Five lessons learned in hectic November
Doesn’t happen to you that when everything seems to work just fine, life throws you a small pebble that imbalances everything else and then you find yourself in the messiest mess all of a sudden? I have read that apparently we are in Mercury retrograde and that’s the reason why things seem to me more difficult than usual. I don’t know whether it’s been Mercury, but I wouldn’t be happy to see it if we crossed paths. November has definitely felt non-stop uphill and left me out of breath. The worst is that sometimes it happens that even though you plan ahead for a busy month, you need another layer of self-awareness to plan how you’re going to feel and plan that too. Call me neurotic, but after this month I believe it is a powerful time-management strategy. Towards the end of October everything seemed to shine under the sun: I had November content planned, a couple of drafts which needed to be edited and the excitement of a new companion who would purr on my lap while I would concentrate on my weekly posts. What could go wrong?
Well, pretty much everything.
The thing is that I forgot to consider a very tiny, tiny detail: kittens are cat babies and therefore they suck time and energy. I was naïve enough to underestimate how much a kitten would affect my routine (and my sleeping). It seems funny to me that I was discussing about maternity in the last post, and here I am feeling a tiny inch of what being a new mom would be; waking up at 5:30 because she is hungry, worrying about her litter routine, distinguishing between what she needs and what she wants with every meow and rushing back home after work to make sure she has some play time. Maybe I am overreacting but, from a personal perspective I guess this might be a combination between filling my maternity instinct and the new experience of having a small life under my responsibility —I never had to deal with it before—. I confess, I feel like I am a new-kitten-mum.
Only with this, November has been hectic enough; having a kitten seemed easier said than done and it’s taken longer than expected to get used this over-excited and uber-sweet furry ball called Audrey. I have to say that settling down to a different type of routine and meeting her demands of love —and play— have been equally joy-filling and energy-draining. In every conversation with other ‘cat-mom’ friends the comment was the same: you look tired, did Audrey give you a good night?
In definitive, my lack of activity has been due to a natural adaptation process we had to go through. I needed time to catch my breath and put everything into place. And even though I had tons of material and notes waiting to be edited in the draft box for weeks, I just couldn’t find neither the brains nor the time to sit down and finish it properly. However, no panic, after this chaotic November I believe my brain and my routine are slowly getting back to —a new— normal rhythm.
It is a truth that every adaptation process in life has lessons for us to learn and help us grow. It is uncomfortable but necessary, although we need to cool down to understand what can we get out of the pain. However, trying to do it in the midst of the suffering is counter-productive because while we are going through all we can see is the dark side and all we would get is more negativity and pain. Now that my body and mind are finally starting to set back to normal, I feel I have cooled down enough to understand what I can get from painful November, so here are the five main lessons I have learned from this month:
Kittens are demanding. It is smashing logic, I know, but the only pet I had was a rabbit when I was 16 and it was my sister’s, not even mine. Even though my cat-mom friends’ reaction was ‘aaaww!’ they also tried to warn me that kittens are bonkers and full of energy but I thought it was just only a question of playtime and I didn’t have a problem with that. Until she wanted to play at 5:30 am.
Self-induced stress is most stupid thing you can do to yourself. Now I would ask myself, If you don’t want to cut your veins why do you want put all that unnecessary pressure on yourself? Stress kills slowly and by inducing it to yourself the only thing you get is a weakened immune system and higher chances to catch any disease that is in the air. Getting back to sport and being more flexible with myself have helped lots to get out of the chain of illness I was in.
Sometimes digesting changes take longer than expected, and that is pretty much ok. It happened when I arrived in London and it’s happened now; I made the mistake of giving me a deadline to digest the change. The thing is, it doesn’t work that way and by saying ‘by tomorrow/next week/x day I’ll be fine’ the only thing I was doing was avoiding my needs and being unrealistic.
Kittens are no teddy bears —even though they look like it. I learned this lesson when she gave me ‘the look’ after cuddling her for too long. After showing that she was definitely crossed at me, she spent the rest of the night giving me the cold shoulder. Who said a 10-week old kitten can’t be angry? Oh well, Audrey showed me she wanted to be taken seriously very clearly.
You don’t need to juggle all the balls at the same time. By the first weekend of November I had already been ill, most of my free time was spent with a newly arrived kitten and stubbornly wanted to keep up with the routine I had before Audrey. Obviously, the routine didn’t work because I had more pieces in the same space and I wanted to squeeze them all together. It sounds like pure common sense but at the time I couldn’t see why I couldn’t keep up.
Yes, changes can be hard, challenging and feel uncomfortable; but what is the worst thing that can happen? Days will pass, time will put everything back in place and you’ll learn new things along with the process. A few days ago, I would have called last month as ‘shitty November’ but had I not gone through this hectic time I wouldn’t have practiced patience and keep it easy with myself, that things can be achieved in different ways and everything can be readjusted. Thanks to November I’m ready now to start December with a different mindset.