I was awakened this morning with a feeling that someone was staring at me. Someone WAS staring at me— my impatient Pug, “Miles”. I opened my eyes to see Miles sitting on my chest. Apparently, his internal clock knows that it is at least 150 minutes past his usual time to eat breakfast and be let out. See, Miles is counting on me to serve all his needs. Since I was the only person in the house this week, he is dependent solely on me to serve him food and let him out. Ten years ago, waking up to this overweight furry ball on my chest would be, at the very least, an annoying way to start my day. Not to mention the two cats that are crammed under the covers next to me, radiating way too much heat. Times have changed. Today, I found this incident to be amusing and enjoyable.

I was a bit sad the first week after my youngest son left for college in September. A phase of my life had passed, and things would never be the same. The house seemed very quiet. I soon realized the house wasn’t all that quiet. Miles still demanded my attention— I still had to take him for a walk every single day at 5 o’clock. Every time I sat down at the computer to work, my cat, Biscuit was there to demand every bit of my attention— and that cat can be extremely demanding. And then there were the great chases through the house, when both cats and Miles decided it was time to go crazy— up and down the stairs the three of them go, until Miles goes a little too far with the game. Game over. The point is, I realized how much I enjoy these wacky animals.

When life changes, we have choices to make. We can stay sad and stuck, wishing things would be different, or we can move forward and find new ways fill our needs in life; we can find happiness. I realized that these animals helped fulfill some of the nurturing needs I had in my life. I missed my kids needing me, and being a big part of my daily life. Don’t get me wrong; I raised my sons to be independent, self-reliant, confident adults. You don’t get that by hanging on to them— you allow them to grow up. In addition, everyone knows that I have always been my own person in my life. Because of this, I was shocked to see how much my son leaving affected me. I didn’t expect it. I was also shocked to realize how much pleasure and company these little furry things brought to my life. So girlfriends, the point I am attempting to make here is this: our happiness and satisfaction in life is dependent on our ability to adapt successfully to change. If you don’t love animals, fine. Just find a way to replace that need in your life with something positive, and find your inner sass again!

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