After several days of what felt like terrible sloth to me (though in reality, I did get a lot of things done!) I am once more back to my energetic, efficient self, and it feels sooo good!  I danced until about 10:00 tonight (it seems to be getting later every week!), then came home to scoop sandboxes, clean up the last of the soup pots and other assorted dishes, and make my breakfast and lunch for tomorrow.  This may not seem like much to the average reader, but for the last couple of days, I’ve tossed everything together in the morning, which, once I added back my knee exercises, put me out the door a tad on the late side.  As I tend to be a slow mover in the morning, I wouldn’t have lasted long in this cycle, and my healthy eating habits would have suffered. 

I know myself well enough to realize that if I want to get things done when I get home from work or, in tonight’s case, work and dancing, I have to do so before I plop my behind down on something comfortable like a chair or sofa or I’m likely to procrastinate myself past bedtime and into the next morning once again.  Forget the fact that I feel much better when I can dawdle my way through my morning routine, grab coffee and food for the day and scoot out the door, procrastination and sloth have a way of creeping in through the slimmest of openings, much like my 25 pound moose cat, Toby, can open virtually any cabinet or closet and squeeze his not inconsiderable bulk inside.  That is, of course, when he is not hogging my pillow with the excuse that we are experiencing unusually cold weather and his double layered coat and fur encased paws are not sufficient to keep him at a comfortable temperature in a house which rarely gets colder than 65 degrees!  But I digress.  

Efficiency.  I like to be able to get through the necessary tasks so I can truly enjoy the fun stuff.  And, as last night’s missing post indicates, when I’m a lazy lump, it tends to affect everything!  Although I’ve gotten past the point where I feel guilty if I miss a nightly post, I truly do like to get at least a little something down, and, if nothing else, post my gratitudes.  I find that my outlook on everything in general and especially things which have irritated me in the past is far better when I take the time to think about and write about things for which I’m grateful.  As I’ve found over and over, it’s impossible to be sad or cranky when thinking about my blessings.  I never have to look very far to find them, but I do have to open my eyes and my heart to recognize and appreciate them.  Tonight, I don’t even have to open my eyes as two of them are making themselves known as I type.  Patches is doing her darndest to rub the nap off of my pajama pants and Toby is pushing his nose into my hand, making typing an interesting feat. 

I was talking to a fellow dancer tonight who adopted a couple of puppies last year.  He talks about them with a great deal of fondness (as all pet parents should!) and was describing how excited they get when he comes home.  Like my cats, his dogs come running to greet him when he walks through the door, though, in my case, they’re crowding the kitchen door when I come in from the garage.  It reminds me of when my girls were small and I’d pick them up from daycare.  They’d come running up to me, exclaiming with pure, unadulterated joy, “Mommy’s here!”.   Children may outgrow that complete feeling of joy just to see their parent, but animals really don’t.  Perhaps because they remain somewhat childlike, their needs and wants, much simpler.  While children grow up to want the latest clothes or electronics or cars, animals simply want to spend time with you, give and receive affection and maybe the occasional treat.  So your arrival home after being away all day is always a major event in their eyes.  Granted, they never really learn to pick up their toys or feed themselves and since they don’t use the toilet, they must be cleaned up after, for me, that pure joy they express when I come home is worth every minute!  Their demands that I sit on the couch or go to bed so they can snuggle and purr are worth the weekly hauling out of the sandboxes, the daily scooping, the shlepping of 40 pound boxes of sand and 20 pound bags of food.  In fact, they are helping me because I get a little weight lifting in whenever I have to replenish their supplies.  I get some cardio in on trash day, hauling their sandboxes out to the garage, scrubbing them out, refilling them, sweeping and mopping the bathroom floors and putting the clean sandboxes back. 

And then there is the obstacle course I run every morning and night.  A trip down my hallway is always an adventure as little furry bodies run this way and that, winding in and out of my legs and chasing toys across my path.  I never know where or when a little cat ninja will pop out, necessitating some quick and fancy footwork.  They certainly keep my reflexes sharp and my wits quick.  I could go on and on about the benefits of a dog or cat (or any pet for that matter) but I’d be preaching to the choir for the pet owners and talking to dead air for those who choose to be petless.

Instead, I’ll end with tonight’s gratitudes:
1. I am grateful for my furry children and their unconditional love.
2. I am grateful for dance nights because they put things into perspective:  Everything is small stuff!
3. I am grateful for the wonderful people I encounter who teach me something all the time, often in spite of myself.
4. I am grateful for stretching as it loosens up muscles made tight from activity (and sometimes, inactivity).
5. I am grateful for Fridays which come between two dance nights, and are often spent hanging with my kids or friends these days.

Love and light..

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