Monday, March 25, 2024

How To Make A Plan For Your Future

 While living in the present moment is really important for your happiness, it is equally as important to make a plan for your future. Making a plan for your future will enable you to take steps and reach goals and dreams that you have for yourself. Many people will make the mistake of thinking about their dreams and how they wish their life to unfold, but not take any action towards reaching them. This means that many people get older and live with regrets. It also results in not having the career you wished for, and reaching retirement without any plans or finances in place for yourself. 

To prevent this from happening, you can take steps to prepare yourself. When you make a plan, you will live with more clarity and happiness, and you can rest knowing that your life will unfold the way you want it to. Of course, you can update your goals and plans at any point in your life, but it is a great way to get thinking about what you want so you don’t miss out on any opportunities, it will keep you motivated and moving forward, help you to have more control over your life, and you can live and retire with peace. A plan is also extremely helpful in helping you to think ahead with your finances so you are able to do the things that you want to do. Here are some steps to help you get started.

Think about your goals

The first and most important thing that you need to do, is to think about your goals. This might take some time. There might be some goals that you know you want to achieve in life, but there may also be some that you need to think about and discover. Make sure you think about all kinds of goals. There are going to be serious ones you must think about, like your finances, your investments, your career, whether you want to get married and have children, etc. Some of these serious goals may also include your retirement, your wills, and what happens after your passing. You can find helpful information online to help you craft goals and plans at and other sites online.  You also want to include some fun goals in there, like adventures that you want to go on. 

Think about what steps you need to take to get there

The next part of the plan making process is to think about what steps you need to get there. Be realistic and consider the small actions, as well as the big ones you need to achieve your goals. SMART goal setting is a good framework to follow, as it will ensure your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timebound. 

Think about how you can finance it 

Make sure you consider your finances when planning your goals. There is nothing worse than wanting to achieve your goals but not having the means to do it. A plan will help you pull all this together. Think about the costs related to your goals, and how you can save towards being in a position to make it happen. 

Write it out 

The last step you should take when it comes to making a plan, is writing it out. This makes it more permanent and holds you accountable. When you write it down, you will also be able to remind yourself what you need to do to get to your goals. Make a tracker, schedule reviews and reminders, and make sure you go after those goals. 

Making a plan for your future is a great way to ensure you can look back at your life and accomplish everything you wanted to. 

Sunday, March 17, 2024

One Down, Eight To Go

 A little over a year ago, I experienced a devastating loss in my life and really did not think I would be able to overcome it. I thought about it day and night, night and day, and it sometimes overwhelmed me so much I didn't think I would be able to breathe. I worked very hard on not completely losing it, although I don't think I did as well as I could but I tried

One night as I was wailing to The Void as per usual, it sent me a creature of the night right to my window. He was scruffy, had a goopy eye, and was sneezing long snot ropes all over the place but he was starving for love more than I was at the moment and I completely and totally melted.

Hello, Laaadieeesss...

I had a little bit of eye ointment left over from my other cat, Pete, so I was able to get the goopiness out of his eye a bit but by morning he was doing so poorly that we had to rush him to the emergency vet. He had crawled underneath a bed in the guest room and it looked like he had picked his final place to sleep forever. He was drooling and feverish and I was terrified that this cat I hadn't even given a name to yet was absolutely going to pass away in my house. 

We got him to the vet and they stabilized him. He needed a lot of fluids and had infection in his entire head and lungs. We were given a lot of medicines to give him and made an appointment with our regular vet to find out just what exactly was wrong with him because it was definitely more than just a cat cold with infection. 

It is hard enough to try to get medicine in a cat that knows you, ask me how hard it is to get medicine into a cat that doesn't know you. THAT was fun (no, it was not). 

This is the face of rage.

We eventually found out that the cause of the infection was he had an oronasal fistula that needed to be repaired and had to have almost all of his teeth removed. It was going to be (and was) a very expensive surgery but I will thank Banfield at Petsmart until the end of my days because with their Wellness Program, we were able to cut the cost of his surgery down from $2,800 to $1,300! No, this is not a sponsored post for Banfield, like I said, I am just thankful that they were able to work with us and get the cost down so I could actually give him all the help he desperately needed.  He had to take some pretty heavy duty antibiotics for a month and gain quite a bit of weight to prepare for that surgery, but after about a week he got used to the routine (and I discovered Pill Pockets!) and took the medicine and gained all of the weight and then some and had his surgery. He actually does have all of 4 teeth left after the surgery and has not had any trouble in the health area since.

That first week was probably the scariest for me because I just wasn't sure if he would pull through. I kept him in my bedroom away from my other cat (who was weirdly overjoyed to have another cat in the house which I did not expect at all) and dog and just spent all of the time I could with him. He was grumpy and hissy and bitey but thankfully realized that I was trying to help him. Once he got to the point that he was up and alert, I slowly introduced him to the rest of the house and everyone in it. He settled in and to my surprise, did not even try to go back outside at all. I did not realize at the time that it was only the beginning of an entire year and then some of saving both of our lives. I was so focused on trying to save this cat that I didn't have time to wallow in that dark depression hole I like to crawl into and hide when terrible things happen. I had a goal, a mission if you will, and I was determined to save a life after losing another.

Mission Accomplished

However, it seemed that getting him physically healthy was just the beginning. The vet was able to determine his age as only 8 months old at the time and in just those short eight months, he had been through incredible trauma. I had seen him around the neighborhood around August and had assumed it was someone's outside cat. I did not realize until he showed up at my window in February that he actually was either abandoned or feral. I live in a college town and people come and go in my neighborhood constantly so while I don't like to guess, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out where he came from. He was fixed already so clearly he had been someone's cat at one point so what happened? If I tried to tell you all of the theories that I ran through in my brain about his origin, we would be here all year. Shortly after he was physically well, though, I started to realize that my work was only halfway done. He got overstimulated very easily and would lash out. One minute he would be loving and want your attention and the next he would be growling and trying to bite me or my husband with his whole 4 teeth. When I say bite, I mean, viciously bite and scratch us and leave scars. We made a little place on a cat tower that we called the "spicy spot" that we would put him when we had trouble calming him down and got him some toys to bite on and would let him expend that energy in a better way than trying to murder us. 

This fish has been murdered one million times

I was at a loss as I knew very little about helping a cat like Huxley, but again, I was determined to help him, anyway. I read every book, scoured the internet, and talked with the vet on what I could do. I was able to find a lot of helpful information and start putting it to work. I found that so far I had been dealing with it pretty well by removing him from the overstimulation and being patient. I also learned all about what trauma can do to a cat and it opened my mind to new ways of dealing with my own trauma that I had encountered in my past. Slowly but surely, I think we both got better. He still has his moments, so do I when it comes to trauma, but learning all of the different ways to help really put into perspective how important it is to recognize trauma so you can heal trauma. Also, much patience.

I thought I had worked through a lot of things in my life, but helping him made me realize that while you can get better after trauma, it never really goes away. You will carry those wounds and they show up in surprising ways, sometimes when you least expect it. What it made me realize the most, though, is that if you can stay committed to healing, you will be rewarded with the calm life you always wanted and needed...with quite a few treats here and there!

Huxley The Void 

I like to tell people that he won the cat lottery by showing up at our retired, empty nester house window but most days, I think we all won in our own way. 

Bonus photo of my other cat Sweet Pete just because