Today's my Birthday, a New Stage Begins

Sunday, October 09, 2011

It's my birthday!  So what celebratory fanfare marked this special day? Well today the weather was atypical and intermittent rain showers kept me indoors--a welcoming change. Often on the run, juggling three jobs and a semblance of a social life, I decided to stay in and just do nothing. Breakfast in bed, feet up (could use a foot massage), reading birthday emails and answering birthday phone calls absorbed my morning and early afternoon.  Aah, to be remembered and feel loved. Too bad there aren't more days celebrating a single person.

So October 9, 2011 was a day of relaxation, reflection and gratitude.  Gazing through my glass doors and beyond my balcony, the city of Miami lay there before me.  What an incredible view.

My view
The dome is the new Miami Marlins stadium, the highway is I-95
and inbetween is the Miami River

Today I give thanks for my health, my job, my family and friends and the ability to balance it all. I also gave thanks for the opportunity to give. Does that sound silly? My volunteer work for helping homeless cats (and dogs) has been the most rewarding experience of my life. I knew this was the beginning of new stage in my life.

Then I begin to reflect on goals for the coming year. Or am I suppose to do that on New Year's Eve?
Doesn't matter.  I'm in charge of my life! (The advantage of being single). So I made a big decision at the unmemorable age of 43. While it's not cemented and I'm in the research phase, I've decided to create a 501c3 nonprofit organization, to expand on my efforts in raising awareness of the plight of homeless cats and reverse the trend.

There are several wonderful nonprofit organizations focused on rescuing cats and dogs from the streets and from euthanasia at the overcrowded shelter and conducting TNR (trap-neuter-return). We are at war and a small army of dedicated volunteers are in the trenches doing their part.

Something is missing. I recall the book Three Cups of Tea. In the US war against Afghanistan, author Greg Mortenson leads us to the powerful solution--education. After a mountain climbing accident in Pakistan, a group of villagers nurse him back to health. In his recovery he learns of the customs and challenges of the remote village.  The children, all the girls, have no education. They are forgotten. The young boys are targets for recruits of the Taliban.  Greg vows to return and build a school and he does. The village people are grateful and an average US resident becomes their hero. He becomes a change agent in the war against terrorism. Education was his weapon of choice.

In my daily routine and in speaking to strangers, the average person does not know about  the epidemic of homeless pets (approximately 400,00 in Miami Dade county), the number of low-cost clinics to spay/neuter pet and stray cats and dogs ($25), and how to recognize the universal sign of a sterilized cat. Imagine if  one in every five people did? What would that mean to half of the stray kittens that die every day under the age of 8 weeks. It would reverse the cruelty and suffering of strays and homeless animal population.

So I begin my homework of the endless legal paperwork to file, the fees (amounting to at least $2,000), and the list goes on. I begin a new stage in my life! Obstacles, more hard work, sweat, tears and joy, all await me.

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  1. Happy Birthday Christine! Jack

  2. That's really cool. Good luck with it, much success and you can do it.