder how many of those blankets still exist today.

Is that what will be noticed the most; when it is time for someone to lovingly go through my possessions at the end of my life. The boxes of notebooks filled with all of my imaginary worlds. The half finished or barely began stories left to gather dust. What of my own craft projects that I set aside one day and just never got back too. Is that what our life boils down too? Dust covered projects and unfinished dreams.

I found myself packing those projects back inside their boxes, unable to cast them aside permanently. Even though my mother will never finish them, she has begun anew. Now her projects are simple colored pictures in a children’s coloring book. Letters scribbled in an unreadable hand, their contents never understood. A pile of books sits beside her bed, some started. Others never opened. I asked her if she wanted any of the crocheting projects left in small piles throughout her home. She looks at me in bewilderment; their memory was gone.

Now I sit here writing my latest project it would seem. A first draft almost is written, just a few clicks away. I never have reached this moment in all of my years of writing. I sit in shocked silence as I contemplate the achievement. What happened to make me stay the course; to finish this time? What was the change that occurred to make me sit and write each day? The only answer that I can find is those boxes of unfinished projects lined up against the garage wall. I don’t want that to be the only thing I leave in this world.

I find it hard to believe that a year ago I began this adventure of writing my first book. And now I am writing its final pages. I wonder if by turning fifty, my focus changed so drastically. Where before I would have started the project, only to be drawn away by something new, halfway through the writing. I know there are other people who can say the same thing about their own projects. What makes us buckle down one day and say that this is the day I finish what I started. Is it crossing a milestone of some sort, that prompts the action?

I know for me when I made my mind up that I wasn’t getting any younger that I would have to realign my way of thinking. I would have to make a promise to myself that I would see my book in print. I would finish this project, and in doing so it would prompt me to finish the next one and so forth and so on. I made the adjustment in my thinking from “I love to write but I’m not good enough” to “I am a writer and I am good enough.” It is amazing what a simple change in your mindset can accomplish for you. By thinking positively about your dream, that you can actually feel all the possibilities now open to you.

I know as I reach that page where I will write “The End”, that I have only to look through those boxes lining the wall of the garage to find my next book. That is my goal moving forward. To finish all of those half begun projects, so when it comes that time to go through my belongings it will be to decide what to do with all of my books. What to do with all my notes, research, and story planning. And for me, that will be a life worth looking back on. 

What kind of projects sit forgotten, lining your proverbial garage? Why don’t you pick just one today and commit to finishing it? Open up your mind to all the possibilities that are waiting for you. And don’t forget to keep a positive outlook throughout it all. I wish you luck and remember to always love fully and laugh often.   

Monday, October 23, 2017


Did you ever make a decision that has haunted you? A decision that you contemplate for a few days. Working out each case scenario of if I do this; what will be the end result. You weight the pros and cons, trying to see which side of the question will have the most benefit for you and all concerned. Knowing that whatever you decide you will always wonder if you did the right thing for the right reasons.

Those decisions that when you lay down at night to go to sleep causes your mind to refuse to shut down. All of a sudden, a host of memories start bombarding your exhausted brain. The would have, the should have, and the what ifs. They come back to haunt you. Did you make the best decision or did it cause some harm that you are unaware of but subconsciously you feel might have happened?

I am in the process of cementing a decision that has all the earmarks of a future haunting. I have weighed the options and as much as it kills me to do it, I have to go ahead with my plan. Who needs to worry about being haunted down the road. I am already haunted by what I am about to do. It is one of the hardest things I have had to do in awhile. Unfortunately, I have made a similar decision in the past. And yes, it is one of my frequent visitors.

I know at the time it was the best choice I had but my mind still dwells on what I could have done just a bit differently to keep from being put in the spot where I had to make that decision. I think it has been nagging me because the situations are so close. As with the last time, this time I have run out of viable options. There are more people to take into consideration than the last time. This decision will create harmony where at this time there is discord.

The choice I have been led to make has to do with my Mom’s cat. When she was placed in the nursing home, he was left with no home and he lost the only person he had ever lived with. It was decided to try to bring him into our home. A home that is full of energy from two teenagers, one of which is Autistic. He was surrounded by people and animals that he had never had to deal with before. Where he was once the only cat in the house. Now he was the outsider coming in fresh, to a loss of one of our household cats. To say it plainly the four cats that were mourning the loss of a member of their family, one that two of them had been born just months apart from.

To them my Mom’s cat, Gizmo was seen as the reason that Donny was gone. We walked out one day to take Donny to the vet but instead of him coming home, we brought an outsider. This all occurred in May of this year.I would like to say that they finally grew to accept him, but that would be a complete lie. We called the three kittens: Dominic, Donny, and Neko. They were all adopted within days of each other. Dominic and Donny had been cage mates at the shelter. My brother and sister in law refused to split them up. Neko bonded with them very quickly. Gizmo was considered the enemy from day one of his arrival.

What astounded me was that my timid scaredy cat and the only female became a tigress when confronted with this new male. She absolutely despised him. No more running and hiding as she did with the triplets or our older male. No, she would attack him. And the others seeing the queen of their clowder attacking took it as a trigger to attack as well. Gizmo has been attacked, kept from food and water and even not allowed to use the litter box. If he perchance gets a chance to use it, they then trap him inside and refuse to let him out.

