Every few months I feel the need to take a social media break. I don’t. Not really. I might cut back; and over the last year I have paid a little less attention to the loud, obnoxious, in-your-face, stream of information that the internet throws at you. But sometimes it’s still all too much.
Social media makes it way too easy to cut someone down. Social media makes it way too easy to judge others.
Yep, I judge people. Guess what? So do you. We all judge others. This seems to be a very common bad habit of the human race.
And social media makes bad habits too easy to give into.
I am tired of negativity. I am tired of people who feel the need to diminish someone else’s triumphant proclamation of accomplishment by either one-upping them, or dismissing the accomplishment all together, as not a big deal.
If you ran a kilometre, and are proud of it. BE PROUD.
If you left your house to do an errand, and had to deal with people (socialize! gah!), and you needed to rest when you got home? Be PROUD (and rest!)
Did you finish a book? Are you not an avid reader? Was it a struggle to get through but you wanted to finish it? BE PROUD.
Anything that is difficult for you, and you manage to accomplish, is worth celebrating. Just because something might be easy-peasy to someone else, doesn’t make it less of a big deal to you. Small, simple things that may or may not feel small and simple, can make a huge splash.
So you share these accomplishments, and someone always has to come around and stomp all over your sprouts. Others might think nothing of bursting through the soil to grow and reach for the sunlight, but sometimes you need a little more encouragement to dig through that dirt. And dirt can be heavy.
I am tired of people who can’t comprehend why something they think is simple and obviously a no-brainer might not be simple to someone else. Telling me to “just get up earlier” when I mention how awful I am with mornings, isn’t helping me. I can’t. I am just not a good morning person (rather, a good just waking up person). My brain takes way too long to boot up in the mornings. I joke about it being an accomplishment if I can remember to put on pants before I leave the house, but my reality isn’t too far off that path. I am not a morning person. I never have been, and I doubt I ever will be.
Doing anything that makes a person step out of their comfort zone is an accomplishment. Leaving the house to get groceries isn’t easy for everyone. And yet so many people judge others for finding something difficult they think nothing of.
There are many things I do in my life that are hard for me. I struggle with a lot of things that I don’t tell anyone about. Much of it is internal, and every so often I feel so proud of what I might have just managed to do that I want to shout it to the world – so I do. Others do to. But not everyone gets it. It’s not a cry for attention. It’s not fishing for compliments. (Sure, those people are out there, but it’s not everyone.) Sometimes you just need to tell the world you did something that you didn’t think you could do. Putting it out there in the universe is a way of proving that you did it.
And you know what? You don’t have to care about others. You don’t have to congratulate me because I made it out of the house WEARING PANTS in the morning. You can just IGNORE what I wrote and move on with your life. You don’t need to say “Ha! I ALWAYS wear pants. It’s EASY!” you don’t have to say “That’s stupid, it’s not a huge deal to leave the house with pants on.” You can say “Yay! Cat! I am glad your brain was functioning this morning!” you can just keep scrolling.
You do not have to care one whit about my pants. Just know I feel pretty darn pleased with myself when I accomplish this small feat every day. (I need to work on not leaving the house in my slippers though. But I focus on the more important body coverage first.)
Don’t judge someone because they find something difficult you think is easy. You’re not right just because you can do it and someone else can’t. You’re also not better than the person who thinks what you find easy is hard. It’s likely that something you think difficult is as easy as breathing to that person.
Be proud of what you accomplish, however small. Be bold in your pride over those accomplishments. Ignore those who think you’ve got nothing to be proud of because they feel they are better than you because what you’ve done is easy for them.
We each have our own struggles. We fight our own personal demons. Struggle, fight, overcome. Be proud of yourself. And remember the next time someone writes a post about something they are proud of accomplishing that you think is easy – it’s not easy for everyone. So just shut up with your judgey comments. Keep scrolling. If you can’t say something nice… you know the rest.
Gardening without Jinx around still hurts my heart, though the gardening itself heals me. Last year was the first full summer without Jinx around to help his garden grow. The garden didn’t grow particularly well, and some might say it was the weather; but, I know it was because I didn’t have Jinx looking after it. I did have Yoshi trampling it, and peeing on it. But the coocumbers and tomatoes just didn’t prosper as they had in the past.
A lot of changes happened last summer, one of which was the tearing down of our cabanon (shed) and creating way more space in the yard. The idea I had last year was to move the garden space this year, but we got a very late start (read: this past week) due to weather, and my taking a 6-week class for my publishing certificate which pretty much took up all my weekends between the beginning of May until mid-June.
