Friday, 10 June 2016

Life Lesson from my Cat #5 ~ Be Vocal when you Need to be

speak up and be vocal when you need to be

When our cats get vocal we refer to it as "singing the song of their people". One does it to get your attention if she's feeling ignored, and the other does it at meal times to let you know it's 5pm and time her dinner was served. They don't usually walk around meowing all day long, instead both save their chorus for moments they consider important.

We need to be the same, there are things in life that matter to us, sitting back and not letting people know what we value leaves us feeling unappreciated and ignored. Midlife has taught me to open my mouth and express myself - to ask when I want something - the worst answer you can get is "No" but at least you asked and, surprisingly, quite often the answer is "Yes".

I told my husband a while ago that I never liked our old dining room suite - he was amazed and slightly bewildered because we had it for years and I had never said anything. He was also surprised to find out I didn't like peanut butter or Nutella either -
for a vocal person, I obviously missed the boat at times when it came to expressing my taste in furniture and food. Now when I say I like something, he always checks twice in case I'm just going along for the ride, it would have been easier if I'd just stated my preferences years ago.....

be a standout - speak up for what you believe, illuminate your talents, be true to who you are

Sitting in the wings watching life pass you by, waiting for the courage to sing the song of your people is just a waste of time. If you don't ask, you don't get (our hungry cat will tell you that every night!) If you feel strongly about something then speak up and defend your opinion, choose words that are gracious and choose your moment, but be brave and be vocal. Express yourself and you might be surprised at the results.

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speak up and be vocal when you need to be

51 comments:

  1. So true. I tell this to my middle daughter as she never asks for anything, whilst the other 2 are very vocal, I tell her she needs to tell me when she wants things, she is getting better at it. #Fridayreflections

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    1. I'm so glad you're encouraging her to speak up now Mackenzie - if we don't help our daughters to use their voices then it's a lot harder for them to learn it as adults. x

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  2. I agree with you wholeheartedly, it is the squeaky wheel that gets the oil. People often mistake silence for acceptance or acquiescence....

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    1. Silence can sometimes be the easy way out - but it's not always the right choice - the vocal minority shouldn't always win.

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  3. This is something I'm always working on, Leanne! Interesting that Mackenzie in her comment mentions her 'middle' daughter. Being the middle child, I'm wondering if this is one reason it's more difficult. :)
    https://meinthemiddlewrites.com/2016/06/09/me-in-the-middle-introducing-guest-blogger-amelia/

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    1. Middle children are definitely the easiest going from what I've seen Mary Lou and if that's the way it's been since childhood it's often harder to make a stand when you become an adult. I love that Mackenzie is encouraging her daughter to speak up.

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  4. So true, Leanne. I don't like offending people, and the result is no one knows whether I really like something or not. That all changes. Today!

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    1. Good girl Shirley! I think it's important to feel like you have a voice - you don't have to use it all the time, but to know that you are worthy and can have a say is really important x

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  5. Hah! Now that one I really do get. I miss having cats, but my dog, Riley reminds me about being vocal. All. The. time.
    Carol
    http://carolcassara.com/what-my-mother-taught-me/

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    1. Our old dog was extremely vocal - he greeted everyone! I think he was a bit over the top with his voice and was told to shut up a lot - I guess it comes back to balance again doesn't it Carol?

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  6. You are so right. And I miss my kitties! I love the vocalizing of cats.

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    1. I like the fact that they are quiet most of the time (which is very pleasant after a barking dog!) but let you know if something is important to them.

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  7. I wish I had been more vocal
    In my life but am changing that now I'm older. Love the photo of your feline friend

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    1. I think we're all getting better at finding our midlife voices Sue and it's been worth the wait!

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  8. So much wisdom in all these posts - thank you Leanne! It's important to know when and how to speak up. I don't always have that down. Too often I am silent when I should speak up.

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    1. I think it's something we weren't taught in your younger days Cathy (our daughters are much better at it than we are!) but definitely something we can still work on and develop.

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  9. Amen to this one. I think when one hits their fifties, opening our mouth seems to not become a problem. At least for me it doesn't. Your cat is so very wise!!! Meow!

