All my friends and family know how much I love my cat. I see the amusement on their faces as I am reduced to a complete slave of my four pawed infant.
But what they do also know is that she is my ultimate stress buster! These days the first word on the diagnostic chart of most doctors is this all pervading malady labelled "stress". I was a bit perplexed by this for a while till common sense helped me assimilate the true meaning of this "condition", and led me to realise that the prevention lies in comprehending our levels of endurance by knowing how much we can stretch our capabilities. In defining this with clarity for ourselves we in fact make our lives less complicated, and most importantly, less vulnerable to dependencies of the kind that reduce our freedom and impinge upon our desire of independence.
For me my "fur-fix" transports me to a space that is emotionally calming and which suspends the invasion of all else temporarily, allowing me through such an intervention to defuse my anxieties, and bring back a balance of focus so that my responses are tempered through deliberation.
I love the demands of my work and the large "family" that I have by choice, and want nothing to change from those maps. What I do want is to be more conscious of what the mechanics of my internal systems need, and to keep this on my radar screen as I grow older.
Recently, two friends have had untimely deaths. One suffered a brain hemorrhage and the other a fatal heart attack. Take time each day, even a few minutes if nothing else, and recharge your energies with something that allows you that personal "zen " moment. You really do need it.