Perception is reality

silly cat picI envy Mozart.

I would love for my biggest problem of the day to be “How do I get this cat toy off my head?”

But then, Mozart doesn’t see this as a problem.

He’s the only cat that wears protective gear before commencing in any sort of feline sporting event. Mozart is at an advantage if he’s boxing our largest feline Bailey, because cats don’t know how to stick a jab. When Michelle catches him trying to headbutt the other cats he always looks up at her as if he’s attempting to get that thing off his head. He’s living proof that humans aren’t the only ones with an active imagination.

It’s interesting how our perception of events affects our reaction to them. Our days are spent interacting with the world around us, judging that input based on our own belief system, viewpoints that may or may not change based on our frame of reference.

I’m very good at facing economic & educational tasks, but lately I’ve been sucking on the relationship front. Last week blew up as my birthday passed with barely a whisper (amongst other things) and I partly blamed Michelle.

This is not the forum to list the sordid details of events, but I will say that our issues have been due in part to our own perceptions of the relationship as of late. Let me say that even the best communication can break down when you factor in long work/school hours, financial stress and any other number of factors. This only leads to endless rounds of conversation on the same topics breeding contempt as “We’ve already discussed this before and YOU aren’t doing enough”.

Have you ever encountered a problem that you just couldn’t solve only to have somebody else point out an obvious solution? Programmers call it being “code blind”. Like a Monet painting, sometimes you have to step back to get a better view of things. Until recently, I didn’t know I needed to do the same thing with my relationship.

The epiphany came over the weekend when Michelle & I witnessed some friends having a similar argument. Neither of us wants to call it quits, but we both agreed that conversations aren’t productive when we’re both pissed. My mood this morning is hopeful.

Last week I had this cat toy stuck on my head. I didn’t realize I could pretend it was a space helmet.

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  • moxie March 31, 2003   Reply →

    How long did it take him to figure out? My cats have that kind of thing solved before I can even take a picture!! Smart little beggars 😉

  • A.J. Wood March 31, 2003   Reply →

    He enjoys wearing that thing on his head. There was a toy mouse suspended inside the ball and he put his head in there to get at it.

    Now the mouse is gone and he puts it on whenever he feels the need to be silly.

  • Katie April 3, 2003   Reply →

    OMFG. This is the funniest thing I have seen in a long time. I was laughing for way too long–so long I have been prevented from doing more constructive things… and it’s all your fault! =)

    On a more serious note: I know this is typical to say and I also know it is not going to make you feel any better at the moment, but I think this sort of relationship trouble is common. It is way too easy to point the finger at someone else (ask Macy, he’ll attest to my habits).

    You do have it right, though. Stepping back and looking at things from a distance can help. I think what helps me the most is putting myself in the other person’s shoes–it really does make you understand both sides of the argument better. Yell at yourself for all of the things you think Michelle wants to yell at you for instead of applauding yourself for what you think she should applaud you for and you’ll see that you are a really big asshole sometimes (I know I have come to this realization more times than I care to admit).

    But the key is for her to do the same. It often works out that doing so sheds sympathy on everything and allows for healing (even if healing sounds new-age and shitty).

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