Recently, my husband stumbled upon a family selling all their furniture. The son was helping his 80-year-old mother get rid of everything in time for her wedding that weekend. (Marrying at 80? Wow!) We were able to purchase a table, two recliners, some decorative items, a bed for a great price, and more. What a blessing!
But also, what a mess!
Amidst all of that chaos, we have had some unwelcome guests..meet the wood scorpion and a baby rattle snake or a baby gopher snake. (We are in the process of identifying it.)
The Saga of the Baby Snake
This is a bit of a segue but I have to share this tale with you. The other day, I had just came home from the store and I was chatting with my neighbor. She was telling me about snake season and the tall grass. After a few minutes of chatting, I tell her it’s time to go make dinner. I go inside and what do I see but a small snake on my kitchen floor! I was less scared than I would have imagined, and I went into action mode. I told the kids to get on the couch in the other room. I started hitting the snake with a big metal spoon, but snakes are very muscular, it didn’t work. It started to scurry away under the oven. I pulled out the oven and got the broom and swept it out. Now it was caught under the broom and trying to get away. I stretched as much as I could for a random kitchen knife. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the sharpest one. I proceeded to cut, er, saw, the snake in half. The snake behaved like a rattle snake – it shook the end of its tail, so it may have been. We’ll see what pest control says.
For anyone who is worried: We are in the process of making our home Fort Knox, needless to say. We have a pest control appointment, we have installed “pest reject” sensors in our main rooms to ward off mice which will in turn ward off snakes. We have plans to cut down our tall grass. We have located suspected spaces under the sink where the snake probably entered and sprayed a special foam to seal it off. As far as the scorpions, we had our pest control spray inside and apparently they don’t like lavender oil so I have been spraying that around all of the windows. I haven’t seen any since.
Unwelcome Visitors and Piles Everywhere
I don’t know about you, but I don’t do too well when my house is in disarray. The outside clutter effects how I feel inside. There have been piles everywhere for the last week and a half. Piles of laundry to do, piles of things to sort through and put away, furniture to dust and position…you get the picture. When life gives me piles I feel overwhelmed, and sometimes that causes me to procrastinate because I don’t know where to start and that only compounds the issue. I also don’t do well when a surprise pest rears it’s ugly head. I become hyper vigilant, worry about mine and my family’s safety, and I have a hard time sleeping at night.
My Survival Guide
I’ve learned from dealing with my fair share of piles and crazy circumstances some tricks that help make life easier:
- Realize these aren’t normal circumstances and therefore adjust your expectations about what you are capable of. This is HUGE, and might be the hardest thing. It is for me. Know that life is harder right now because of something outside of your control, not because you are weak or lazy.
- Have gratitude. Seriously. Thank God for the mess you have. Messes are always a good sign. My current mess meant I got new furniture that we really needed. Thank God! My kids messes mean I have two beautiful children. Alleluia! Find a reason to be happy about the mess.
- Set a timer. Don’t work on the mess all day. The timer tells your brain you only have to work on something for “x” amount of time, and it also makes a stopping point so you don’t forget to eat or bathe or do something fun.
- Prioritize. Think about what is going to have the most impact of your life. Health and safety should be at the top of the list. This can be hard, because most of us have the natural inclination to choose the tasks we like first.
- Minimize distractions. Put your phone on airplane mode or do not disturb. Use distractions to your advantage. Play music in the background, listen to an audio book or podcast. I find that podcasts and audio books help me to forget how long something is taking because I want to hear more so I keep working. It feels like “me time.”
- Simplify meals, think frozen meals, cereal for dinner. PB&J. This is not the time for meals that require tons of preparation and cleanup. It’s time to make life a little easier so you can get back to normal more quickly.
- Gain perspective. In the grand scheme of things, what is going to happen if you don’t accomplish as much as you hoped for? Chances are, the important things will get done. As long as you prioritize, there is always time for the urgent, important things.
- Go to bed early. This one is so hard for me, but it’s reward is great. I shoot for an hour earlier than normal.
- Call a trusted loved one. This helps distract me in a positive way and it’s nice to have some social time amidst the chaos and know I’m not alone.
- Pray. Ask the Lord to give you strength and wisdom through this time.
- Know that this is bare minimum time, not a time for high standards.
- Stop the diet , and just focus on healthier choices. If ice cream enters the scene, enjoy responsibly. The sooner you take a break, the sooner you will get back to optimum functioning.