Another Hard Loss and Using The Tools of Resilience When Life Happens

A reminder that all the reflection, self-care, and intentional time management are in service of building resilience.

Another Hard Loss and Using The Tools of Resilience When Life Happens
Penny enjoying a sunbeam, probably right before she attacked that fish.

I had a different article planned for this week but things changed.

I decided I wanted to write about when life happens and suddenly all your reserves are tested. It’s what all of the writing and approaches I share about intentional time management and self-care are meant to prepare you for.

Because life will happen. Sometimes it is a minor thing that makes your day go sideways and all your careful plans get thrown out. Other times it is bigger and disrupts the rhythms of your life permanently.

This week mine was the latter. We had to suddenly and unexpectedly put down our cat, Penny. It was shocking and awful. She was 13, and though into her senior years, I thought we would still have more time together.

For my longtime readers and friends, you know I am a cat lady. My husband and I have had a cat in our home since we were 22. Our other senior cat, Toby, passed away just under 6 months ago after 15 years. His loss feels barely scabbed over, only to have another wound added. The house feels empty and it’s strange to see scratch posts, beds, and cat toys scattered all over the place with no kitty to use them.

We called Penny my shadow. She followed me from room to room each day, an often not-so-quiet presence. My husband and I often joked that the only creature in this world who might love me more than him was Penny. I keep expecting to see her little face pop around a corner only she’s not here anymore and damn does it hurt.

For the animal people out there, you will understand.

Though not unfamiliar, I have the strange feeling of the world continuing on when a part of mine has stopped. You might know the feeling of wanting to press pause on the day-to-day because you need some time to catch your breath and hold on for balance. But that’s not how things work.

Time keeps ticking and you have to keep going through some of the motions…but hopefully not all. Hopefully, you can take a bit of time and space like I am trying to do.

I started the morning thinking through the things I had to do today. Truthfully (and fortunately), there are few things that can’t wait. I have been mostly taking a minimum viable day, trying to practise what I preach. There are things that still need to be done this week, but not today.

I am writing this because it is how I process. So here I am. Sitting at my writing desk with the sun coming through, missing my Penny who would normally be here with me, purring on my lap.

I suppose I am sharing this because you have all likely had experiences of loss or hardship that rocked you. Some will have been more devastating than others, but when they hit, the shockwaves still move through you and the normal routines of your life.

This post is a reminder that all the reflection, all the self-care work, and all the intentional time management are in service of giving you the resilience to weather those shockwaves. They help you stay on your feet or at least allow you to get up again when you are ready.

My life will go on, and I will get up again. Just not today.