It is beginning to get ever so slightly nippy outside in the morning. I am blessed with a long wrap around porch on the front of an old farmhouse on the outskirts of town. I call it living in the country but someone who actually lives in the country would probably laugh at that.

My favorite place for morning coffee is the far end of the porch, on a lounge chair looking out at the woods across the street as the day birds wake up and the night owls hoot their last few times before going to roost. The sun comes up slowly and ignites the tiny fog droplets that are rising from the wet grass and the vegetation on the roadside. It’s quite the idyllic setting before the school buses and the gravel trucks start rumbling towards town.

Coffee-time this morning is going to require more than the soft baggy shorts and Tshirts I’ve worn for the past six months so I pull on my favorite black sweats and hoodie and always-black, low-cut socks before I go downstairs to the kitchen.

I start heating the water for the French press coffee maker and go flop on the couch in the den while I wait. When that process is done, I fix my cup of coffee and take it and the laptop out to my porch corner to journal and wait for the sunrise.  Again, very idyllic, very peaceful.

When the sun gets high enough to angle across the porch and bathe me in soft light I look down and…

“OMG, what the hell?” I am covered in cat hair. “Ewwww.”

I am a bit fastidious. Okay, a lot fastidious, so I head inside for the lint brush. Six sheets later I am acceptably dehaired. I go inspect the couch. Yep, that’s the culprit. I retrieve the cool mitt I found online that has little projectiles on one side for brushing and cloth with a nap on the other side for getting hair off upholstery and I get to work. I end up with a pile about one-third the size of my cat. Since I am on my hands and knees I look around and see a light dusting on the hardwood floors – good lord, did she explode when I wasn’t looking?

My housekeeper arrives and I immediately launch into half apology half rant, “I am so sorry. I don’t know where all this has come from all of a sudden. It is going to be a lot of work to keep it under control. I don’t remember it being like this. I haven’t had on dark clothes in eight months and before that she was just a little bitty thing. Then today I look down and it is everywhere. I’ve used the lint brush and the thingy on the back of the mitt and the dust mop and…”.

My housekeeper cuts me off and in a slow and droll voice says, “So why don’t you just brush the cat?”

Brush. The cat. It hangs in the air for a moment – the suggestion, not the cat hair. I nod sheepishly.

“Oh. Uh, yeah. Ahhh, good idea. I will, uh, I will do that.”

Not only am I fastidious but sometimes, I am a dumbass.

There’s a life lesson here. Oftentimes we get so caught up in or rattled by a current situation that we can’t see the forest for the trees. The results, or product, of a problem and the problem itself are not one in the same thing. So, 1) stop complaining 2) stop explaining 3) stop worrying and/or 4) stop apologizing about the results of the problem and put all that energy into focusing on solving the actual problem. Brush the damn cat.