You can poke my face anytime

May 17, 1950, Beverly Hills, Marilyn Monroe{ originally published late 2017 }

The year is drawing to a close, and I can honestly say that it is ending on the sweetest, highest note imaginable. For the first time in my life, I have “hacked” it.
For good.

This has to do with me finding my true calling and purpose work. But also with something else that I seem to get new levels of understanding of every time.
The joy is in the giving.

I have a little cat Max. He and my other now deceased cat Willem, have kept me more or less permanently home bound since 2009. My last night from home was in 2015 and I get a professional babysit to clean up and serve an extra portion of canned food, if I leave the house for longer than six hours.
Max is my number one priority.
But giving your time, money, energy without second guessing it, to a creature or a human trusted to your care, is the highest joy imaginable. If you have children (or a pet that you are attached to) I don’t have to tell you that. You know how good it feels to give it your all.
But to me, these dynamics were unheard of.
I had loving parents, but they never told me;
“It gives me such great joy to be here for you. I hope one day you ll have children (or if they were really broadminded; a pet) of your own because it is the best thing in the world.”
They didn’t say that.
And I do often hear;
“Children ask so much of you, but you get so much in return!”

No “but” .
Because as soon as you make it conditional, you re on the wrong track.
People do it in relationships as well;
“I need you do this this and this for me.”
No, you don’t. Not really.
If you love someone you’re here to learn to stay true to those (your!) feelings, despite them behaving worst case scenario, in the most despicable way. That is your job. That is your reward. Not to have them behaving the way you think you want them to.
Don’t get me wrong.
I am very protective with regard to my boundaries. If a friendship or relationship (basically any other relationship than your child or your pet) threatens my financial security, my physical well-being or mental health? I will break up with them.
But that’s something entirely different than to stop loving them, or to be angry with them for breaking my trust or behaving in a certain way.
And the great news is, that if you do this consciously? If you overcome your ego (that demands that someone should behave like X, Y or Z, in order to be worthy of your love) and step into loving them instead? No matter what?
It’s pure ecstasy!
Like a love bomb exploding in you head.
Now with Max things are a lot less complicated. He wakes me up multiple times a night. He pokes my face, very gently, with his paw. And meows. He usually wants me to lift the blankets or he wants more canned food. And when it s not one of those two things, I assume he wants to be cuddled because I m kind of running out of options.
But whatever it is he needs? And no matter if he wakes me up once, twice, or waits until the morning before he pokes my face? I m always so happy I can do something for him.
That he s giving me an opportunity to be there for him.
Because the biggest joy is always, without exception, in the giving.
That is the return.

An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

You can poke my face anytime will be published in the first English book under my real name:

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