Choosing Optimism Over Fear

“Some day, yeah / We’ll walk in the rays of a beautiful sun
Some day / When the world is much brighter”
Lyrics to “Ooh Child” by Stan Vincent, performed by The Five Stairsteps

I’m starting to feel like myself again.  That crazy dark side has departed, I hope for good, and the crazy had nothing to do with my passion for felines.  The drastic shift we’ve all had to make overnight to adhere to the shelter-in-place orders to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 has been more difficult than I anticipated.  I thought I’d be more resilient to the fear, anxiety and shock experienced worldwide.  And I was, initially.  But the chronic worry of how this pandemic is going to pan out while having minimal interaction with human beings for the past month, and trying to efficiently meet demands of my job while working from home with constant computer disruptions has collectively wreaked havoc on my mental and emotional state. I’ve become extremely edgy, impatient and overly emotional.  The meaning in “We’re in this together” initially suggested to me strength in numbers—we’re not alone, we have each other.  Now this slogan insinuates that we are all suffering together in varying degrees.

Yet, despite my exhausted psyche, I am grateful. I still have a job, I’m healthy and I have my entertaining and loving Bobcat by my side.

My heart hurts for those experiencing truly devastating effects of the pandemic:  those who’ve become seriously ill, folks who’ve lost loved ones, and to those experiencing another kind of distressing loss – that of a business or job, and to business owners barely hanging on wondering how they are going to survive.

After six days of rain, the sun came out.  I walked the neighborhood and bird watched from my patio. I witnessed a mama crow preening her baby.  I’ve seen the barn owl take flight from the king palm tree in the yard twice this week, and I’ve stargazed. Venus has never looked so bright, and Sirius was seriously a gorgeous twinkling shade of blue last night.

Communing with Mother Nature helped to dissolve the negative emotions that assaulted my being—that and an attitude shift.  “Enough.  I need to start sending out positive vibes into the world.  That’s got to help in some way,” I said to Bobcat.  I’ve been talking to him a lot, and to the crows (Good morning, crows, how’s the baby?) Even to my Easter décor (Hello little lamby…whatcha doin’?).  I know, crazy, right?  My Mom told me she’s been talking to bumble bees, so it’s not just me.  I think talking to whomever or whatever is around even if these beings or things can’t talk back is comforting.

Of course, Bobcat speaks to me with his eyes…

When he’s not screaming demands at me.

I’m wishing everyone peace, comfort and good health.

Please let me know how you are doing.  Has anyone else been feeling a little cray cray?  Talking to the birds or inanimate objects?

About CatLadyintheCanyon

Author, passion for animals, Mother Nature, and music.
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29 Responses to Choosing Optimism Over Fear

  1. Karen Key says:

    Thank you, Pam, for your post. It is how I have been feeling, too. Nature is saving me. I’ve been following your posts for a while now, ever since you had an essay printed in the L.A. Affairs page of the L.A. Times a few years ago, which had a link to your blog. I was living in my parents’ house at the time, following my mom’s death, to empty it and put it on the market (this took me over 3 years). I had moved to the Philadelphia area in 1989 and wanted to return with my mom’s two cats after the house sold. Sadly, one cat passed away a little over a year ago, before I returned East, and the other died in March right before lockdown started. I miss them both so much, as I know you miss Lexington. When I was growing up in northeast L.A., Laguna Beach was our favorite beach vacation destination starting in 1974. We always stayed at the Laguna Riviera, so I will always have a place in my heart for Laguna. I love your photos of your cottage – it looks so lovely. And of course Bobcat. I have been talking to my stuffed animals and the houseplants, also the spider who occasionally appears out of some corner. I wish you and all your readers strength, optimism and the courage to go on.

    • Jim Knudsen says:

      Pam, your blog is so true. Your blog should be in various print media.