Shawn also wanted to be part of the gardening process this year, so he’s been helping me dig and move stuff around. We moved the garden to the far corner of the yard. It’s a better place for it I think. Also I should have to deal with way fewer spiders the size of my head to get to the plants. THANK GOODNESS!
We only planted our plants this weekend. I’m about a month behind where I normally am. Other people have gardens that are already sprouting tomatoes and whatnot, but I just have my little sprouts.
Although, one thing I noticed about 2 weeks ago were the sudden appearance of rogue tomato plants amongst the weeds where the garden USED to be.
Look carefully amongst the weeds – do you see all those tiny tomato plants? And MINT! So. Much. Mint. Aside from this area being where the garden WAS, we also dump all our pots of plants and herbs there at the end of the season. I guess the ground has been fertilized enough that these things are starting to grow on their own. I repotted 8 different sprouts, and there are still some in the weeds!
I gave three plants to my neighbour, and replanted four others in the garden. One of the little sprouts didn’t like being dug up and didn’t make it, but that’s ok. I’m the only one in this house (besides Sophie) who eats tomatoes. I don’t know what I would do with 15 or so cherry tomato plants! I am fairly certain that they are all cherry tomatoes because I tend to grow those more often than regular ones. Who knows what will happen though. I might have to set up a tomato stand at the end of my driveway by the end of the summer and sell tomatoes – assuming these all grow and bear fruit!
Now we’ve got the garden pretty much finished. We have coocumbers (right), yellow watermelon (left – and who knows if that will work. Shawn picked that one out!), and four tomato plants in the middle. I still have to plant my radish seeds, and I’ll get to that this week (because: vacation for meeeee!!). I have my little herb bucket again with lemon mint, lemon thyme, and lavender. I replanted a lot of the mint that was growing amongst the weeds, and it seems to be doing well. We’re thinking of adding some pots of flowers around the back of the garden, over the cedar chips. And I need to add a little fencing, or some sort of border to the front and sides of the garden (to keep Mr Bear Paws OUT of the garden. Sigh. YOSHI!!)
Another thing different this year is my attempt at adding flowers to the back yard, too.
About 3 weeks ago I tossed (sort of planted) a bunch of flower seeds in front of the deck. Some of them are starting to grow, a lot were eaten by birds. (Alas.) But while we were out buying herbs and coocumber plants, we picked up some flowers – mostly because I fell head-over-heels in love with these:
By golly, these flowers match my HAIR colour (most of the time). And they look like SUNSETS! They are called Sunrise Rose (so I was close) and they were hanging in a basket over my head at the garden centre and I HAD to know what they were. I bought two plants. One is called Lucious Berry Blend. They look like the sunrise ones, so I don’t know. Either way – gorgeous. I hope they don’t die. I am horrible at keeping plants alive. I need Jinx for that!
I also bought a geranium plant, which is sort of between the flowers and my herb pot. It’s supposed to help keep mosquitos away (ha!), but I also like the scent a lot, and have some essential oil I use and thought, why not have my own plant? Yoshi acts like it’s catnip to him. So we call it Yoshinip.
I don’t know how the garden will fare this summer. We’re late in the game, though the last few autumns have been hot and summer-like, so just maybe we’ll have a nice September harvest. I hope Jinxy is looking down on the garden and sending us his Green Paw magic. I think he’d like this new spot. I think he’d like Yoshi. I think he’d make sure to keep Yoshi OUT of the garden and make sure he doesn’t pee on it. (Sigh, Yoshi.)
My garden will forever be Jinx’s Garden. It will probably always continue to make me both happy and sad. I’d like to add more to the garden next year (raspberry bush!) but this year we were late, so we didn’t make it too fancy. I’ll let you all know when I’m selling my billions of cherry tomatoes though. Say Jinx sent you and I’ll make you a good deal. 😉
Why do we have zoos?
I have been to many a zoo in my lifetime. School trips. Trips with friends. Trips as a kid. Trips as an adult. And though I can recall being excited, “Yay! Going to the zoo!” I also recall feeling awkward once there, watching animals pace in small spaces, or animals who look a little worse-for-wear.
And zoos aren’t something I tend to think about often, or at all. Not even while I am visiting one, and looking at the sleeping creatures on the other side of the glass. Nope. I think, “yay, zoo!” and then I think, “those animals look out of sorts”, and then I just forget about it all.
