Last week was my sweetheart’s 67th birthday. Yup, he is definitely getting up there. So to celebrate the kid in him, I booked a two-night stay on Airbnb at a Tree House. For a little adventure I took him on a Safari, right here in Northern California, Petaluma of all places.
The tree house was fabulous. I highly recommend it. (Tell Joe, I recommended you) I cannot describe adequately what it was like to hangout where the birds live. It’s ethereal, magical, light, surprising, uplifted, etc… did I say magical?
But what I really want to talk to you about is the lesson that I got from visiting the wild animals at Safari West.
About the park:
This is an African adventure in the heart of California wine country. It’s a pretty amazing experience but, here, check out their website!
Me and Zoos:
I hate zoos. I hate circuses. I hate SeaWorld. I hate seeing captive wild animals in small containers for human enjoyment. So I was totally dumbfounded that I took Keith to a “zoo.”
This was no zoo.
Safari West is the Serengeti in Sonoma county. Let me get to the point. There are 1,000 animals living peacefully on this 150 acres land. The big carnivores like cheetahs and foxes have their own individual luxury enclosures. While the other herd animals like antelopes and buffalos roam free in much larger territories. To see them, we got to ride in a safari truck, that drove right up to their watering hole or hangout place.
Is This Good for the Animals?
My first serious question to the guide was: “Do the cheetahs get bored and sad to be stuck in an enclosure? They no longer have to hunt or chase. Is that good for them?”
His answer surprised me. He said: “It’s like the cheetah won the lottery. In the wild, when he hunts, he catches ¼ of all the games that he goes after. Once he catches it, he loses all energy, so he cannot defend his win. The other big cats like lions and hyenas wait for him to do the hard work, then steal the food from him. He ends up getting to eat 10% of all the food that he goes after.
Here in the reserve, he has an easy life. He suns himself daily. Everyday, his food is delivered to him at a consistent time. He sleeps, plays, eats, and mates if he wants to. He and all other animals live longer, and breed more. These are signs of a happy animal.”
Furthermore, many of the species on this reserve are extinct in the wild. But here at Safari West they are able to survive and breed again.
I was blown away. The animals are happier and breed more, living in a “captive” environment. This is a place we can meet animals that no longer exist in the wild.
Hold your judgement. There is more.
We drove up to the Zebra and other hoofed animals area. The guide got out and opened the big fence to let his truck through. (Yup, it was a little eerie, like the scene in Jurassic Park, the movie.) Just for fun, I asked the guide if any animal has stalked the gate and waited for the right moment to escape from the enclosure. Again his answer blew me away.
He said “No, never. If you think about it, why would they want to leave? This is where home is. Their family is here. And their food is brought to them here. So there is no reason why they would want to go elsewhere.”
How does this relate to you and dating?
I don’t know. But I do know how it ties to me and dating. When I first met Keith, I knew that he was a nice man, honest and sincere, possibly someone I can count on. I could tell that he wanted a steady girlfriend, and he kept saying: “You are the last girlfriend that I will have.”
Funny thing… He thought he was expressing commitment and sincerity to me. I thought he was choking me to death. I felt like I was going to lose my freedom and be stuck with an old man and become his care taker. I hated and was so fearful that he was 17 years older than me.
It has been 8 years, he has treated me with utmost care. Keith is teaching me to be a princess, and let myself be loved, adored, and cherished. He cooks, cleans, juices, and takes out spots on my dresses for me. He fixes my technology problems, builds my website, travels with me to all of my speaking gigs to videotape and help me produce my events. I do feel like the cheetah in the reserve: well cared for, protected, and cherished.
Of course I got to thinking, specifically about divorced moms who are dating again. You work so hard to build a business or excel in your career; you care for your children, and you are always alone being there for everyone else. Nothing is easy. “Food” is not brought to you. Like the cheetahs in the wild, you have to hunt for customers to make money. When you come home, you are exhausted; it is almost impossible to date or have fun. You are exhausted, angry, and frustrated. To put it in the animal language, your life expectancy is low. Yet you keep pushing yourself to do more and expecting yourself to last.
Imagine what it would be like if you have someone to love, adore, and cherish you? Someone to support you, help you be the best you can be? Cook for you, rub your tired feet? Help you with technology while you build your business? Tend to you when you are sick?
Most divorced moms who are considering dating again tend to have a fear that a new relationship would look like what happened to them when they were married. Their old marriage is the equivalent of the old fashion zoo, where big animals were kept inhumanely in tiny cages. These women are deathly afraid of losing their hard earned freedom.
What if a new do-over relationship in your late forties and beyond is more like being on this wonderful reserve? Like you won the lottery? You will have a place to shelter and care for you. You will no longer have to fend for yourself. You will thrive again.
Mai Vu Coach, founder of the Hot Life Hot Love team. I help hard working divorced moms to build a hot business while cultivating hot love, so that they can have a hot life! I am writing my book that will be due out in late January 2016: Dating Guide for Divorced Moms: How to Be Loved, Adored, and Cherished. Click here if you want to get sneak peak into the book as it is being written.