We have had to literally risk injury to pull cats apart, who are bent on killing each other. Dominic was injured badly within a week of Gizmo’s arrival. There have been injuries among the others as well. The last major fight was a week ago. In trying to separate Gizmo and Neko, I inadvertently hurt my baby boy. He has had a major personality change as a result. My brave curious boy is now a sulking scaredy cat who shies away from me when I reach for him. It breaks my heart every time he does that. If it were only one of the house cats hating Gizmo we would work something out but with it being four against one. And Gizmo having no front claws in a house of clawed cats, I have been put in a position where I need to make a haunting decision. I don’t want to but I have to, to save his life.

I have had to make a similar decision in the past.Only that decision, as hard as it was to make,  I knew where my beloved cat was going. This time I know where he is going and I hate the idea so much that it has taken me months to make the decision. I will be surrendering Gizmo to an animal shelter at the beginning of next month. Happy Birthday to me. What a way to start my birth month. Giving my mother’s beloved cat to an uncertain future. And as with that old decision to give up my most precious of friends,  I know that when I lay my head down that night the old ghost of decisions past will whirl around in my mind.

I hope by sending Gizmo away, the cats we share our home with will become the loving, generous souls they were when they felt betrayed by the introduction of an interloper in their time of grief. Some of you will say that animals don’t grieve, those of us who have pets will understand what I speak of. You may ask if it is just the decision to give up pets that haunts me at night. And the answer would be Hell No! Those are just some of the most painful.

I wonder have you my reader ever had to make a decision to give up a pet? Do you regret it? Does the not knowing the future of said pet ever haunt you?

 For the next two weeks, I am going to be trying to find a home for Gizmo, I found a site on the Internet that I am trying. It is called Get Your Pet. They let you post your pet's information and help people looking for a pet find one. They help you with aid in finding homes that really want a pet, not someone who only wants pets to do harm too. I am hoping that someone will see Gizmo’s picture and contact me. I am also posting this on my social pages in hopes that someone who lives near me will fall in love with a cat down on his luck.

Here’s hoping that this decision never comes to fruition and Gizmo finds a new forever home. I will give you an update on next weeks post. I hope that October has been treating you better than it has me. Remember love fully and laugh often. Until next week.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Hello October

 I woke up this morning and it took a moment for the reality to set in. Today is the first of October. Where has this year gone? It is just over a month until my birthday, how do I feel about the first year of my fifties? Was anything different from my forties? Why is it the older we get the faster the years seem to fly by? I remember as a kid thinking Christmas would never get here. Now it sneaks up on you and hits you over the head.

October marks the beginning of the new quarter also. I am almost afraid to pull up my goal list for the last three months. Why? Because I know this has been the weakest quarter of the year so far. Illness has plagued me and family issues as well. This quarter saw my mother losing her independence and entering a nursing home. Our whole paradigm shifted. We entered new roles as the old ones fell away. I am still adjusting to the change. It is hard to break habits forged in the line of fire.

I am sitting here glaring at my journal, knowing that the list waiting inside its covers was hardly taken out let alone accomplished. I am almost afraid to even think about making goals for the next three months. Should I just change the heading on the old list and reuse it. Or were my goals too vague making them seem impossible to fulfill? I suppose I’ll never find out if I don’t even peruse the list.

Well, I am glad to say I can mark a completed to the very first goal on my list. It was to have the Tales of The Cat’s Eye Gang near to or finished. I can mark that off as I am to the final confrontation and ending. I am figuring the draft will be finished by the end of October or early November. It is so close to being finished I am getting both anxious and excited. Now to the rest of the list.

I made a total of thirteen goals for the third quarter of the year, I have accomplished six of them. I have to admit I am surprised. I really thought I had failed. Yes, I know that seven were not accomplished but the truth is some of those I have started just not finished, so I can’t mark them as complete. A couple was made ahead of the time. They fit more in line for when the first draft is complete, such as finding someone to design the cover. I did talk to a couple artist but we couldn’t come to an agreement so I will keep on searching as I am editing and doing my re-write.

A big goal was to pay off my car so that my budget would be better for saving for the professional edits and cover work. I make the last payment tomorrow. It has been a long three years, but I will finally hold the title in my hand soon. There were times I wasn’t sure I would ever get it paid off, but I persevered against money shortages and reached this goal. It will be nice to be able to loosen my belt and relax for a bit.

I had three goals garnered towards my health and I accomplished one and a half. The one I did accomplish was to get my gout under control. I also began a new eating plan and I am going slow as not to jeopardize the progress. I still need to exercise more, that is being moved forward to the next goal list. Baby steps.

I also had the goal to become better organized and I did this by re-designing my workspace and getting rid of things that were taking up space and not really needed anymore. I built a new shelving section and it has helped me stay organized. I am one of those people who works best in an orderly environment and the old one was clogging my inspiration. I find I can think clearer when not digging through piles of papers, notebooks, and so much more. It really is amazing how much better you work when you can see the top of your desk.

One of the most important goals I had was to increase my web presence. I accomplished this goal by linking my social sites such as Facebook and Instagram together. It worked as a great marriage because now The Cat’s Eye Gang are being viewed by a larger audience and then re-shared. I increased the number of promotions I ran and it has indeed increased my numbers. I will continue to work on getting my book and the cats that inspired it, out to the public.

I really did think I had not accomplished anything in three months, but I am glad to say that I did. I think somewhere in my sub-conscience I was always working on those goals, even though I was unaware of it at the time. Now comes the fun of sitting down and making a whole new list, well all new except for the ones I am bringing forward with me. I hope on January first I can sit here and write off, even more, accomplishments and even better news going into the new year.

I want to say Happy October to all of my lovely readers. I hope as the leaves turn colors of bright orange, red, and brown, that you find a burst of energy to see you through these final months of the year. As the colors fade and the gray of winter takes hold that you remember to love fully and laugh often. Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit.