Happiness is a Goal

You know those times in your life when things seem overwhelming so you gear yourself up and say, “The only way through it is to do it”? Yeah, I’m in one of those, have been for awhile, but I was doing things because I had to not because I wanted to. The slog. And then something appeared on the horizon that I decided I wanted. And suddenly everything I was wading through became Things To Get Done Because I Want That Goal. Which is an ENTIRELY different thing. A goal is a good thing; a goal with a brand new future waiting behind it is an excellent thing. My advice? Get yourself a goal.

How did you aim for happiness this week?

151 thoughts on “Happiness is a Goal

  1. I sort of set a goal. I’d like to be completely unpacked and able to find everything by the end of March. Eldest Grandson assembled my second pantry which allowed unpacking spices and stowing snacks, and then there was the health and beauty crap. (I may have overstocked on Band-Aids and sports wraps and bottles of alcohol, with hazel, and peroxide. I used to have twelve medicine cabinets, you see.

    I still have electronics to unpack, and clothes, and tools. It’s a goal. I’ll get unpacked and that’ll make me happy… er.

  2. For nearly 6 months now, I have been doing some light resistance exercising four times a week. It started when I enrolled for a sports study at my University. I was in the control group so I only got to do 3 months of online exercise classes but after those 3 months, I felt already so much better that I got myself a year’s subscription to the online classes and I started doing the programme all over again.

    I haven’t lost weight but it has been redistributed much better on my body and I can move so much more freely and easily, but what I love the most about doing this is how much calmer and happier I feel.

    So to be happy, I am prepared to watch some impossibly fit young women contort themselves on a screen while flailing about trying to imitate them.
    I just wish I had started earlier.

    1. If the classes are widely available (i.e., beyond just the university), could you share the link? Sounds great! Glad you’ve been seeing results you’re happy with!

      1. It’s an American company called P.volve which is funding the study. There’s equipment you have to buy on top of the subscription but you can try classes out on youtube and there’s a one week try out for free period.
        Without the study, I don’t think I would have persevered. Some of the moves are pretty ridiculous really and there is something called a « pball » which is the most ridiculous piece of equipment ever.
        The one thing I really enjoy is the progressive weight training classes. I feel badass when I do the biceps curl even though the weights are really quite small 😀

    2. I took up weightlifting a few years ago and it makes a world of difference. I sleep better, have more energy, less back pain, feel calmer, etc. It just helps everything.

      1. I took it up just before the end of last year, with a gym called Kieser, which combines very specific weight machines with physiotherapists. No mirrors, no muscle shirts, no loud music. It’s done wonders for my back and my posture, and I’m actually getting some leg muscles, which is pretty much a first.

  3. Can I get a goal when I get back from vacation though? Am watching the sun rise in Turks and Caicos.

    1. Yeah, I need a goal.
      I do have a happy this week. Mom’s license was suspended and her doctor’s nurse told my sister they wouldn’t give mom a letter saying she was safe to drive . So we may have saved some lives here. Ironically we knew mom was in an accident a few months ago which would have been the other woman’s fault if it happened the way mom described. So mom was planning to sue her in small claims court for the costs of renting a car. But the woman’s response, if she really was where she says she was, would make it mom’s fault. Mom has a great capacity for denying facts to avoid admitting she made a mistake. Now I have to persuade her to not sue. But that’s not a goal.
      And I’m having fun with silver. Mom asked me to take custody of my grandmothers silver that she brought out of Germany in 1939 when fleeing Hitler. It’s an amazing set that must have been a family heirloom and has all kinds of pieces that I’m trying to identify. Like, why would someone have 12 tiny two pronged forks—what were they for? Or two sets of different kinds of tiny spoons one with rounded bowls and one with pointy bowls? It has three tiny salt cellar bowls with teensy tiny spoons and one has a glass lining .
      I’m visiting my high school BFF and today we go to the Corning glass museum .

      1. I can answer one question: tiny spoons with pointed bowls are for your coffee, tiny spoons with rounded bowls are for soft-boiled eggs (the pointy ones can pierce the shell). I only know this because when DH‘s father died, we ended up taking MIL‘s good stainless and we have 12 of each (German DH explained to me what I just explained to you as I had no idea either).

        We also have small two-pronged forks — not sure if they are the same as you have, but if so, they are used as serving forks for the cold cuts, cheese slices, etc., that constitute a significant part of a good German breakfast.

        Hope this helps!

        1. I just can’t see having 12 of each for pickled onions—these are individual diner items not serving tools.

          1. Tiny two-pronged forks sounds like crab forks to me. All of the dedicated cutlery sounds like a silversmith’s clever (or cleaver) way to ensure a living from the rich and famous.

            “Bartholomew! You didn’t pour enough silver into the fork mold last time and the forks came out too short! You’ll never make journeyman at this rate.”

            “Master, I, er, um, I was going for cake forks, yeah, that’s the ticket. I bet we could sell them to… Morgan Fairchild, yeah.”

        1. Research suggests some are those so thanks.
          I’m not clear on what makes a two pronged fork a fruit fork v an oyster fork vs a breakfast cold cuts fork.
          I am clear that I could spend a long time down this rabbit hole

          1. The two-pronged forks in the silver that was my great-great-aunts are oyster forks. A dozen, yes. How observant were your ancestors?

            The tiny four-pronged forks, not matching the rest of her silver, were ice cream forks. Yes, forks.

          2. That’s a good question Mary Anne. I don’t know how observant they were. My dad was bar mitzvahed. My grandparents died when I was early teens so I don’t know if they kept kosher and if so how much .
            Maybe my mom knows—I will ask her .

      2. When we married, we didn’t register a silver pattern because we were never going to do that kind of entertaining. (Miss Manners said that people who are too naïve to have others buy their sterling for them are not mature enough to get married). Twenty-five years , we decided we needed sterling and started accumulating. We picked an a art neauveau pattern called “Iris” by Durgin. Victorians liked special useage cutlery. Let me say I do not have all of these. I have never served terrapin so have no need of the forks. There are dinner forks, luncheon forks, oyster forks, salad forks, fish forks, terrapin forks, pickle forks, ice cream forks. For knives there are butter knives, a butter master, dinner knives, pate knives, luncheon knives and fish knives. Spoons they were insane for: place spoons, bouillon spoons, gumbo soup, cream soup, citrus spoons, demitasse spoons, and ice cream spoons with gold washed bowls. There are individual asparagus tongs and asparagus serving tongs. My favorite serving pieces (none of which I have because we are talking serious money) are
        Macaroni servers. Cracker serving spoons, salad servers, cake slice, ice cream slice, various types of ladles, salad set, fish servers, pie slice. There was a companion set called “New Art” that had the extras that you did not find in the Iris pattern.

        Go to eBay and do a search on an Art Nouveau or Victorian sterling pattern. I know there is currently a set of Iris for sale so you can see some of the pieces. You can also look your pattern up in Replacements.com if you know the maker and/or pattern name, which would be faster.

          1. Thank you. Mine live in some kind of tarnish deterring cloth and only get polished occasionally. I used to use it all the time but it shouldn’t go through the dishwasher, so I really have to want to use it before I take it out. And I never do 6 or 7 course meals anymore. If I have company, I might do first course, main, salad and dessert but anymore is too much food anyway.

          2. Jessie I thought it was only the knives that shouldn’t go through the dishwasher? Although I certainly wouldn’t put this antique set through one.

          3. Silver is soft and scratches easily. If you could lay it out, non-touching, and the spray wouldn’t bang it around, it might be okay. My SIL and BIL had a set they decided to sell and discovered they could only get a fraction of the cost so they started using it as everyday flatware. You never saw such a mess. It was so scratched up that it was totally matte. The thing about knives is that the heat of the water of the dishwasher changes the temper of the blades.

          4. Jessie I thought the knife blades were attached to the handles with lead which softens in the dishwasher very hot water.
            I put my forks and knives in the dishwasher and they look fine but we don’t use them that often .

          5. Cascade dishwasher detergent site says “It is NOT recommended to wash sterling silver dishes or silverware or silver plated flatware in the dishwasher as the high temperatures and detergents can damage or tarnish the silver.”
            So my SIL’s set may have been messed up strictly by the detergent.

            However, my house has a very old crystal chandelier that the previous owner spent 30 years putting the brilliants through the dishwasher in the silverware basket and those are covered with tiny scratches. And I believe glass is harder than silver. So I think some of the problem is scratching caused by the object moving around while being cleaned.

      3. If it’s a pointed bowl with a serrated edge on one side, that would be a grapefruit spoon.

      4. Congratulations on making the world a safer place for all drivers and pedestrians! Giving up driving signals a huge loss of autonomy and the fear that comes with that can blind people to how much danger they have been ignoring. I hope future adjustments are easier.

        1. Thanks. It’s becoming clear on retrospect that this was the second accident that is her fault in a few months .
          It’s hard to take it away. But not as hard as living with having caused a death.

      5. Another recommendation for checking out Replacements.com if you know the maker/name. Or even if you don’t. They have examples of lots of different pieces, so you could probably find answers by looking at another pattern of the same era if all you’re doing is identifying the use of something.

        My first thought on the two-pointed forks was seafood, as others have suggested, but it could be a regional thing, since I live in a coastal region.

        1. I don’t know the name but I’m pretty sure it’s 19 c german so that may help me find it on Replacements .

      6. I was told that the 2 pronged forks were for fruits and were common in European cutlery sets. Another possible use is for seafood, in particular pulling the mean out of snail. Hmmm.

          1. Yes. I lust for a set. I see myself eating Strawberries Romanoff. First spear a strawberry with the fork, then dip it in sour cream, then dip it gently in sugar – I prefer brown sugar – then perhaps a sip of French champagne. Well, in my case it is more likely to be Costco’s cheapest Prosecco.

        1. I have to count how many different sets of tiny forks we have. We might have oyster and cold cut and fruit forks.

          And then we have more that are not part of this set that I think are modern-ish —possibly my grandparents bought them when they were in this country —they seem to be not part of bigger sets.

          This is a really big rabbit hole I’m down.

          1. Agreed, Mary Anne. There is no such thing as a shallow sunrise. Tammy is out there early watching the earth turn in space. What could be more worthwhile?

  4. The tiny forks might have been for seafood.

    I have two goals. Well, two big ones. The first (which has been ongoing for some time, and which I am chipping away at very slowly) is to go through the house and get rid of things to make room to have a housemate. My last, temporary, housemate, got the guest room and extra bathroom upstairs, but there was no place for the overflow of her stuff. So I’m trying to consolidate my books and supplies from the second room upstairs. I’m getting rid of so many books… And some other stuff. Even if I can’t find the right housemate, at least I will have less Stuff.

    My second goal is to write a large chunk of a new novel for my agent to send out. Yesterday I wrote the first two pages, after procrastinating through three months of construction. It’s a start.

