The Cat, The Turkey Neck, & A Change In My Direction

Alfie, is a neighbor’s cat who comes over almost daily to have his ears scratched and to see what food he can scrounge. At Christmas he found his way up to the temporary bird table John built to feed the birds over the winter after an older one fell apart.

It always amazes me what John thinks the birds will enjoy and I’m surprised to see them eat things at times that I thought they would never go for. Take for instance, the cooked turkey neck hanging in the top right of the photograph.

The birds would not touch it, but Alfie … he seemed to really want it!

I photographed him through the sliding glass door while standing behind the Christmas tree thinking I might see him leap into action.

He came back for several days. He’d leap up three feet onto the bird table and then he stare at at the turkey neck and look around like he was thinking about the best way to reach it.

I really wanted him to take a chance and go after it, but he never did. I waited, hiding behind the tree with my camera hoping to see him jump to get it or climb up and reach down from the boards above, but he always seemed a bit unsure and afterwards I labeled his hesitation and lack of follow through as a failure.

After a few days, John took the turkey neck down and threw it out.

Seeing these photos made me consider a big decision I made the other day. It was something I had thought about for a while, but just could not move forward for a number of reasons. I was kind of like Alfie, part way there but not all the way and I had to wonder what was holding me back.

My biggest obstacle was me and my sometimes screwy way of thinking that things can only be seen one of two ways such as good or bad, black or white, and almost always, as a success or failure. This kind of thinking leaves no room for changing your mind or choosing another path which is clearly what I have needed to do for a while.

Choosing ‘Daily’ as my word for 2012 felt big when I did it and loaded with practicality. I did not imagine it would help me make such a big decision so soon, but when I used the daily five to break it down, the answer was simple and instead of angst, I felt relief.

I need a day or two to get a photograph together and I’ll be happy to share this change in direction with you then.

One Word With Mixed Meaning For 2012: My Daily Five

For the last few years I have chosen a word at the beginning of January designed to keep me honest and on track with my goals. I’m honest by nature so that wasn’t very challenging on it’s own and when it comes to accomplishing certain goals, I’m not sure they worked as well as I’d hoped.

So I’ve decided for 2012 that I need to get more specific and slightly boring about it.

I need a workhorse of a word to slog through the details that I hate. I need a better plan, one with more details and end dates otherwise I drift a bit too much in whatever direction I want to go for the day. Too many projects and nothing gets completed so I need a way to break it down.

Being naturally tangential can be great for ‘big picture’ people like me, but bad if you don’t have a team to share the detail work with. It’s all up to me what happens this year and I’d like to get a few more things done.

There’s nothing glamorous about this year’s word. It’s fairly boring like brushing your teeth or paying your bills on time … two areas that can’t be neglected without some obvious consequences.

The word I’ve chosen for 2012 is : DAILY – occurring, made, or acted upon every day

Because I tend to use mnemonic devices to remember things, I thought of a way to make my word ‘Daily’ even more useful to me. By breaking it down into the five letters that make up the word, I can assign a letter to each digit on my hand.

Here’s an example of why I need a little more help staying focused. When I looked at my hands and counted out D-A-I-L-Y, I was reminded of how rough my hands look most days. Due to loads of hand washing, (I’m germ conscious, but not obsessed) and not enough hand lotion use, I’ve always thought that my age was more obvious on the backs of my hands than on my face.

That belief may be changing soon as my face seems to be catching up, but I’m okay with that. I’ve got more important things to focus on than worrying about getting older, something that I’ve considered a privilege since my early 30s and even more so now as I see more people my age and younger dying too soon.

See what I mean about my tangential thinking needing help to focused … I started with a simple task assignment beginning with my thumb and the letter D and the next thing you know, my mind has moved on to aging and early death. That’s how it happens for me, one minute I’m here and the next I’m on to something else.

Which leads me to the DAILY five.

Here’s the short version.

D – Diet: My daily diet needs to be better, less sugar and more fruit & veg.

A – Appreciate: This one’s not usually an issue for me, but I want to be sure others in my
life feel it by being less distracted when I’m with them.

I – Imagine: I want to keep dreaming the big dreams. I love living with possibility.

L – Listen:  I have got to get better with this. I still talk way too much sometimes.

Y – Yield: The return on my investment of time, energy, and emotion, and is it worth it?

I’m keeping it simple to stay focused and hopefully it will be as easy as a DAILY wave of my hand.

How about you … any words or links to words of your own for 2012?