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    1. Maybe 50 is the magical turning point for a lot of our generation Michelle - we seem to have discovered our inner vocal chords and we're getting better at putting them into use :)

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  10. Cheers! Yes, if you don't speak up, you can't complain for not getting what you want. Great advice and reminder!

    One of my cats becomes wildly vocal when I whistle. I like to think she's singing along. (Though she's probably just begging me to shut up!)

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    1. That made me smile Lisa - I'm going to go with the idea that she is singing with you because that is such a cute picture in my head. I talk to mine and I'm sure she answers - although she doesn't respond to me trying to teach her to say "mum" :)

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  11. I love these life lessons! Your cat is very smart and, yes, the squeaky wheel is always the one that gets greased!

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    1. Thanks Lois - they're fun to write and I think they remind me of some of the home truths that I've been picking up along the way over the last few years.

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  12. Your cat is quite wise! Love the advice he dishes out.
    Estelle

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    1. thanks - cats are old souls :)

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  13. A lot of wise truth there Leanne. There seems to be a balance between making my feelings etc. known and considering the other persons feelings. We are often too much one way or the other. I like letting your husband know your preferences and him being a bit shocked that he did not pick up on things before.

    Kathleen
    Bloggers Pit Stop

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    1. It all comes back to balance doesn't it Kathleen? Knowing when to speak up and when to stay quiet comes with experience and time :)

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  14. So true. It's very important to voice our opinions. You have a good partner there who keeps checking on you :)

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    1. Yes he has weathered many a storm Parul :)

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  15. It took me a while to figure this out too. Yes, probably not till in my 40s. Just going along for the ride doesn't really help anyone at all especially yourself! And love any lessons I can learn from my cats!

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    1. I seem to have been a little bit slow on the uptake Rosie but I'm learning that you need to have a voice to have self respect :)

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  16. So true! We do need to voice our opinions, needs, & preferences. It is better for everyone!

    Andrea
    Andrea’s Wellness Notes

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    1. At least everyone knows where they stand when we are honest and open don't they Andrea x

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  17. Thanks for linking up at Over the Moon Leanne. I've pinned, SU and tweeted!

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    1. Thanks so much Sue - you know I love the OTM link up x

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  18. A great reminder Leanne! I have a hard time with this, but as I age I'm getting better. Now, learning to say no that's another story. There's a little improvement there I guess.

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    1. It's all a journey Rena - and I think we'll get better at these things as we go along - we'll be rocking it by sixty :)

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  19. So true! Got to love our cats for the lessons they teach. I find it easier to speak up in some situations over others

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    1. me too Sanch - I guess we have to choose our battle don't we?

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  20. I've previously commented Leanne but have shared on all social media x

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  21. So true! I admit I have no trouble with this though. In fact my husband often quips that although honesty is the best policy, it doesn't mean that I need to say EVERYTHING I think lol.

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    1. Husbands are our spirit levels because they are one of the few people in our lives who are allowed to tell us when we need to back off a little!

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  22. I couldn't agree with you more, Leanne. How does anyone know what I want or like if I don't tell them? I think I've gotten (mostly) beyond the years of believing in mind reading. :)

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    1. We often assume people have some sense of us that is way beyond what is actually the case Molly - it's a lot simpler to just say it how it is and everyone is on the same page :)

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  23. It took me my whole life to get to this point of being able to express myself vocally. Now that I teach at university, I can say whatever I want and the students actually take notes. Try to get that to happen in the workplace with staff you supervise. The would just meow like cats looking for their dinner!

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    1. Maybe I should take up lecturing at uni Terri - I'd love to have people take notes when I speak :)

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  24. Hi Leanne, Congratulations! Your post was my favourite pick for this week's Over the Moon. See you next week.

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    1. Thanks so much Sue - I really appreciate being chosen x

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  25. Excellent advice! My cat is very quiet - she really saves her yelling for when she has something importsnt to say!

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    1. Which is something we can learn from isn't it - if it's important.....speak up!

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  26. Great points we all need to find out voice and use it where appropriate time otherwise you become a doormat for others

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