From the magic and movement with Richy Jackson and The Haus dancers to working out and sweating with Richard Simmons, I have committed to reaching beyond my comfort zone this month. Reaching beyond the preconceived limits of what I thought is possible. Before I reach beyond, let me share where I find comfort and relief from the stress and tension of living with lupus. My comfort zone tends to be located wherever my cat is. (At the time, my fur baby is cuddled in a ball by my feet.) I don't think of or see myself as a "cat lady", in fact I grew up as a "dog person" but now when I think of my comfort zone and favorite method of relaxing there is no place I'd rather be than cozying up to and with my tuxedo cat, Rex.
Today's writing prompt for the WEGO Health "Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge" was to share as a parent what do I hope I'm doing right. Well, I am not a parent. Thanks to lupus, I am unable to conceive my own children. Again, thanks to lupus when my husband and I went to explore adoption, we learned that birth moms usually want the adoptive moms to be healthy and wealthy, the ones we met didn't want to give their babies to someone who lives with a chronic illness. Thankfully, the West Los Angeles Animal Shelter isn't so stringent in screening prospective "rescue" families. I am a "cat mom" and I hope that I'm doing it right. Aside from the obvious needs of fresh food and water, I hope that Rex knows how much I love him.
When I am suffering and in pain, Rex will cuddle beside me. When I get up and dance to Lady Gaga's powerful music, Rex will watch me dance. During this month of facing challenges head on, Rex offers his support with his soft purrs. I am lucky to have Rex in my life. He offers his unique form of "cat therapy" by looking up at you with his big eyes and vocalizations. When I need some TLC, my Tender Loving Cat is there. Rex is an amazing "Cat-a-tonic" and he soothes me and ease the pain and tension of being someone who lives with lupus.
I know that circumstances prevent some people from having pets, but if you can. I would suggest that you adopt/rescue a pet from your local animal shelter. Rex is one of the best assets I have in fighting off the helpless, hopeless feeling that can envelope me as a 45 year old woman who will never have anyone call out "Mommy" - I swear sometimes the sound of Rex's meow sounds like he is calling out out "Mom" I know how that must seem... so may be I am a "cat lady" after all.
Time for a treat.