February 12, 2018





I was home alone and angry. Furious at a situation in my life I have tried and tried to fix.


Me, the professional mediator. The one who sat with hundreds of people over the years to help them discover a resolution to their own sticky situations.


It isn’t something that happens often, but there are times when the tide rises inside me and my normal braking ability is…….compromised.


The fact that I exert control to some degree it is a blessing, because that day last week the tide became a tsunami and I happened to be the only one in the house. Other than cats, of course.


And I made the choice—and there is the tiny bit of control—to let that high tide pound up onto the shore. My feet were taking me wherever they wanted to go, simply to be in angst-fueled motion and I found myself in the empty garage.


Daddy Kitty was eating his lunch, plate pushed up against the wall, minding his own kitty business, when I stormed back into the house and deliberately  slammed the door as hard as I could propel it. Using two hands.


And it felt good. Some of my rage flowed along my arms and into the wood of that door, dissipating the heat enough for me to catch my breath.


And then I heard the crash.  I opened the door to see what damage I had done.


Daddy Kitty was gone. His paper plate of food was upside down on the garage floor, bits of kibble everywhere.


And HARMONY in my life had taken leave of its senses in more ways than one. It had literally fallen on him while he ate, which added a new set of emotions to the concoction already brewing in my being. Rage at myself for upsetting this gentle cat who took weeks to allow me to pet him at all.


And there lay HARMONY, giggling and pointing at me from the concrete floor of the garage. The fury took over again.  I kicked the framed picture as far as I could.


Yes, I kicked HARMONY until it skittered and stopped against the raised step leading to the washing machine. I stormed back into the house until the air around me reduced its temperature from BOILING to OK, WE GOT THIS NOW.


I let HARMONY lay there as I cleaned up the cat food and tried to settle Daddy Kitty down. He was having none of me.


We know it’s never about one thing. There are a handful of tough situations wreaking their own brands of havoc in my life right now, plus some changes I’ve made in my routines and responsibilities. Mix all of that up in a pot, set the flame on low, and steam is inevitable.


Yes, it happens to all of us. But HARMONY is back up on the wall and Daddy Kitty is speaking to me again.


Age has taught me to direct those infrequent bouts of anger at anything other than the people around me. I wait until I’m alone and act out like a spoiled brat while no one else is looking or in the unwitting way of my out-of-control anger that really has nothing to do with them. Regaining HARMONY in those cases isn't as easy as simply rehanging a picture. Irreparable harm can be done.


But I do apologize to Daddy Kitty. He didn’t deserve that. And to my daughter who gave me the HARMONY picture. Sorry 'bout that, sweetie!





"Anybody can become angry - that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way - that is not within everybody's power and is not easy."





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