    • Good morning, Karen. I’m so touched that you have been following my stories all these years. I do recall your situation with your mom. I’m SO sorry bout the passing of your kitties, and one just before pandemic. My goodness. I still talk to Lexington. I believe he can hear me. I know his spirit lives on. I’m sending you a big hug! Thank you for sharing your feelings and that you, too are talking to plants…even a spider! I find it so comforting. Where are you still now living in California or still back east?

      • Karen Key says:

        Thank you, Pam. I returned to Pennsylvania last May, and am in the middle of moving to a different apartment. I hope once I’m more settled to adopt another cat. My new apartment was vacated by someone who moved out of the country, so she left her plants behind. I’ve been so glad to have their company. I talk to the cats who have passed, too. They are always in my heart. I send you a hug back!

      • Karen, I look forward to the day you are able to bring a new kitty into your life. 🙂 In the meantime, how nice that the apartment came with plants and I always find comfort in talking to my kitties in spirit; glad you do too!

        Thank you so much for your support.

  2. Barbara Kaye-May says:

    Good to see you rallying beyond the gloom of Covid 19 – it’s getting to all of us at times. Crazy weather sure didn’t help and here we have the heat again. I love your description of your very natural surroundings and the creatures that come in and out of it. Hoping we can do another in the yard with social distancing happy hour again soon. Love, Mom

  3. Herman says:

    Bobcat looks so cute and adorable, what a beautiful cat!

  4. Catwoods says:

    I can certainly relate Pam, these are really tough times to get through. I’ve always talked to any cat around, and sometimes those at the Rainbow Bridge. And, other critters when encountered. I hope you and everyone else continue to find ways to cope with the isolation and stressful circumstances we are all facing now.

    • Leah, thank you! I’m glad to share the same sentiments as you and believe the more we are connected to animals, it is very natural to talk to them. I hope you, your hubby and Franklin are hanging-in-there.

  5. trishmorse1 says:

    Very good blog Pamela!
    We are all in this together! We got to stay positive & fight the fight of being
    depressed over this pandemic! Your words are very positive, heartwarming
    & comforting! Yes, I talk to the hummingbirds & of course Molly the Dolly Doodle!
    Love ya sista!

    • Trish! Thank you for your support and I’m so happy that your take-away from my story was positivity! Don’t you just love talking to the animals? We are all becoming Dr. Dolittle. xoxo

  6. Charles Huss says:

    I certainly understand why people would be stressed these days. Everything is so different and weird. I lost a part-time job but I am still doing my normal work, most of which is from home so I am lucky like you are.

    My wife injured her foot a month ago and has been afraid to go to the doctor. In the meantime, she can’t walk and is sometimes in so much pain that she can’t sleep. I think that causes me more stress than anything.

    As far as this virus goes, I worry very little for my own wellbeing because I am confident that my immune system can handle it but I certainly don’t want to give it to my wife. She has enough problems.

  7. catladymac says:

    The cats are definitely keeping me as sane as I get.

  8. Marilyn Evans says:

    Love this and feel the same. This is not good for our physical or mental heath! Thank you for expressing it so beautifully. Love the pictures of your little love bug.

  9. Suzanne O'Rourke says:

    Thanks Pam, your positive and upbeat vibes are happily received and returned 10 fold to you and Bobcat. HUGS, Suzanne

  10. I think a lot of people can relate to your post! I am so thankful that my husband and I have not been affected economically (at least so far) with this pandemic. I can’t imagine how scary it would be (besides the actual virus) to not have income or be able to put food on the table – and all the unknown that comes with that. We’ve been very good about staying home except for neighborhood walks. I’m also thankful that we live in an area that has so many places delivering household items and groceries so we CAN stay home. While I am always thankful for what we have, it’s times like this that really make you realize how truly fortunate we are. Hang in there!

    • Thank you! I was hoping that my experience would be relatable. I’m feeling so much better now that the sun is out and I can garden, take my long power walks and commune with nature. Kiss your clowder for me, especially that handsome Harley…

    • P.S. I’m so happy you and your husband are financial sound and overall it sounds like you are doing well! I’m always thankful too, but now extra thankful for the simple things in life.


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