Dealing with anticipation

I remember learning somewhere — high school? university? a book? a matchbook cover? — that “stress” is a normal and important part of life. We have a problem with stress only when we let it become “distress.”

Here in the Greater Daglan Area, we are pretty good about dealing with stress. For one thing, we don’t have much of it.

For another, there are lots of positive aspects of life upon which we can focus. Anyway, failing all else, we can simply relax and let it roll off our backs. Let me give you a case in point, dealing with a real-life stress for me, and using our female cat Amélie as a model for proper relaxation techniques.

The stress  I’m dealing with is one of anticipation, and it faces me almost every morning. Typically, I have a small bowl of Greek yoghurt with some bran cereal for breakfast (one reason that I can consume such substantial lunches). And there, staring me in the face each morning, is this:


Soon! A new look!

Even if you don’t understand much French, you can probably figure out that the cereal maker is warning us that a new packaging design is coming soon. But when is “soon”? What will the new design look like? Will we be able to find the cereal on the supermarket shelves? Obviously, this is a stress of anticipation, with lots of unanswered questions. So, to see how to cope with this, we now turn to Amélie. Here she is, settled on the carpet in front of a cozy fire, beginning to de-stress:

Cat sitting up

She nestles into place, before the fire.

However, sitting up so properly can be quite tiring. So she obviously decides that it would make more sense to let loose, and allow her muscles to relax further. Like this:


She takes some of the stress off her muscles, by reclining a bit.

Having gone this far, Amélie wisely decides to go for a flat-out relaxation posture, removing any hint of stress. Like this:

Fully relaxed

She is now in full-relaxation mode.

Looks pretty comfortable. I might even try that posture myself this afternoon, and force myself to stop wondering how the new cereal box will look. But first, I think I’ll enjoy lunch. We’re having roast quail.


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5 Responses to Dealing with anticipation

  1. Paul says:

    Cats certainly know how and when to relax, we could all learn a lot from Amélie.

  2. Lesley says:

    We love the way our dog’s tail is the last thing to relax when he lays on his back. It sort of gently flumps down. Amelie looks as if she has just got the cream or a bit of quail.

  3. loren24250 says:

    You’re right, Lesley — but in fact Amélie is more of a seafood lover. In fact, my wife Jan points out that Amélie’s tastes run to the more expensive kinds of seafood. For example, lobster rather than shrimp!

  4. John Ison says:

    And cats stay fit too. They invented isometric exercises. Clever beasts.

  5. loren24250 says:

    John, you’re right on. Although I think their most clever development was when cats learned how to train humans to feed and care for them, for not much in return.

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