Dog or Cat?



I wish this were an informal poll, soliciting advice on whether to get a cat or a dog, but I'm actually heading in a completely different direction, here. Bear with me...you may learn something about yourself.


A few years ago, I stumbled across an interesting animal behavior article comparing cats to dogs. One of the comparisons was how each animal reacted to stress. It was proposed that cats are "into pressure" animals, while dogs are "away from pressure." Here's a practical illustration. If you place your palm sideways up against a standing dog, they will likely move away from the pressure of your palm. Do the same to a cat, and they generally lean into your hand. I'd venture to take that one step further and say that humans can have the same responses to stress. We either move away from it (like a dog), or lean into it (like a cat).


Take, for example, your response to Covid-19. As news of this pandemic began to spread and rapidly change your life, did you lean in? Did you load up on staples (toilet paper?), makes lists, set a schedule for your now-at-home kids? Or, did you continue making regular purchases, allow schedules to be flexible, and make small adjustments as they became necessary? Cat versus Dog.


As a home organizer, I'm usually contacted by a client when they have reached "critical mass." Their home is out of control, schedules are nonexistent, and anxiety is affecting them and/or their family members. They may have chosen to react to this building stress by allowing piles to grow, bills to be overdue, and storage rooms to become Jenga puzzles, and they are so immobilized by their lack of action that they need help. Other clients I have worked with have attacked their organizational challenges by buying multiple self-help books or guaranteed-to-work storage systems. They have tried EVERYTHING, and nothing has worked. Dog versus Cat.


Reflect back on the last four months. How have you responded to our drastically changing world? Have you leaned in, or moved away? How has this worked for you? As things continue to change, while stores open, activities are starting, and restrictions are lowered, how can YOU move forward most effectively? Is there a part of your life where you need to "lean in" more, as in managing your paperwork, or maybe move "away from," like overscheduling yourself? What has the pandemic taught you about yourself, and how can you use this knowledge to live more fully?


Do you need help navigating your home? If so, give me a call. I'm here to help.


In the meantime, we're making adjustments ourselves.


Meet Pickles. I'm a cat person, in more ways than one.