  5. Deborah — Sheer guesses. Pointy spoons might be grapefruit spoons. Some actually have a serrated edge. The tiny pronged forks might be for oysters.

    1. Thanks! The pointy spoons don’t have serrated edged and they have a narrow handle uncomfortable to grip so I don’t think they were for grapefruit but oysters sounds like a real possibility for the forks .

      1. Citrus spoons don’t have the serrated edge. I think Victorians ate oranges sometimes like we eat grapefruit. I tried using my citrus spoons on grapefruit and they were worthless. I went back to the stainless. And, of course, the cook would have carefully loosened all the grapefruit segments so you didn’t really need the serrated edge to do it yourself.

  6. I have to take a huge certification test two hours away this week, and I have to make two English final exams today (and lunches and dinners and breakfasts for the week), So… yes. I just have to slog through it. But yes, the pay-off will be good if I get it done. Thanks for the encouragement to have a goal. ☺️

    PS – I found a link to 7 tiny fork uses, including: deli fork, roast beef fork (this one was according to a silverware company in Italy at forksandspoons.it,) fish fork (which I saw as an oyster or snail fork), fruit fork, salad fork, desert fork, and yes… an ice-cream fork (it’s more like a spork). The link is here: https://food.allwomenstalk.com/types-of-forks-and-what-to-do-with-them/amp.html#6

    1. Thanks! Will pursue these —none look exactly right but maybe if I Google the names older versions will look more like what we have.

      1. Oh I forgot—big happy is my three sibs and I continue to work together to deal with my mom (and we have a few new crises to handle since Wednesday).

  7. Yes, goals. I have to separate a goal from something to look forward to.

    I’m travelling to East Anglia, England, then to the section of France that stretches from Caen to Poitiers, then to Paris briefly, then to Warsaw, Poland.

    My diet goal is to lower what my body thinks is my customary weight. In other words, my body will jump to the high 170s whether I break the diet for 4 days or 3 weeks; then it prefers to settle in the mid 170s after I’ve dieted for a week. I want to have a lower high and a lower settling point. I never thought this was possible before — I’ve never been able to maintain my weight. But two years ago I was in the 200s and had been for a long time, so change can happen.

    My exercise goal is to stand straight as I walk and have a normal gait and be able to walk a long way and for a long time. A friend has given some of his friends (including my husband and me) the gift of an introductory gym package. Beginning with 6 appointments with a trainer, we’ll each have our set of exercises to do. I’ve had 2 lessons so far. I’ve always had terrible posture, so this is good.

    So my goals aren’t the trip to the UK and Europe, but the trip is providing a terrific focus.

      1. The females in my family all had what they call “dowagers’ hump. My goal has been to avoid this. I am 79 now and so far, so good. I frequently remind myself to keep my shoulders back.
        I had cortisone shots in my right knee and my left ankle this week and walking is so much less painful. I’m almost dancing with joy.

        1. Susan, our exercise lady emphasizes posture, and she calls for shoulder blades DOWN the back. “Pull, pull!”

    1. I was getting bent over from leaning on a cane for 3 or more years and working on my core muscles finally allowed me to both lose the cane and straighten up. This has allowed me to stay off the cane as my other knee got worse, which makes my life much simpler. My main problem now is motivation for doing my exercises every day, but I can’t think of better motivation than being able to enjoy your wonderful trip.
      I salute you!

    2. At 56, this is the exact weight my body wants to be also. We don’t see eye to eye.

  8. I started growing my hair when the pandemic started with the goal of being able to put it into a bun. This week, I “modelled” for a hair dressing student who put my hair into a fancy wedding updo. I took it out when I got home but it looked great. I also dyed it purple, a long time bucket list item.

    When I started baking sour dough bread in January, my only goal was to bake an edible loaf. I’ve done this several times and now I’m focusing on improving my technique. I mixed up the starter for tomorrow’s bread in 10 mins – used to take me 30 mins. I’ve been making crackers with the leftover starter and they’re delicious.

    We’ve still got piles of snow but we’re inching towards spring and gardening season. I bought a mini green house and set it up in the family room to start my seeds. Today, I’m going to plant lettuce and basil seeds. So many ideas for this year’s garden!

      1. I loved purple when I had it (semi-permanent). Haven’t been able to find that shade since, sadly. Also now I do acting so I can’t dye my hair a funny color any more.

        But that’s okay, having pink hair at the start of 2020…and for most of 2021…. kinda broke me of the urge anyway.

    1. Hmm, maybe purple hair is the pick-me-up I need for what feels like a mild but interminable winter. I waffle between “I love color” and “I’m not really someone who cares about things like hair color, so it’s not really me.”

      1. I have been curious about the conditioning gel/paste? that adds color as you wash. I had some hot pink strips at one point, but I am not allowed to have unnatural colors, visible tattoos or facial piercings at the bank.

  9. I forgot about daylight savings time, so I am groggy and disoriented this morning.

    But this week’s happy is definitely a goal. I got into a local consignment shop and am prepping for move in on April 1. I am very excited about all the things I hope to get rid of. And setting it up for holidays and making holiday crafts. Somehow a physical space is much more motivating than my Etsy shops. Now I have to figure out how to build an inventory list. Argh .

      1. Apparently they do where I am. As I drove to work yesterday at 6 AM DST, many more of the houses were dark than usual.

  10. My happy goal for this spring is to plan and plant a garden at our new home. I haven’t had a garden for years and now feel well enough to start again. I can’t wait.
    Another goal is to post here more. I’ve been a lurker since I first found Jenny’s books years ago. Sometimes during the years I was really sick, the most I could manage was to come online and read her posts. So thanks for that, all of you.

  11. My goal is to get through two cataract surgeries without an anxiety attack. I had the pre-op meeting Thursday, and my son attended, which was very helpful. I was trying to make the right decision on the implants, and I asked how I would see with each possibility, and the answer was always, “You would need glasses.” That is not an answer. So my son played dumb and explained how he sees when he wears his contacts that have no astigmatism correction, and asked if that’s how it would be. Then we got better answers. I decided on monovision, with one eye for far and a one eye for near. I had contacts like that since 1994, until 2017, when my eyes were too dry for them, so my brain works with that combination. Depth perception can be a problem, so I just compensate for it by being extra careful when merging into traffic while driving. I may need glasses if I drive a long ways or read a lot. That is OK.

    So, March 28 and April 11 are the surgeries, and then a week after that and I will be cleared for any activity. Then in a month, maybe glasses, maybe not. My astigmatism isn’t that bad. Thanks for bearing with me! This is a big deal, and life-changing, for someone who has needed glasses since third grade.

    1. Wishing you well, Jan. I’d worn glasses since I was six, and was pretty nervous about the surgery, despite my mother telling me it was nothing to worry about. It was brilliant to have dramatically improved vision within hours of the op, though; and I enjoy the results every single day. It’s magic to have good eyesight without glasses or contacts.

    2. I’ll be following along closely since I need to do this, probably next year. Need to deal with my thyroid disorder so it stops affecting my eyes first, but otherwise I’m so ready to get rid of the cataracts.

    3. My good friend just had the surgery and it went very well. Although she is an artist and the color shift is driving her crazy (there is less yellowing after). She said she loved the shade of gold she painted her living room and now it is too cool.

      1. Yes! Some of my clothes were too cold a colour. I was shocked at the dramatic colour shift. No idea I’d been looking at the world through an amber filter.

      2. I noticed the color shift YEARS — a decade or more — before the eye doc told me I had cataracts, and didn’t realize that was what it was, so I thought I was imagining it all that time. It’s not bad enough to affect my quilting, so I wasn’t in a rush to do anything about it, but now, all of a sudden, I am!

    4. We who are in line to do this want to hear every detail, especially the ones like me who’ve worn glasses since age eight and have a lot of astigmatism. Keep on reporting!

  12. I do love goals, and seeing progress toward them. Right now though, my thyroids are kicking my butt, so I’ve had to take a few days off until the meds kick in. (Anti-thyroid meds taken on, say, a Friday, take until the next Friday or longer to have an effect on the amount of hormone being produced, so I’ve still got a few days of tremors and brain fog.)

    On the plus side, right before the thyroids went berserk last week, I finished the final draft of the book that will be coming out in the fall, so that made me happy.

    1. That serms odd. There should be a medication, or at least a dosage level, that you could take every day so as to have the effects spread out more evenly. At least, that’s what I recall. But I don’t know the particulars of your situation. And, you’re so proactive with your medical situation that you’re probably already on top of this and have chosen the best option for you. Good luck! Hope the TED goes inactive fast so you can get your surgery.

      1. Have you looked into Tepezza? I’m very curious to see if any “real” people have tried it and if it’s been worth the huge cost.

        1. No on the Tepezza. I don’t think I’m eligible, since I think it’s just recommended for severe cases. My TED has been quite mild in terms of the bulging — the opthalmalogist wasn’t sure if it had increased a tiny amount in the year between first appt and the second one a year later (a few months ago) or if the difference was just human error in his taking the measurement. My main symptom is just watering/blurring, especially when I’m tired, and I’m hopeful that will settle down after nuking the thyroids.

      2. It’s just how thyroids work. There’s a long delay between taking a med and the hormones on the blood stream hit the desired level. So I take a pill every day, and it slows down the thyroid activity, but there’s already a bunch of the hormone floating around, and it takes time for that to go away. Like the existing hormones need to sort of evaporate and not be replaced, but thyroid hormones have a much longer half-life than you’d think. At least, that’s how it’s been explained to me, after going through several ups and downs. Whenever doses are adjusted, I have to wait two weeks before blood tests will show if it worked.

        It works in both directions too. If a person has low thyroid, and starts taking replacement hormones, it takes a week or two before the hormones build up enough in the bloodstream and whereever else it’s supposed to go for the thyroids to stop sending out panic signals for producing more hormones. Ditto for a change in dose.

        There’s even a pop quiz for toxicology students that I saw on Twitter last week — case is a patient brought into ER, having taken bunches of some sort of pill, no one knows what, no symptoms, released. Returns a week later with tremors and brain fog. What was the overdose? Answer: thyroid hormone (Levoxyl), because that’s how long it takes to go through the metabolic system and trigger the noticeable effects.

        Yeah, I know way too much about the endocrine system. My bone/pain/fatigue issues are metabolic issues too, just a different cause.

  13. I love college basketball and I live in middle Tennessee. The Southeastern Conference basketball tournament is in Nashville and my favorite team was playing in it on Friday night.

    My mother is currently visiting my brother who lives in south Florida. So I started looking at tickets… just to see if there was any way I could find some. There were plenty of seats in the nosebleed sections… but I would see better watching it on TV. So I started watching for the really good seats.

    There was a seat available 3 rows from the floor behind the bench of my favorite team. But MAN!! the cost was a LOT of money. I could afford it… but it fell into the realm of silliness. So I struggled with whether or not to buy them all week.

