Saturday, 31 May 2008

If you want to live and thrive, let the spider run alive

Now this is a big and very welcome change in my life. The bug situation. “Pre-Sri” I couldn’t bear to see them and I fastidiously checked towels, clothing and bedding before using them … just in case. Now, whilst I wouldn’t call myself a friend of the beasties, I have learned to tolerate them. They irritate me more than terrify me – I don’t really understand why they have to exist or what purpose they serve (nor can I remember what nonsense I made up about them when I was doing lessons on “mini beasts” for primary 5s in Drumchapel two years ago) but I have resigned myself to the fact of their existence and I can live with them.

Relaxing with the cockroaches!

I’ll share two stories with you that illustrate just how far down the desensitisation line I’ve come. Two weeks before I left, I was at a friend’s leaving night and we sat in a beachside bar which had a wall covered in coconut shell halves. We were about 6 feet from this wall and I suddenly spotted a cockroach about the size of this paragraph tiptoeing carefully across the shells! I mentioned it and of course I pulled a face but I felt no urgency to leave. Seconds later Mr Cockroach was followed by another late night visitor – a rat! He too was playing a balancing act on the coconut cases as I pointed out to my companions. One of them offered to move to another table or another bar but I said no, reasoning that the creatures were unlikely to have any interest in coming near us so there was no urgency to leave! It wasn’t until the next morning that I thought “did I really say that?” But I had – said it that is – and what’s more, I felt perfectly relaxed about it.

Keeping my cool with creepy crawlies

Sometimes you cope with things when you’re away from home but when you get back to your old life you find your tolerance levels coming back to normal. So I was very pleased to discover a couple of nights ago, that I’m still coping with them! I was sitting waiting to go in to an SNP meeting in Ochil where I was making a speech. I was noting down a few things I wanted to say when I noticed a creepy crawlie making its way up my (far too high) boots. Now “pre-Sri” I’d have leapt up in the air squealing but on Thursday night all I felt was irritation. I tried to remove it but it persisted and in the end I just couldn’t be bothered and let it crawl on up my legs! I know, I know! This is not me. As I said, pre-Sri I would check my clothes compulsively before putting them on – just in case there was a beast on them. Now, I can’t be bothered and I figure if I do get unlucky and end up with a teeny little beastie on me, it’s not the end of the world is it?

NB The post title is an old Quaker saying - don't ask me how I know this!

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