Life is like Herding Cats

herding cats is hard

There’s all these things to keep track of, to move down the road. That can be as varied as life itself. The trick is to not drop any part, to not leave something or someone behind or allow something to wander off, literally or in my mind. We’ve all watched those dogs herding sheep. The herdees are not always interested in being herded.

Just as in life. Much of what we have to do is move things along, things that have no inherent inertia. Sometimes it’s events, but sometimes it is also live “critters.” Unlike sheep, many of those with whom we deal naturally have minds of their own and the challenge is two-fold. How to not overpower anyone, coercing them in a direction they would not choose. There’s a danger of encouragement toward the path I believe is best to not be just downright manipulative.

And then there’s the fact that life’s circumstances are always more complex than one might initially think. Just the energy to work through issues in one part of our lives, can keep us distracted too long, causing us to lose track of the rest of the things we also need to get farther down the road. All those warnings about not texting while driving present the dangers of the scenario. Since life (or the highway) is not static, even glancing away for a moment can lead to disaster, or at very least lost ground.

I do find myself spending a lot of energy on a particular project or situation to the seeming detriment of all else, which presents another two-fold problem. Being so busy about life as it presents itself is totally consuming. How much of what I do is not even of my own choosing? A person, a situation presents itself and I add that to the flock with barely a blink, barely a beat lost.

What about all those things that I want to take on? What happens with them? Since I am so busy keeping the status quo, I may very well be missing something that I would choose if I could look up long enough.

Well, thankfully, life’s not always like herding cats. It’s not like taking the bull by the horns either. Somewhere in between I am moving things along, while hopefully not violating any one else’s need to govern his or her own life, and I can accomplish the things I think are important. It does seem more like a balancing problem, but my high wire act is improving.


– Shari

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