    Finally I had to make a decision. So after the games were played on Thursday night I went to look at the ticket to see if it was even still available and found the price and been reduced SUBSTANTIALLY. So… I bought them.

    I parked my car at a friend’s house and he was sweet enough to take me to the craziness that is downtown Nashville traffic and dropped me off right at the arena… and would pick me up after the game.

    I had the best time! My team played SO GREAT in the first half and sucked so bad in the 2nd half that they lost… but I will probably never have seats that good again. I sent pictures to my family and they all sent screen shots of me that they saw on TV!

    It would have been great if we had won… but I was in my happy place for sure!

  14. I’ve been looking for goals for years, but have troubles finding ones that feel achievable. That is also a thing, apparently – if a goal seems too far away or too hard to make into reality, it’s not encouraging motivation and happiness. “Feeling better” isn’t a goal that’s tangible enough. Sigh.

    Anyway, I have a couple of positives at least. First is that we got a meeting with local authorities about getting house help much sooner than we expected; within a month instead of 4-6. Even better: We’ve got green light for house help support, and if we can find a company that can deliver the service that feels good and is contracted by the authorities, we’re set to get it from April 1st. Huge relief. I hope it will make a difference on so many levels.
    I also went out on my first adventure with my new Buddy, and it was good. We ended up frozen and soaking wet because rain and transport mishaps, but all in all it was a good start to things I think. I realize that I sound cautious and I still kinda am, but mostly because of this bonemarrow deep exhaustion that makes it hard to feel motivated to do anything at all or make plans. So it’s a kind of mixed happy?

    Sorry for writing long post, but I’m in need of advice. I have a question to the cat-knowledgeable of you out there. I have discovered that the person I would’ve asked about stuff before really thinks they know more about how to deal with cats than they do, so I don’t wanna bring it up with them. A lot of you have had a lot of cats and might have an idea of how to solve, or at least the reason behind a problem we have with the kitties. Well, with Triple, actually.
    First 1.5 month of so of having the ladies here has gone fine, but over the last 2 weeks or so Triple is showing signs of irritation/aggression/annoyance, very hard for me to tell which. It mostly seems to occur when Matcha is also in the room, or in the picture somehow. Examples:
    – I go look for Matcha, and find her downstairs on the cat-tree. I talk and pet her, and Triple runs down from upstairs to see what we’re doing, proceeds to jump onto the cat-tree or my desk which is standing beside it and swat at and/or bite me. Occasionally, she also growls/growl-meows.
    – Yesterday, both ladies were on top of the really tall cat tree, and I only went to check which one or if both cats were there so I’d know where they were. There is literally no other way for us to tell where the cats are if they are lying still than to feel if they are there. Triple proceeds to immediately get onto her feet and swat at me and growl.

    These things have happened several times now and it feels too recurrent to be “random occurrances”, but I can’t figure out the whys. I know cats are not mean by design or seek revenge or stuff like that, so there must be a problem I can’t figure out how to solve. I am wondering if:
    1. Triple is jealous to Matcha as in: “You are my human, you should give ME attention and not her!” This because she keeps on keeping tabs on when I’m interacting with Matcha elsewhere and goes there then too. She also seems to be agitated sometimes if she’s on my lap and Matcha enters the room. She doesn’t growl or chase her off, but her tail starts “talking”.
    2. Triple is protecting Matcha. On the one hand I can see the logic, since Matcha has only one eye and Triple generally seems to look out for her when things happen that are new, but on the other hand this behaviour started about 2-3 weeks ago. If she was protecting her, wouldn’t she have done that directly from the start?
    3. Triple has figured out that body-language doesn’t seem to do its job in interaction with us, so she’s taken to swat/bite/growl because that gets a direct response. I suppose this one is logical, but then again, if she’s alone it very rarely happens. I’m really trying to read all other signs I can from her so I don’t touch her when/if she doesn’t want to, but sometimes there’s no chance in hell I could’ve known on beforehand.
    4. Other reason? I try to look at this from a billion different angles and from a cat-perspective, but I can’t figure it out.

    The ladies seem to get on splendedly, eating, drinking, sleeping, playing together, watching birds and grooming each other, so there doesn’t seem to be any tension there that would explain why she’s behaving like this all of a sudden. I’ve been reading up on cat-behaviour a bunch lately, but this thing I can’t find examples on. If the reason would be that I always get tasked doing all the stuff she doesn’t like (like closing them up in a room when the grocery delivery comes or lifting her down from the dinner table), I’d assume she’d be this prickly all the time and/or avoid me completely, but she isn’t and doesn’t.
    Same goes for when she’s super-charged with static and jumps onto my lap and we both get a shock from it. I can understand if that makes her associate me with getting a static-shock because she more or less only comes to snuggle with me and that would create a negative association, but then again, wouldn’t she always be cautious to be touched by me if that was the case?

    I haven’t been in a multicat household since I was like 7, so I don’t know how inter-cat relations might affect things. Besides, our cats were outdoor cats mainly there to keep the mice away from the horses’ feed, so I don’t think anyone in my family has ever really paid these kinds of things a thought. I know many of you have several cats, so maybe you have experiences that can shine some light on this. My grandma’s cat attacked and scratched me open (back, face, chest) when I was 6, and I don’t wanna go back to that place where I’m scared of a cat that might attack me. (Coinscidentally, grandma’s cat was also a calico.) I want her to feel safe with us and not have to resolve to lashing out, and me to feel safe with her. And, since we can’t see them, that we can make sure we don’t sit on them or can feel where they are without claws included.

