Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Mix

This has been the last week before classes start for the semester, so it's been a time to get things done that I probably won't be able to do again until... well, spring break, actually.

I made lotion.  I made mayonnaise.  (More importantly, I didn't confuse the two.)  I made whole-wheat pasta (ravioli and fettuccine), all of which will probably be gone by this time next week.  I actually finished a sweater: I'm dubbing it one of the "War and Peace" series, since I worked on it while reading and reading and reading... War and Peace.

I tried to do a plumbing home-repair, and I botched it.  Or, as I prefer to describe it, the tub faucet needed to be fixed so I really fixed it good.

It's kind of funny because it's the exact opposite of what happened last January.  In January of 2014, a rogue repairman entered my home and botched the job royally, so that I had to fix his work.

This time around, someone will have to fix mine.  It's the Great Cosmic Give-and-and Take, I guess.

Speaking of that, I was happy this week because something happened that enabled me to repair a slightly damaged relationship from the past.  Not to dwell on it, since it's over and done with, but in the past, a situation arose in which I had a major misunderstanding with someone towards whom I had never had any ill-will whatsoever.

Quite frankly, the problems arose because of other people.  "Hell is other people."  Sartre was really onto something there, wasn't he?  It sure does seem that there are a lot of trouble-makers out there sometimes.

The situation happened long ago, and things had righted themselves, so there wasn't really any problem between us anymore, but the nice thing that happened this week is, I had an opportunity to help the person,and I did, and things worked out well for them because of my help.

There's really no better way to let someone know, "Hey, you know that... thing... that happened?  Well, it shouldn't have, and I wish it hadn't."  Actions really do speak louder than words, and I for one am quite sure that, if the person had any lingering doubts about my good intentions and good will, they don't any longer.

And that's cool.  So that made me happy.

The other thing that made me happy was actually a consequence of my botched repair job.  When it first happened, I was bumming.  Seriously.  I had wanted to fix it, I thought I could fix it, I thought I had fixed it at one point (irony of ironies), but then... NO.  Ugh.

So there I was, sitting on the bathroom floor in a state of angry despair, processing the sad truth that I was going to have to call a repairman, when in walks my sweet kitty Juno.

Here's the thing about Juno.  She was abandoned in the summer of 2013 in the vestibule of an animal hospital.  Her previous people put her in a carrier and left her.  (I have to believe they were just at their wits' end and didn't know what else to do, and that they wake up each morning wishing she was still with them.  I just don't know how anyone could not love my Miss Juno.  It just isn't possible.)

At the time that she was abandoned, Juno was pregnant.  Hugely so, in fact-- she gave birth the night that she was found by the rescue shelter.  And then, as always happens, all of her little kittens were quickly adopted, but since she was a little over a year old, she waited and waited.  (People love to adopt kittens: "older" cats--aged one year and up--often wait longer to be adopted.  For no reason: they're quite wonderful.)

Juno was a bit shy (sort of), but then, shy cats are my specialty.  So I adopted her last March, on the first day of Spring.  Which also happened to be International Day of Happiness.  (No, I'm not making that up.) 

The point of the story is, despite all she's been through, Juno never lets the world get her down.  She is just about the most cheerful kitty you'd ever want to meet.  She's willing to make friends with new people, she loves a good meal, she loves to play... she's funny and friendly and happy.  Always.  End of story.

And in the same vein, she doesn't let anyone she loves stay unhappy either.  When she saw that I was bumming, she strolled into the bathroom in her determined little way and began talking and talking and talking until I finally had to laugh.  (When Juno meows, she uses her whole face--I call her my "wide-mouthed Meower."  It actually looks like she's smiling when she meows eagerly at you.)

As I was laughing at Juno, I realized, here's an animal who has every reason to be bitter and mistrustful and skittish and mean, and... she's not.  Not at all.  She's just happy for the good things, and cheerfully expectant that there will maybe be more of them.

And that's how she goes through life.

So on the days when life offers a mix of good and bad, I find that I tend to think of Juno, and that always makes the day seem a little less mixed.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, "Life is short, but there is always time for courtesy."