Life’s train wrecks – the people you love or your career – are brutally painful, but they can cause a change in direction, one that you never dreamed of.
This past Monday, Paws for Reflection reviewed Gwen Cooper’s Love Saves the Day. Life’s train wrecks in that story were healed by the love of a cat. In Gwen’s Homer’s Odyssey, A Fearless Feline Tale, she tells how the loss of her job in marketing took her into a whole new realm, writing books. In Love Saves the Day, she tells of a fictional figure finding a whole new meaning in his career when he loses his job as a public relations manager for a big-time magazine.
These happenings are all too familiar in today’s world. Gone are the days when we could jump on board with one company, or one career for that matter. We transfer our skills that we gather up along the way to someplace or something else.
While Paws’ mom has always thought about writing some sort of book, she never dreamed of being a cat blogger. As a matter of fact, until about ten years ago, she’d never even heard of blogging, probably because it did not exist. She never dreamed she’d attend a Cat Writer’s Association conference and meet other cat writers. She never dreamed she’d be connecting with people across the country and world about cats.
In Homer’s Odyssey, A Fearless Feline Tale, Gwen asks herself, why can’t she write an award-winning book. She did. It took the time, patience and determination to do it. She had no idea how much those words might resonate with others. She had no idea how that statement might make readers start thinking – maybe I could do something different. Maybe the loss of this job just isn’t such a bad thing. Maybe a seismic shift in career path is a blessing, not a curse.
The old saying, let’s turn lemons into lemonade, is so very true in today’s world. The loss of a job, or of a relationship, can take us in unfathomable directions. Doors close. New ones open. It just takes time. Sometimes the doors that open aren’t the ones we want to open, but they can lead to new doors, and new directions, and new opportunities.
Paws mom has been working the last few years as a reporter at a newspaper, something she hadn’t done for over a decade. However, her writing skills were sharpened. The loss of her mom into the fog of Alzheimer’s has been softened by writing humorous journeys down memory lane for Catster.com.
If she hadn’t been at that newspaper, she would not have written an award-winning series about problems caused by cat overpopulation. Had she not won the award, she would not have gone to the Cat Writer’s Association Conference in White Plains, NY, over a year ago, and met many other cat writers. It was from that conference that she decided to start blogging about cats. With social media, blogging has connected her to a whole new world of cat people.
If she had not been tied up with the horrific, all-absorbing deal of relocating her mom from assisted living to a skilled nursing facility in May, she would have helped her neighbor trap the two feral cats. One was pregnant. The ensuring conversation lead her to photograph the baby kitty weekly, perhaps the subject of an upcoming picture book. The kitty, Lenny, now shares her home and is the subject of many blog posts.
A neighbor that moved five years ago resulted in bringing her Siamese Linus and his litter-mate Tubby into her life. Seeing those two kitties play together was downright entertaining. It made her realize the intrinsic value of having cats in your life. They are a lot more than companions. They become your family.
Sometimes, it’s good to reflect and think about where we’ve come. It was 20 years ago in March that her significant other died from lung cancer. That led to a number of grief-stricken years with a lot of anger. It led to a total change in career direction. That road has taken many twists and turns since then.
Letting go is one of the hardest things we learn. There’s no sense in clinging to things that are gone, whether it be relationships or jobs. Take the good with you. Make it a part of you. And throw away the rest.
Gwen Cooper’s career changes have led her to become an acclaimed author. Her newest, Love Saves The Day, will send her into new uncharted territories.
Maybe it is age or experience, but Paws mom has found a lot more peace in life. She enjoys her feline friends who are just Laugh Out Loud funny. She, now, looks forward to new adventures and new opportunities. Blogging and Paws for Reflection will be part of that journey.
Have you had any life altering experiences that have sent you going in a totally different direction. And did any of those experience involve your cats or your pets? If so, please share. And don’t forget to subscribe to Paws for Reflection and like our cats page on Facebook to be eligible to win a copy of Gwen Cooper’s Love Saves the Day.