    Sorry again for a 300 pages long message. I just want to fix this. Thanks a lot in advance to anyone with an idea of the why, or how to possibly fix it. <3

    1. Good luck! I wish I could give more than good wishes, but I couldn’t begin to figure out what’s happening. Have you tried asking the shelter or the people where you got the cats?

      1. I was going to recommend that. It really helps calm them down, whatever is upsetting.

    2. When we acquired Aubrey as a kitten, our female cat Io was 2. She was very protective of him even though she seemed to despise him. Once while I was playing with him, and Io was on guard nearby, he rolled over and exposed his belly which is submissive behavior, and I reached to tickle his belly. Io laid back her ears and growled at me. I instantly stopped because it was clear she didn’t trust me to play nicely. After that I was very careful of how I played with him. Also he had been adopted previously by a family with a child and returned to the shelter because the child was “allergic “. But he disliked being handled and could be worried when playing with him with your hands. He would panic. I assumed that the child played too rough and this was the resulting behavior. Perhaps Io picked up on his fear and was warning me off.

    3. I can’t give cat advice since I don’t have any, but I agree with you on realistic goals. I’d love to have a goal of “get so much as a minor part in musicals and not just ensemble,” but frankly I think that’s asking way too much of the universe with what God gifted me to work with here and what directors think when they see me. I note I get minor parts outside of musicals as well and I did get a minor part when there were 22 parts and 18 people in one show, so that may be as good as I get.

    4. I have 2 ideas you might try. 1. She may just want more attention. Maybe you could try spending some time just with her. 2. Sometimes when cats get bitey, it’s because they need to play more. Try getting a toy on a string attached to a long stick and dragging it around near her or in the air a little bit, for maybe 10 minutes a day and see if that helps. You could also watch some Jackson Galaxy youtubes. I have found him very helpful.

    5. It’s always good to rule out medical causes. Sometimes cats get cranky when they’re not feeling well, but I think I remember your saying they’d been to the vet fairly recently.

      Beyond that, I’d be inclined toward the jealousy theory (or maybe I’m projecting because I have one cat who is very needy and wants to be the center of attention at all times). My best suggestion would be to increase play time with the cranky cat, basically to sort of wear her out and also make sure she feels like she’s getting her fair share of attention. Then if she lashes out while you’re playing, immediately stop the fun until another time, so she associates the lashing out with an end to fun. The other advantage to making sure she gets enough play time is that it should wear her out a bit, so she’s less likely to have the energy to be cranky.

    6. Is Triple a calico? They sometimes have attitude. (Tortoiseshells, who are like calicos, even have a term, “tortitude,” and I had one who definitely was full of it.)

      If the cats get along fine together, my guess would be it is a jealousy issue. Try spending extra time and attention with Triple, and see if that helps. Some cats benefit from a product called “Feliway” which puts pheromones into the air that may keep them calm. It can be used as a plug-in or a spray. Some cats respond well, some it doesn’t make any difference.

      Good luck!

      1. Hmmm. I adopted a cat that was very slow to acclimate, and painfully shy. They recommended pheromones, and I sprayed them in the cage which I was using in her safe room for her cave, and she hissed, and cowered, and got very edgy. It basically ruined all the progress I had made with her over weeks of patiently luring her out. So be careful. If a cat has had problems with other cats, it might have the opposite affect.

        1. Yeah, it only helped with one batch of cats, and my others didn’t like it. I’m also allergic (probably to something in the carrier, not the pheromones themselves), so I can’t use it anymore.

    7. How often does she growl? And does she ever growl when you’re handling her? Try massaging her belly, shoulders and legs firmly, and see if she reacts. Is she still eating normally? Growling could be a sign she’s in pain. Cats are incredibly good at hiding pain. We had a one-year old cat with severe tooth problems. Her only symptom was that she slowly lost weight because eating hurt.

      How serious is the swatting and biting? Is she trying to draw blood, or is it gentler? If it’s gentler, sometimes cats swat and bite when they want to play, so you could try playing with her more.

      And I’d try an experiment of making a fuss of her first, before you touch Matcha, as much as you can. See if that changes how she behaves. And Feliway is a good idea.

      And if you don’t get to the bottom of it pretty quickly, talk to their vet. They can check for health problems and give you advice about behaviour.

      1. Shass, I overlooked your comments on bites. I inherited my Mom’s cat Peanut who was a biter. Mom was a “spare the rod, spoil the child” school. So if Peanut would bite, she would tap him on the head or nose. Eventually he started trying to bite hard. I am of the “poor scared baby school”. So when he tried to bite, I did not retaliate, I put him down from my lap and ignored him. As several people have suggested. It took several months but he finally got the idea that no one would hurt him if he bite but they also wouldn’t pay attention to him and he stopped biting

  15. Hm. Goals. Hm. Well, I did at least find happiness harvesting my zinnia seeds and planting lemon seeds to start another tree, and seeing the spring daffodil and tulip bulbs coming up. Also I bought pants that fit, never underestimate the joy of a painless pants shopping experience. Today I may plant out the coral bells and start calendula seeds, because more flowers is an achievable goal at least.

  16. Participated in a meeting that had potential for conflict that did not arise. Other point of contention reached consensus with everyone pleased. Took two hours, but great progress was made, so super win.

    And I am enjoying a re-read and have quality chocolate and DON’T have to do any minutes for that meeting!!!!!!!

  17. My son found a job! And it’s a GOOD job! (Federal, the benefits!). Oh frabjious day!

    My son worked out of high school, decided he didn’t want minimum wage for the rest of his life, spent 6 years in college, earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering, and spent the last 1.5 years job-hunting. And finally found one.

