Just like Tom Petty said….

“The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you see one more card
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part…”

–Tom Petty, “Waiting Is the Hardest Part”

After months of self-doubt, apprehension, extensive (some might call it compulsive) research and driving myself and everybody around me crazy, I recently put the wheels in motion for Something Big. It was the first step in a complicated process, and nothing else can move forward until this step is approved.

I was a nervous wreck as I filled out the online form, second-guessing myself at every field and double-triple-quadruple checking everything. My hand hovered over the “Submit” button for ten minutes before I finally clicked on it. When receipt of the form was quickly acknowledged, I felt the weight of the world fall off my shoulders. I was so happy Something Big was finally in motion that I celebrated with a wild and crazy victory dance.

Now all I had to do was–wait.

I would like to say that waiting doesn’t bother me, that I’m good at letting whatever I’m waiting for simmer on the back burner while I go merrily on with my life. Truth is, I suck at waiting, especially with something like this because (cue theme song from The X-Files)



Yes, the Something Big people acknowledged receiving my form. Their email also said they would contact me if additional information was needed, and what to expect when my form was approved. Conspicuously absent from their email was any indication of a timeline, plus there’s no place to check the approval process on their website. This was guaranteed to set my OCD firing on all cylinders because, c’mon now, this is Something Big, and I have no idea what’s going on!

So for a few days I did my usual totally ineffective routine of repeatedly checking my email, reviewing my copy of the submitted form to be sure I hadn’t screwed anything up and prowling various message boards to see how long other people had to wait for their approvals. I fell into the old trap of thinking I had to put everything else in my life on hold until I got my answer, which brings new meaning to the word “counterproductive” because

  • all that compulsive checking brought me no closer to my perceived goal
  • things that I actually needed to do piled up
  • things I like to do were shoved aside
  • all worrying did was make things worse. (It usually does.)

I don’t know why insisted on making myself as miserable as is humanly possible before reaching for my trusty life skills toolbox, which has all kinds of neat suggestions for situations like this. To name just a few:

  • stepping AWAY from the computer. (That’s a biggie right there.)
  • making a list and actually doing some of those piled-up chores.
  • yoga.
  • watching a new-to-me TV series on Hulu. In this case, it’s “Harlots.” (Don’t judge.)
  • taking a nap.
  • touching base with people I love and talking about what’s going on with them.

Waiting is hard, no doubt about it. But worrying’s not the only option (even though it sure seems like it when I’m stuck in the Obsessional). Whatever the outcome of the crisis du jour, I won’t regret the positive things I chose to do while marking time.

Take care, everybody!

As the crow flies….

“You are in my power…”

Peanut-the-Three-Legged-Wonder-Cat recently decided 4:00 a.m. is the ideal wake-up time. For everybody in the house.

That would be NO.

It’s not like she’s starving. There are always two–count ’em, two–bowls of dry chow available, one on each level of the house for her convenience. (A visible hole in the center of either bowl results in melodrama like you wouldn’t believe). We also give her canned food at breakfast and supper time. If it was just a matter of Judd or me stumbling bleary-eyed down the stairs to dump a can of food into her dish before stumbling back to bed, it wouldn’t be such a big deal. However, once she deems herself sufficiently well-fortified it’s time for Her Ladyship to patrol the parameters of our fenced-in back yard. (Judd refers to this as The Promenade.) Any attempt to skip The Promenade results in non-stop meowing and ostentatious attempts at leading a human to the back door. (“THIS way! THIS way! C’mon, you idiots, it ain’t rocket science!”)

The Promenade requires the company of at least one of us because

  • even with her three-legged status and advanced age, Peanut is a consummate escape artist. Before we let her out for the first time after she recovered from losing a front leg six years ago, Judd meticulously searched the back yard and blocked any conceivable means of escape. Peanut (who could already move surprisingly well) took a quick look around and promptly sprang from the ground to the top of our 6-foot fence and took off down the driveway. On three legs.
  • despite the aforementioned six-foot privacy fence, we sometimes get feline invaders, often of the quarrelsome male variety. Peanut’s a tiny little old lady now (not unlike myself). This makes for an uneven contest, so Judd and I take turns playing bodyguard.
  • Peanut is a good hunter. She not infrequently catches “toys” such as field mice which she would dearly love to bring into the house, and which we would just as dearly love to have reach a ripe old age outside the house.

The Promenade makes the 4:00 wake-up call problematical because (a) the humans are still temporarily comatose at that hour and would like to remain that way for at least another hour or so and (b) it’s still dark outside. The yard’s pretty big, with lots of places for night-critters to skulk about (which I just realized might be part of the attraction.)

This morning I managed to stall The Promenade until a little after 5:00. It was still kind of dark out, so I took a flashlight to check out the far reaches of the yard. Peanut sniffed around the trash and recycle bins to see if any other felines had passed through. (We call it “checking her pee-mail.”)

I was startled by a rustling sound from a nearby tree. When I trained the flashlight towards it a huge flock of crows flew out, flapping their wings and cawing their beaks off. (My neighbors must have been ready to kill me.) Peanut shot to the back door like a bat out of hell (“Let me in! For the love of God, let me IN!”) while I limped along to open the door as fast as my stiff morning knees would allow.

It’s now 10:00. Judd’s mowing the lawn and taking care of various and sundry yard stuff. I’ve been doing household stuff (does it ever end?) and putting the finishing touches on this post. And where, you might ask, is the Alarm Cat while us busy bees are doing our things?

Do I even need to tell you she’s sleeping in MY chair?

Take care, all!