Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Creature Comforts

Well, I seem to have made some kind of a turn, both mentally and physically. I feel more energetic and not as generally crappy. I guess the first trimester is officially over. What a relief!!

Last week was rough though. My job took a turn for the worse. I cried my way through my days and was utterly disappointed in myself for not getting things done and letting the absurdity and anger get the best of me. I felt desperate and desolate and confused. I still haven’t resolved anything, and my job is still the insanely unhealthy environment it was. However, on Friday, I made a choice. I was sitting at my desk crying and feeling trapped and worried about what to do. I called Marco and cried some more. He tried to cheer me up and encourage me, but I was committed to my pity party. My desk was dirty, my floor unclean. My desk was piled with crap I needed to do. My list of things to do went unchecked. I was just sitting there under the pile of my life.

And then I just stopped.

It occurred to me, "I can sit here and continue with this moping bitchfest, or I can do something." I started cleaning. I felt a little better. I cleaned everything. I felt even lighter. I was feeling spectacular until I found a cockroach (1.5 inches long) crawling through the wires under my desk. This was startling and upsetting. Then it sort of hit me. The cockroach was feeding off of my mess and my lack of effort. The cockroach was there, dragging his contaminated ass through my office, because it was cluttered and dirty. Yes, there are things around me that are out of my control. And they suck and are hard and maddening. But there are many, many things I can change. The first one is my attitude. What cockroaches are feeding on the crap in my brain, in my soul? What foul creatures are surrounding my life because of the garbage within me on which they feed?

Then on Friday night, while Marco and I were sleeping peacefully, I felt something like a large insect on my arm. I jumped out of bed and threw back the covers, screaming. Marco was trying to tell me it was nothing, but I flipped on the light and tried to find this foul creature. Suddenly, Marco gasped and pointed up. A bat was flying around our bedroom. This began a dramatic hour of the two of us attempting to get the bat out of our living quarters and into the living room. It was hilarious. I ran into the bathroom while Marco attempted to throw a sheet over the bat. Then he ran down the hallway and into the other bedroom. We were trapped in the bathroom and other bedroom while the bat flew up and down the hallway. Finally, it took a dive into the living room, and I sprang into action. We both ran upstairs, shutting doors behind us, to search for what we should do. Team Quezada against the bat. Then, I lead the way, towels in hand, as we headed back into the living room to shoo the bat out the front door. It was nowhere to be found. The neighbors must have thought we were insane. Our front door was wide open while we marched around the house with lights and brooms beating the ceiling to try and scare it out of wherever it was. I called Animal Control, but they said there was nothing they could do if we didn’t know where it is. He told me we should have kept it contained in the bedroom. I reminded him that this was contrary to all natural instincts when one is awoken by a bat in one’s bedroom in the middle of the night. We finally decided to go to bed, and the bat is still at large. Hopefully it made its way outside somehow.

This bat scenario made me think even more. How did this creature get in? How did it find the bedroom? And why did it decide to fly into me while I was sleeping? On Monday at lunch, I had a third brush with nature. While eating peacefully with friends a bird dove down and brushed the side of my head. I screamed and said I was done. They were all laughing. What is the deal with all these creatures being drawn to me?

Spencer, my friend, has the theory that I am carrying the reincarnation of St. Francis of Assisi in my womb. While I don’t believe in the saints or in reincarnation, this concept brought my thoughts full circle. St. Francis was focused on simplicity and humility. He was known for caring for nature and for the less fortunate. Some force is drawing me toward simplifying my life and getting rid of the clutter and bad energy. Something is drawing creatures toward me to remind me to keep on in this direction, to clear out the bats, to create a space of harmony, humility and peace in my life.

My friend Kristin told me about the book, Sleeping with Bread, “which speaks to us about holding onto what gives us life. The title of the book comes from events that occurred at the end of World War II. During the bombing raids, thousands of children were orphaned and left to starve. The fortunate ones found their way to refugee camps where they received care. However, many of these displaced children who had lost family and homes could not sleep at night. They were terrified of waking up in the morning and finding themselves homeless and without food again. Nothing seemed to reassure them, until one evening someone had the idea of giving each child a piece of bread to hold at bedtime. Thankfully, holding their bread, these children could sleep in peace, reminded that they had eaten that day and they would eat again tomorrow. They learned to hold onto what gave them life.” (Scott M. Watts, M.S., M.Div., LPC)

The book encourages the practice of a nightly examen. You sit down and ask yourself, “What is it that gives me life? What is the thing that took away life from me today? What am I most grateful for today? What am I least grateful for today?" For me, when I really look at it, it is not the external circumstances that are taking away my life. Yes, they are threatening, but they are giving me the choice - to cling to life or to let myself be taken down by all the bad energy. I can sit in my filth and roach-infested bad attitude, or I can clear out the creatures and simplify. I can focus on the absurd and try to make sense of it or change it, or I can accept it and continue on with my positive journey toward humilty and positivity.

Today I’m making a list of the positive so that I don't forget.

I’m grateful that the Windsongs was on this morning and that I heard Janis Ian singing “At Seventeen” on my way to work.

I’m grateful that my friend James took me out for Chinese food at lunch.

I'm grateful for my good friends at work who make my day so great. Thanks, Spencer, for asking me to lunch too. Sorry I ditched you. : )

I’m grateful that I have more energy today.

I’m grateful that I have a lot of work to do to keep me busy.

I’m grateful for this blog that keeps me writing and thinking and communicating.

I’m grateful for my friends.

I’m grateful for my Marco who is patient and encouraging and always pushes me, even when I want to quit so badly!!

I'm grateful for my child and for whatever positive energy and force he or she is affecting upon my life.

1 comment:

Katiedid said...

Heather, you make me smile, you make me laugh. Your cockroach-bat-bird trifecta is hilarious! Wish I could have joined you and Kristin this weekend, hopefully sometime soon...

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