    This means he is moving out. Finally, on his own. I love him, but I’m thrilled for him to become independent.

    Short-term goal: help him move out. Coincidentally, utilize his young strong 6 foot tallness to go thru my entire 3 bed/2 bath condo, clearing out, figuring what he will take with him, etc.

    Long-term goal for me: figure out Now What? After 40 years of being family-oriented, I will be living by myself. Where do I want to live, what do I want to do now? I’ve thought of getting a smaller place (ugh, moving), buying an RV and traveling the States, building a Tiny House, all sorts of things. Have some hard thinking to do. I enjoy change, but at 70, what am I still up for?

    1. Do it now. At 75 you will have noticeably less energy ( big surprise) and if you are typical of the people I know in that age bracket, weird health issues arise. Average life expectancy for women is 80.2. So if you should do everything you want, right now.

    2. I feel your happiness for your son. I hope he finds the new job satisfying and enjoyable.
      This past weekend we shopped for a suit for my son for the Dean of Law meet/greet thing for next September’s entry class at our city’s University. It’s what he really wants to do and he aced the LSAT and, at the moment at least, hopes to do some good for society while also being an ambitious young man. My dearest wish is that he finds the right tools for a good life and loves the study of Canadian law.

  18. The only minor goals I have now are to work on singing–specifically the stuff my teacher wants me to practice–and to relearn a New York accent because I haven’t done it since 2019. I have gotten pre-admitted to “Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding,” which I did in 2019 and the director said that anyone who wants to come back and do their same part can. That doesn’t have auditions until the end of the month, but it’s something to finally look forward to.

    Also, it’s the crush’s birthday, so my goal for today is to NOT TEXT HIM A HAPPY BIRTHDAY like I normally do. I have printed out the list of reasons why he sucks and does not care from a few weeks ago, highlighted certain parts, am drumming into myself that he does not care and will not notice, I’m probably going to put up mean Post-It Notes on things to really make me stop. I slept away half the day, and my TV has finally cooperated on getting antenna reception for ABC tonight so hopefully the night will be occupied with the Oscars. I need to distract myself from the sad for the rest of the afternoon and stay away from the phone.

    After this day is over, well…let’s hope things get better from here. I cannot say I am over it quite yet (the test of that being, if he suddenly changed his mind and came back, would I say no…I’m not there), but I’m trying. Hopefully next year I will be utterly out of care and numb.

    1. I am so proud of you! I know this is hard for you, but this time you are actually doing it instead of just thinking about it. Go look in the mirror and admire the strong woman who is giving herself the care and appreciation she deserves.

    2. Good on you, Jennifer. I’ve found resisting things like that is very much like a muscle – the more you do it, the easier it gets to resist.

      1. I look forward to that.

        Well, day’s only got a few hours to go and I kept myself away from the phone during the Oscars, which went very well and were very distracting.

        I finally read the responses to the last time I posted about him (if it’s emotionally gonna get me, I may wait to read until I calm down) and Jenny saying what she did, along with everyone else, really helped. He has said he gives off mixed signals, and boy, does he ever. He seemed more into me than he apparently actually was, I suppose. And now he doesn’t get to have that in his life any more. Hope he enjoys my being gone and not getting that out of me any more.

        People have brought up “autistic” to me over and over again, but frankly, I don’t agree with it because it seems like everyone is being labeled as autistic (including me! multiple times! by my therapist!) just because you’re weird. Eye contact happens! Social skills in general happen! Touching happens! Nobody freaks at bright lights and loud noises and nobody is having tics or autistic meltdowns. He’s just…remote, I guess.

        (I haven’t caved so far, a few hours left to go.)

        1. I should probably say that according to my HMO who did an evaluation on me, I’m “subclinical” and undiagnoseable with anything. So no, I absolutely don’t have autism, this is confirmed, my therapist is an LCSW and cannot diagnose me officially as such.

          I note that I made her take a “do you have autism test” on the Internet along with me and SHE had more of that going on than I do 😛 Ahem.

        2. I did read that autism in women is a much more subtle thing, often without the characteristics you mention. Apparently women are much better at masking and channeling these urges into socially acceptable outlets, and it often goes undiagnosed. While I agree that it is a trend that is overused, just as anxiety and depression have their followings, I also have an aunt who really fits the bill for undiagnosed autistic. My young cousins called her Mr. Spock as kids. We love her, she loves us, it just looks a little different.

  19. My goal is to find an affordable source for the hard cider I like that Trader Joe no longer carries. The manufacturer does not have a website that takes orders (that I can find) and so far the online listings are much more expensive that what I am used to paying.

    A mouse got into the suitcase where I stashed the post holiday sale chocolate that I have been hoarding and made an enormous mess. It pained me to throw out all those goodies, but perhaps it will encourage me to stop hoarding stuff I should not be eating anyway. In the mean time I think I will buy another Rubbermaid tote and mouse proof more of my dry goods. I’ve been dragging my feet about cleaning out my storage closet, but the smell of mouse pee in my big suitcase is a powerful motivator. Thank goodness for Lysol spray!

  20. I wish everyone fulfilling all goals that make you happy. I have lots of goals: One goal is to dance again. Then finishing two book edits. And successful auditions

  21. Goals, goals, goals. I really have to do some crocheting. Maybe during Tuesday’s storm. Other than that, I’ve got nothing.

  22. Goal: edit one meditation (300-500 words, most from 10 years ago) per day, tracking themes for a book or maybe two. I have about 80 pieces, though they are not all useful. Decide about self-publishing and move forward this calendar year.

