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sometimes things just don't work out
And sometimes my daughter's cat punches me in the face.
I have a busy day today. So when I woke prematurely around 4:30 a.m. probably due to anxiety around the busy day, I had the choice: go back to sleep, or get up and get a jump on this very crowded day.
I lay there for twenty minutes, deciding that if I fell back asleep, that would be that, and I would get additional rest before I started my day.
Then the cat discovered that I was semi-awake. Just as I began to drift off, she climbed over my body and began to poke my cheek with her paw. (When you’re trying to sleep, these gentle pokes feel like punches to the face.)
She’s not even my cat. Not technically. She’s my daughter’s cat.
But I’m the one who gives her three small treats in her food bowl every morning—clearly a bad habit. I should have created the habit of giving them to her at dinner time.
I tried to make her settle beside me, but then I heard our very old dog pacing around downstairs.
Jenny is our 14-year-old golden retriever who is 100% blind and 100% situationally deaf. As in, if she wants to come inside, she hears me calling to her. If she wishes to spend more time in the great outdoors, she’s deaf. She doesn’t even turn her head in my direction. She’s elderly; she’s earned the right.
When she’s hungry or wants to go outside, she paces around the downstairs. She knows that the clacking of her claws on the hardwood gets our attention.
Given the animals’ needs and wants, I got up. In order to not to wake others, I used the flashlight on my phone and moved around the bedroom and house like I might detonate a bomb with any abrupt movement or sound until I reached the kitchen. Only then did I dare to turn on a light.
I fed the animals, made my coffee, and took Jenny outside to do her morning business. While she wandered around the front yard, I sat on the front porch huddled in a warm bathrobe, sipped my coffee, and played Wordle—a habit I formed in the past year. Putting the time constraint of Jenny’s stroll around the front yard on the daily word game added to the challenge. (And I’m hoping upping the difficulty will ward off any threat of dementia as I age.)
Finally, thirty minutes after I made the decision to get up and get a head start on the day, I logged onto my work computer, and was faced with error messages. Lots of them. “You don’t have access to this right now,” the errors said, or something like that.” Long story short, I couldn’t do any of the work I intended to do. Two hours later, I still can’t.
So, here we are. I wasn’t planning on sending out a newsletter this morning, but since the moment my cat punched me in the face, I thought of y’all. (Don’t read too much into that.)
My current predicament also made me think of a lesson from The Daily Stoic earlier this month. Here’s a quote that I put large squiggly circles around in my journal:
“Every time you get upset, a little bit of life leaves the body.” We must protect our peace of mind. The lesson from February 12, reminds us that when we get upset about nasty emails or workplace problems, we exhaust our adrenal glands. And “shouldn’t [we] preserve them for life-and-death situations?”
I’ve dealt with a lot of work problems during my nearly thirty years of working, and it has taken a long time for me to realize that almost nothing that happens at work is worth getting upset over. (And let me tell you… I have not perfected this.)
Today’s problem is keeping me from doing work, and therefore keeping me from earning money while the work piles up. So if this problem isn’t resolved soon, I will get a little upset.
At the same time, this issue is 100% out of my control.
Thankfully, this newsletter is 100% in my control and is landing in your inboxes this morning.
All thanks to tedious work problems and my cat punching me in the face.
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