Week 40: Husband, Cat, Creativity

This year, I set myself 22 little goals to pursue throughout the year. I call them the 22 in 22. Once a week (or there abouts), I take a few minutes to check my progress on a few of my goals.

#2 Do the heart work necessary for my marriage

I won the grand prize when I married my indulgent husband, a fact which I do not often enough take the time to appreciate.

Starting in September, and for the next 18 months, I will be participating in a series of classes which take place all day on several Saturdays a month, and on Monday evenings. I did not enter into this lightly, because I knew that this would not just impact me: It meant that my indulgent husband’s life would get upturned as well.

Add to that my various time-consuming follies and commitments on weekends and evenings, and I have begun to wonder why he puts up with me at all. But he does.

So. I am in the market to figure out how to show him appreciation in ways that speak his love language, since I’m not sure that speaking my love fluent love languages is getting through to him.

First off, I have found someone who will take our children for an entire Saturday in November, when neither he nor I have anything on the agenda, and I intend to fill that Saturday with 1. An endless vat of coffee and a huge plate of homemade bagels 2. Absolutely nothing else.

#8 Learn strategies to mitigate the dopamine loop re: creative endeavors

Oh lalalala. If you see me on the street with dark circles under my eyes, whispering and laughing to myself with a dopey grin from ear to ear, don’t judge me. It’s not drugs. It’s a creative high.

I’m in the throes of a creative binge right now, in regards to the Wool is Cool project I’m doing at the boys’ elementary school this year. I’ll share all the details with you soon, (I’ve been meaning to write about it, but, you know. Life.)

There have been nights this last week that I can’t get myself off Pinterest, so intent I am in looking for ways real life creative people have used felted wool to make jewelry that actually looks like something I would want to wear.

Why are you doing this to yourself, Lily, you may ask? Because I’ve got 180 kids who will be felting wool with me over the next few months and their moms must end up with something on Mother’s Day that won’t get thrown away the minute their children’s backs are turned.

That’s literally my only goal. I want what they make to be objectively pretty. In part because I am one of those moms being honored with the gift, and I have been on the receiving end of enough pasta jewelry to rival the quantity of the Crown Jewels collection.

And also in part, because I am trying to prove that Wool IS Cool, and that people should be as in love with it as I am, but that it is not a mysterious substance that makes people itchy and scratchy and sneezy and smells funny. (Although on any given day, these things might also be true. More to come on that.)

Just for fun, here is a collection of Pinterest Boards currently keeping me awake at night.

#3 Scoop the kitty litter as an act of love

The reason for this element on our list was that at the beginning of the year, my very very good boy, Thomas the Cat, was suffering from diabetes and was requiring us to do some intense kitty litter work.

Well, here, several months after he has passed on to kitty paradise, I still have one mega-gigantic black seal of a cat. Being an only cat hasn’t changed him as much as I would have liked.

This cat is 13 years old. He has never been friendly. He is not a lap cat. He barely likes to be petted.He sometimes shows up at bedtime, once the light is off and I am under the covers. He sits right next to my pillow, creepily staring at me. He’s black though, so I can’t really see him in the dark. I just feel him. Oh, yes, and I smell him. He has the breath of dragon.

But he’s so soft. If he doesn’t get chased off by the movement, I can sometimes manage to run my hand over his ears and scratch his neck…only in the dark, of course, and he will barely, just barely, start to purr before he scuttles off to cower in the corner, or do whatever black cat magic he is up to in the dark when he finally comes alive.

I don’t know…I guess I thought people had pets to have company, or at least a non-creepy presence when they were alone. Sometimes I feel as if we don’t have one anymore. Except for…kitty litter.

So, all this to say: I live with a creature who poops an awful lot for a shadow. But I need to love him for who he is, too. And I guess maybe that might mean changing my attitude (again) about kitty litter. Cause that’s about as close as I will get to this cat.

Episode 54: Shopping Hiatus Sing With Your Feet

Talking points: Breaking the cycle of shopping addiction; contentment hunting; being a good steward; the Dopamine Loop; finding motivation to stop shopping. A big thank you to Seven Productions here in Mulhouse France for the use of the song La Joie as the intro and outro to the show, as well as Matt Kugler, whose new album Aventura is out now on all the digital music platforms, who sang it and to Claude Ekwe, who wrote it.
  1. Episode 54: Shopping Hiatus
  2. Episode 53: Curbing Our Impulses
  3. Episode 52: What Should I Wear?
  4. Episode 51: Wardrobe Choices
  5. Episode 50: Decluttering Your Closet

Published by Lily Fields

I am passionate about contentment. This is a challenge, because I am equally passionate about progress. I get up at 4:00AM to chip away at a solution to this monolithic problem: how to make progress on my contentment. Born and raised in the USA, I married a French philosophy teacher in 1999. We have lived in France since 2007. We stayed young and carefree until life threw us two curveballs in the form of little humans one after another in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Now I am a slightly older, slightly more exhausted version of myself, but with mystery stains on my walls and a never-ending pile of laundry.

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