Rolling with the Punches

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I have a new cat. A kitten, really. Magic is solid black, spunky and most of all, precious but he has an issue with our older, male cat. It is not that Smokey gives one thought about the little black fur ball and if he did, he is so laid back that he would probably just curl up beside him and go to sleep. But Magic thinks Smokey is out to get him and so every single encounter they have had so far, Magic hisses and strikes out at Smokey and Smokey, although a mellow fellow most days, does not take to abuse and will give a good pop back and then walk away. Last week he got Magic across the eye and his little eye is still swollen after five days. Which, of course little Magic has not forgotten and how can he with it still smarting. So instead of thinking that he will avoid Smokey or that even the fact that “I messed with him last time and he got me good, I better leave him alone.” He thinks “oh, he hurt me” never taking into consideration that he was a large part of his getting hurt. How like us. Haven’t you ever thought, oh, so and so hurt me when in retrospect, we set the situation for hurt upon ourselves. I did that to myself just a few days ago.

I was stood up New Year’s Eve. Not stood up in the typical way, the way you are imagining, with me pining for a boy who never shows, but there was a pretty dress involved, the promise of good food, and expected laughter that never happened. My friends abandoned me. They didn’t leave me stranded at a bar, or worse, in jail, no, but they weren’t there when I had expected them to be and I must admit, I am a bit forlorn, hurt, my spirits dashed. They only people who showed up for my 5th annual New Year’s Eve party was the two moms dropping off their daughters to spend the night with Katie. Not one of my friends came, other than the good friend from high school who had come to stay a few days. A few had canceled earlier in the day or week but the rest responded yes to the RSVP and never changed that they weren’t coming. Should have been about 14 adults plus their children total, what looked to be a good turnout. All day that day was spent cleaning and cooking. $250 worth of food (with another $250 on alcohol) basically wasted (but not the booze, I needed that for when no one showed and may keep needing it for a while).

I am trying very hard to be happy in the beginning of this New Year, but because of this incident, I feel like I have been given a bad start to the year. Who gets abandoned by every single friend for a party? Me, that’s who, and more importantly, why did I get abandoned by every single ‘yes’ friend? Because I set myself up for pain, just like little Magic does. He knows Smokey is going to smack him if he bothers him but he does it anyway. I know people are going to disappoint me, but I keep being the soft, yellow-bellied friend who won’t complain about how she’s treated, never saying no, always being there for someone and accepting when no one is there for me. Basically Dawn is a pushover. Time for a change.

Because this year is the year I declutter my life, I begin with the friends. Some people may not be as much of a friend as I always gave them credit for and should be demoted to acquaintances while others just get the boot entirely. Ahhh, liberating. Next, I proclaim that I will not be a pushover, a ‘yes’ ma’am and most of all, I will not depend on my friends, just like I have learned not to depend on any family but my immediate family (and many times I wouldn’t call them very dependable, either). Sad, but a true fact of my life. When I find myself alone, it is not time for a pity party or to go, “oh, whoa is me, no one likes me, everyone hates me…”, its time for me to realize that He (and if you don’t know who He is, grab a copy of the Bible, Torah or Koran, he’s pretty covered in those three) is pushing me towards my greater independence, my greater self. Self reliance, self happiness, self worth. And for that, I must say, my friends taught me a good lesson this time. Mostly because I learned to accept what may happen and roll with the punches and have a good time despite the lack of people needed to make a real party. Funny, rolling with the punches may be my soul’s mantra, it says it often enough. Maybe I should teach it to Magic. He needs some help. I think for now he will learn to approach Smokey not so expectantly, and maybe I will learn the same from him. Just not to expect too much. For my friends’ sake, let’s hope I do.