But zoos have been on my mind recently. Zoos have been in the news for various reasons – births, deaths, escaped R.O.U.S., and so on. And I’m suddenly wondering – why do we even have zoos?
Is it not strange to round up various creatures from all over the world and stick them in one location for humans to come gawk at? We don’t do this for hospitals, senior homes, or jails. We don’t say, “hey! Let’s go look at all the different old people, confined to beds and wheelchairs, today! What fun!” We don’t organize school field trips to jails to ogle the men and women behind bars in their jumpsuits.
So why do we do this with animals? Why do we plunk animals out of their natural habitats and ship them to habitats they are not used to, just so we can look at them?
I get that animals are fascinating. I get that many are endangered. I get people want to be able to study animals, and learn more about them. But do we really need so many zoos? Can we not maybe have a handful of locations, where animals who need to be rehabilitated, or are injured and need to live somewhere safe, can be studied by scientists (and whatnot), and sure people can pay to come see them if they happen to be in the same area. And that money can go towards research about the animals, and to help protect the endangered ones, and for medical help, etc.
Why do we need a safari park in Quebec? Why are we driving around in our cars through fake habitats to look at animals from inside the car? Why are we scaring animals WITH our cars, or possibly hurting them with exhaust fumes?
There’s a place here in Montreal that I have blogged about before called the Ecomuseum. It is a sort of zoo, but they have animals there who cannot be left in the wild, and who are being rehabilitated, and studied. It’s a nice, small place. It’s educational. It’s not the same as a giant zoo with elephants, lions, and so on, in their wrong habitats.
And I don’t have a problem with there being places that can house animals who cannot survive in the wild. Who are being kept in a large enough space that they are safe, and comfortable as they live out their lives. But I am so confused as to why we have this weird fascination with keeping animals in cages so we can spend money to go see them. Isn’t it weird?
Except for Pandas. Honestly, I have no idea how those creatures have managed to survive this long without becoming extinct, because they seem like the dimmest of all creatures ever. Have you watched any of those panda videos that have become viral and pop up on all sorts of websites, and social media sites? HOW HAVE PANDAS SURVIVED THIS LONG!? They need to be kept in captivity because I think they are safer having humans look out for them than leaving them on their own. I think they have survived this long only out of sheer luck – sort of how Harry Potter always seemed to solve the puzzle and survive the ordeals he was put through – LUCK! Not smarts. PURE LUCK!
And I’m pretty sure Yoshi is related to Pandas. I’m not kidding. Finnish Lappandahund YoshiBear.
This is by no means a ranty post about being anti-zoo. I just started thinking about zoos one night while I was having trouble falling asleep (seriously, I could make “Stuff in My Head While I’m Trying to Fall Asleep” a regular feature here) and I was baffled as to why we, as humans, came up with this idea. I guess it’s our stupid ability to feel entitled to owning everything? “Look here! Here is my collection of animals from all over the world! They are MINE! I put them in display cages!” I suppose that’s what the zoo foundation was built upon. But do we really need to collect animals like Pokemon? Or should we turn hospitals, senior homes, jails, and other contained locations of humans, into human zoos?
I love tattoos.
I know they aren’t for everyone. I know many people do not like them, but I do. I love being able to wear art on your body.
I also believe in being 100% certain that I want something etched into my skin for the rest of my life. Unlike piercings, you can’t just take off a tattoo and go on your merry way like it never happened.
Everything I have on my skin, I wanted, and still want. And all of my tattoos mean something to me.
Lately, I have been obsessed with words. Words are power. If words are tattooed into my body, they become part of me. They become me. My last two tattoos have been words. I already know what my next tattoos will be – more words. Not sure when. Probably within this year. I don’t know. But I know what words, and where they need to be. And those words will become part of my soul.
Corny, I know. Cliche, I know. But true.
My latest tattoo is a quote from Alice in Wonderland. I love that story, the Disney movie (animated one, not the newer live action ones – those are CREEPY.), and there’s something about Alice and Wonderland that has always resonated with me. I had originally thought the words enough, but then wanted to add in the Cheshire Cat in some way. All attempts to add the eyes and smile of the cat didn’t work out right. But thanks to my wonderful friend Emilie, and her ability to draw something from my horrid cut and paste, clip art photo, I was able to find the exact design I wanted. I wanted a collarbone tattoo, similar to those (now too) popular flying bird ones. But not birds. Nothing about birds says “Cat”. But I loved the simplicity of the tattoos. Mine isn’t as simple as those, but I think it matches me perfectly.
