Saturday, April 23

Simple Pleasures & Lessons Learned from Alexander the Grey(t). One of my favorite posts ....................4/23/11

Where the San Francisco Giants Play
       Hey, thanks for dropping by.  I usually write before midnight, until a few minutes ago, it was Friday. It was a busy night. I wedged in
supporting my SF Giants in the midst of the things I normally do on this evening. 

      Hello to new visitors. Welcome.  Keep coming back.  Thanks for giving this place a look.

       I enjoy helping others, it's the nature of my work. I hope you're encouraged by what we discuss here.  In the Bay Area, where I live, it's considered cool to be depressed, sardonic and cynical. Well, I guess I don't fit in.

       Don't let me fool you------that's not true.  Many I meet are eager to have the zest and hope I enjoy. You know what's key, for my enthusiasm, right?  Yep, attitude. Everything rises and falls with our attitude. 
"It is the advance man of our true selves, the librarian of our past and the prophet of our future." John Maxwell, The Winning Attitude
        I'll talk more about that later this weekend. As many of you know, I ask those who drop by to please share at least three gratitudes. Would it be possible for you to share yours?   
        I enjoy mutuality in my relationships; sharing your gratitudes would meet this need.  Thanks!

My Gratitudes for Friday:
1. Today, I tackled issues related to my business, taking steps I was reluctant to do. Well, I did them. They were unpleasant, difficult and tedious to do. But I did what I could, for several hours. 

      So, hurray for me. Really. The quote to your right,  I posted before. Nonetheless, I'll share it again.  It helps me get over many a hump. 

2.  I watched my baseball team tonight. Doing so changes the pace of my life, for a few hours I improved my normal routine. Not only am I firing different dendrites in my brain, that help forestall or prevent dementia in older age, but I shake up my life a bit.  Marcus Aurelius said,
"What man should fear is not death. What man should fear is never beginning to live." 
     Are we living if we don't take time enjoying the present? Watching baseball allows me to day dream about days when I played the game, as a boy of summer.  Recollections of wearing a uniform, my cap itching my sweaty forehead, roasting out in left field, on a hot summer day, taunting the batter, calls to mind less worrisome, delightful days.  I recall my times at bat, hitting the ball well, speeding onwards to first base.

       I'm thankful that I've learned that part of my personal development includes doing less, than I am capable of doing.  As I'm sure you've heard before, we are human beings, not doings. I will burn out, if I don't pace myself. There's a time for work and a time to relax, the writer of Ecclesiastes reminds us.

Alexander the Grey(t), My Friend
       I've been spending time with Alexander (click here, or here, for more stories about him and me), a dying, fifteen-and-a-half year old cat. He's gone from heavy to thin: he weighs less than seven pounds.[6/8/11 Update: 5 five pounds.] Five years ago he was truly a fat cat: 22.5 lbs.  He considered himself a Fat Cat, pushing himself around, as he strolled among us, mere humans.  At that time, people seeing him would declare, "Look at the size of that cat!!"   My thoughts were, "I could at least make twenty tamales out of him, if I just could be alone with him, in a back alley."
       He's not mine, but he's attracted to me. His breed is a loyal-to-one-person type of cat. His owner isn't happy with that fact, but, that's life. He jumps up, sort of, and  eventually lays by my side, pressing against me, when he sees me.

       There's something precious about Alex's efforts. When I'm not around, he doesn't move from his perch on his cat-pillow that's topped with an electrically heated blanket. (Did I tell you, he's spoiled?)  Now, he just lays on his side, one paw dangling over the side of his cushion. Alex can't walk much; four or five steps he'll take, then lays on his side. The muscles of his hind legs are giving out; their not nourished.  Nowadays, Mr. Grey is unable to eat. The vet gave him three months to live, last January.  He's not ready to go, yet.

      He gets shots of famotidine and pepcid for indigestion, clindamycin for a cryptococcal fungus infection that has traveled to his nose, making it difficult for Alexander to breathe. He takes baytril for herpes.  Intravenously, twice, daily, for more than two years,  he's received fluids, due to renal failure.

Yet, he's a regal-looking cat that gives looks that can still kill.  Even in his enfeebled condition, Alex still stares down other cats. They slink away, even though they are three times his present weight.   
            It was startling finding out that Russians at one time hunted them, at Archangel Island, their original homeland, near the Arctic Circle.  They were prized for their double insulated, seal-like fur.

          Yet, when I drop by, this Russian Blue rises from his death bed. We have a routine. Slowly, deliberately----with each step, there's the possibility he may fall---he walks towards me. His efforts are labored.  Now, Alex is unsuccessful, when he tries jumping up on the living room couch.  He wants to sit next to me.  His rear legs lack the strength to jump. He ends up stuck on the edge of the couch, his head, two paws and his upper body rests on the seat.

By his bottom, I pull Alex up. He snuggles his sickness-ravaged body against my right thigh. Against me, this pure grey silvery-tipped feline rests his now-boney butt.  It tugs at my heart seeing this cat pouring out his last full measures of affection. His breed, is not vocal. But he certainly communicates that he owns me.  He does---he's won my heart.
3.   I'm thankful for simple pleasures. And, I'm humbled by the connection Alexander the Grey(t) and I share, as well as the kindness he demonstrates towards me.
        For more about the friendship Alexander and I share, please click here.

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Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.