The Lives of Others

Invariably, when I do house sitting, I am drawn into the lives of others.Sometimes this happens in incidental ways, in others quite deliberate which can from time to time be quite overwhelming-until I process the meaning of this interaction. There are times also when I find a delightful connection and become friends with pet owners.

Every person, situation and pet is so individual; some people like to share, others are more circumspect , but there is a lot of anxiety and loneliness in our society and as a friend recently commented

“It’s easier to talk to a stranger than someone you’re connected to.”

How true! But even when people choose to spill every tiny bean of their life with me, because of the hidden connection between all things , there with be a meaningful resonance I can apply in my own life.

Recently I connected with someone who shared painful episodes of their life story; they could not forgive those who had deeply hurt them. I felt that hardness, that painful refusal to let go of the past and while I subtly suggested the benefits of forgiveness, I suddenly realised that this was me in my forties! Holding the pain, unable to flow with life.

Pets too, talk. In their own unique way of course! But they, unlike humans , have a huge capacity for loyalty, forgiveness and unconditional love.


Cats are pragmatic, dogs devoted, donkeys are clever team players, chickens are talkative and social, horses are sensitive and spiritual; all our pets are more intimately aware of the workings of our lives and nature than we are of theirs. These are just a few of the things I’ve learnt as I reflect on my journey over the past six years.

7 thoughts on “The Lives of Others

  1. Such an important post, Kate – especially at Christmas. The older I get, the more I understand how common are our joys, sadnesses, little annoyances, and big hates that tie us in knots and patterns. It is so necessary to consciously step back and see ourselves – and our positive and negative points – reflected in others and, when possible, make changes. Other people, and animals, are my best teachers. Thanks so much for all your wonderful posts this year. Happy Christmas, happy 2019.

    Liked by 2 people

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