My cat, Lilac, is set in her ways. Lilac has the same routine every day; breakfast, follow the sun and lounges, stare out the slider to protect her territory, then dinner. Although this routine fluctuates slightly she is in her comfort zone. If the zone is disturbed she is not happy and lets me know about it in no uncertain terms. She becomes cranky, upset, and aloof with an attitude! She may lash out at whoever is around and it takes lots of time adjusting. This behavior certainly mimic’s how people may react when things change in their lives.
So do cats imitate us or do we imitate cats? Hmm, no easy answer!
We all have routines and comfort zones. They are usually similar to the people we live, work, or hang out with on a regular basis. For example; every Monday evening I go out with friends for ½ price pizza, every Saturday I sit in the same pew at church, and every week I watch the same TV shows. When something or someone changes things it doesn’t feel right, but we easily adjust without drama or attitude.
However, the older we get the harder it is to cope and accept changes in our life. This discussion comes up when a client’s family tell me that their parent is acting strange, not their usual calm, compliant self. The parent is upset, angry, emotional, and just nasty. The family doesn’t understand why this is happening. What they are proposing or making is meant to make life easier and happier for everyone. Yet their parent is acting out like a teenager!
So back to my questions of who is imitating whom, I believe the answer is a little bit of both!
It is a natural instinct to resist change in our lives, especially when it feels we are losing control. When we are being treated like children or a cat we will cop an attitude. We will resist and try to make changes to the change. It is natural whether we are a senior citizen or a cat. No one likes to lose control over lives. Especially after years of having control of what, how, and when we do things, it is a difficult pill to swallow taking orders (even given with best of intentions) from others. So it is not surprising that we might act out with attitude or like my cat, Lilac, try to find a way that is less objectionable.
A little passive aggressive attitude toward change is used by every one of Gods creations to achieve desired results. Once we accept that changes are difficult for everyone, we can begin to understand and try to overcome the attitudes and behaviors while working to accommodate everyone involved.
“God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it’s me.” ~Author Unknown