And yes, I am quite mad.
Especially these last few years.
Back in September, I also got a tattoo. This is the closest in time that I have ever gotten inked. But I had been working on that tattoo idea for some time. I knew I wanted a semicolon, but I needed something more. All I had worked out was, “breathe ; ” What came next was a struggle to figure out. Although as soon as I did figure it out, I knew I needed to get the tattoo right away.
I might be impulsive about getting my tattoos, but a lot of overthinking goes into what I want to put on my body. Thing is, because of my very strong intuition about things, I often need to get things done as soon as I know I need to do something. Thankfully my tattoos have been pretty small, so I didn’t have to wait too long for appointments.
The arm tattoo is a reminder that I can, and will, survive. Anything. I just have to remember to breathe, and my story isn’t over yet. I can rewrite, and restart. It will happen. I’m okay.
Words are my jam. They mean something to me. And as I was starting to write this post, I realized I hadn’t ever posted about the back tattoo I got in 2012 – which is where my obsession with words on skin began. In August 2012, I had a lyric from my favourite Sarah McLachlan song – Elsewhere, tattooed on my back. I wrote the text, and Emilie helped me with the design around the words.
All of my tattoos can be covered up if need be. I have stars on my wrist, a faerie silhouette on my leg, and a paw (and “pant”) on my ankle (my first tattoo – in memory of Kewpie after she passed away in 2002). My collarbone tattoo is the first one that’s going to be harder to conceal, but with a t-shirt on, you don’t even notice it. And really, unless I get another job where concealing tattoos is a rule, I’m not all that worried about them. They aren’t hurting anyone, and they are such a part of me.
I love tattoos. I love words. Makes sense to have the important words permanently inked into my soul. (As cheesy as that sounds.)
I wonder a lot about things. All things. Little things, big things. Things. I wonder. I ponder. I overthink. I stress, obsess, worry, and fret.
It’s part of who I am. Even if I might not know who I am at all times. And even that – who am I? – I tend to overthink. It’s a daily struggle.
I do about 95% of the things I do based on instinct. I’m a highly intuitive person, and I have learned over the many years of my life, that I should follow my gut instinct when making decisions, or I won’t end up happy. And happy isn’t really an emotion I was used to for a lot of my life. Once I worked out overthinking my instinct, I found I was in a happier place.
But that doesn’t mean I stopped overthinking things. Not at all. Even if I know, deep within me, the decision I want to make, I will still stress, obsess, fret, and think-think-think, over it under I have ripped it to shreds.
Sometimes I don’t follow my instinct. I think it’s wrong. It’s like when you a pretty sure the multiple choice answer is b, but you choose c at the last second and you get it wrong.
But in the inbetween between those two choices, you overthink the answer. You stress. You fret. You make your final choice and it’s…not the one you really wanted to make.
Sometimes I overthink my intuition. I question it. And I question myself.
And lately, there have been lots of questions, and a whole crap-ton of overthinking. I think… I think I’m not the same person I was three years ago. I mean, of course we all change, but in my case, I think the trauma changed parts of me that I have always taken for granted.
Obviously trauma can change a person. I mean, it’s trauma. Your entire world changes in an instant. What you know, and think you knew, shatters.
I find my reactions to things are no longer the same as they used to me. The me that I have grown so comfortable with has grown blurry. Am I who I thought I was? Am I becoming someone else? I question so many things lately. More so that I used to. Part of that is a loss of innocence, and naiveté that I still carried within me before the end of March 2013. I think I am feeling the loss of that most of all. And now I wonder about so much more than I used to. I wonder about trusting the world, and people around me. I wonder about me, and what I want out of life, and the world. And sometimes I wonder who I am supposed to be, because the me I was becoming was pushed off course. Have the parts of me I feel like I have lost stay lost? Will I regain those part of me?
What I will always have is my ability to overthink things into oblivion. Often that holds me back from life, and happiness.
I overthink. I worry. I obsess and stress. I wonder about things. I wonder what happens next. I wonder what the next chapter will reveal. I wonder what sort of stories I have left.
I overthink the possible endings. I overthink the current plot line.
I wonder. I overthink. I feel. I KNOW. I question.
And I just hope, that with all these thoughts running around my head, that I end up making the right multiple choice decision.
EDIT: this post ended up sounding way more morose than it is meant to be. I have been writing, writing, writing in a pen and paper journal a lot lately and this was more of a stream of consciousness based off of my journaling. Only way more emo-sounding.