    Small goal: get the tax stuff prepped and to the accounting firm this week.

  23. I’m generally really bad at goals – except for writing goals, which I’m reasonably good at because I care about them so much. My current one is to get this draft of the adult novel finished so I can start on the next kids’ novel, which is beginning to nibble at the edge of my mind.

  24. My big happy was today, when 2 of my lovely nephews came to visit, along with their father, my brother and his wife, with their wives and children, and the girls ran around playing. The wives and mother in law all love and enjoy each other, the brothers were happy to see each other, and the great grandparents enjoyed the chaos. With naps and rests, lobster, cava, and cheesecake. How wonderful.

  25. My goal is to improve my mobility significantly in the next year. I found compression hose that I really like. I was going to start vegetarian keto but I think I am going to have to detox or reset my gut microbiome first. Everything I eat makes me uncomfortable. Especially fresh veg.

    Another goal is to finish the ghost backstory for the ghost haunting all 3 books in the trilogy I’m working on. I almost got sucked out of it onto something else once already – and no. Just no.

    My biggest happy is – I took Thur & Fri off my job for no reason except I can. So when I get off work at 8am on Mon I will be off until 915 Saturday!!!

  26. My other comment is stuck in moderation apparently. Not sure why. Hope this one doesn’t end up there.

    Throwback to when Sundays used to be about what we were celebrating for a day – It’s INTERNATIONAL fanny pack day!

  27. Ah goals. I completed one yesterday – we got through the weekend of quilt show judging. So, my part of the show is pretty much over. I’ll go and enjoy it next weekend. My other goal is to get myself ready for my dad’s celebration of life. Once past that, I need to figure out some short and long-term goals for myself.

  28. Goal: get over strep throat! I worked yesterday, since that’s when my doctor said I would no longer be contagious, but I am ever so glad to have today off, which is unusual. (I usually work weekends and Monday.) Surely 125 mg. of amoxi-clav twice a day should kill anything! I am getting better but So Slowly. I spent three days doing nothing at all, and now I don’t have the strength to catch up.

  29. My brother gave me good advice last week, as I growsed about the job out of which I am wanting. Growsed? Just looked it up and seems definition is ‘shivers, to have chills’. I don’t think this word means what I think it means.
    He advised setting up something concrete for a way down the road, eg- enroll for a university creative writing program for September. Then do the current jobs thoroughly for the time until then. As September draws near, I could always withdraw and just keep working or take the plunge.

    On the other hand, I have a government contract entomology job I am way behind on, and a writing project bugging my brain. My dentistry job boss is kind of a friend by now, but also a type A micromanager, clinically OCD, going thru acrimonious divorce, emotional vampire. Yikes, sounds worse when you write it down. She does get us birthday cakes (56 today, woo-hoo)
    My 2-3 work days per week there leave my poor introverted bookworm soul wrung out.

        1. I’m glad I’m not the only one who is overdue. I am on my way to mine after spacing out the appointment 3 times in the past.

        1. It’s okay to forget the occasional word. Like I can never remember “escheton.” It’s not like it’s the end of the world or anything.

  30. And thanks to my still sickness-laden brain, I just read “musical Wellbutrin” and saw all the pills dancing and singing. Rather like the California Raisins commercials.

  31. Happiness was spending most of Sunday with friends at the Huntington Garden. A traveling exhibit is there right now on French decorative arts and Disney. 🙂 Plus we walked around about 75% of the place, which was a good workout for all of us. Had lunch at a new eatery in the Chinese garden; had fun shopping in the gift store; then went and got soft-serve ice cream nearby. We were all prepared for a chilly gray day, but it was sunny and warm!

    Work-related happiness: the replacement laptop arrived and I managed to get it up and running with minimal annoyance. One thing we fixed today didn’t stick, so I’ll have to contact my friendly tech guy again.

    Writer happiness: nearly done with the holiday novelette to be submitted by September 30. Next in queue, a holiday short-story submission call for an anthology.

    Happiness goals: get the latest carload of decluttered stuff over to Goodwill, finish amending the hell strip, plant more sunflower seeds.

  32. Why did it take your blog post to remind me of the fact that Happiness is a goal?

    True fact: Happiness is a goal. I constantly fall down that rabbit hole of setting goals and dreading every one of them. The problem is that I am not doing them because I “want” to, but because I “have” to. I see that has been my problem all along.

    For example, my never ending “lose weight” goal! I have had that goal since I was 20 years old! Hell, back when I was 20 years old I wish my 53-year-old self was around to smack me in the face and say, “Hey! You look fine! Go eat something already!” Maybe in another ten years my 63-year-old self will do that for me, or maybe I’ll just open my eyes and stop the madness now!

    It’s time to be realistic and face the fact that no matter what the scale says or no matter what size my pants are I will “NEVER” be satisfied with what I see in the mirror; another true fact!

    I need new goals.

    New goal: I’m going to focus on how I feel rather than how I look. When I go out for a run, or a swim, or even a bike ride I am focusing on how it makes me feel rather than how many calories I’m burning. I will not compare myself to the super fit 30-something year old beach body babe at the starting line of my next triathlon, but rather I will be proud of myself for being able to stand along side her and run the same race.

    I’m signed up to participate in my first full 140.3 IronMan triathlon next year and my only goal is to cross the finish line with a smile. I’m thinking that’s not too much to ask for as far as goals are concerned.

    Thanks Jenny for reminding me of the importance of setting goals that make me happy!

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