Friday, April 22, 2011

Don't Let the Crickets Be

On Earth Day, I would usually write about protecting an animal. This time I am writing about capture.
And release.
It's dusk and my five year old hollers, " MooooOOOOOM!" and comes scampering at me, sliding across the Pergo flooring in his socks.
"Mom, Mom, Mom! Come quick, it's important!"
"What? " I ask as I attack a mountain of crusty dishes.
"Just come see!!" He urges.
"Okay, Okay." he face is too excited to let this moment pass.
We walk to the corner of the hallway and my other two sons have something surrounded on the floor.
It's a little brown cricket.
" Mom! There's a CRICKET in the house!!!!" They are inspecting it. It's fun for them. My two year looks like he is going to poke or squash it.
"Leave the cricket be." I say. It's just one little cricket, but I don't need a squashed cricket mess to clean up.
"The Chinese say they are good luck. " I say importantly. I walk back to my dishes.
It occurs to me briefly that it is an insect and I should probably catch and release it outside. But I don't. I choose to be lazy about it and do other things. The dishes seem much more pressing at the time.

The next time my kids see a cricket in a different area of the house I think it's the same one and it hops away under the couch. Not my problem.
Then,pretty soon, we start seeing one in the kitchen, one in the boys room, and the chirping starts up at night.

One night I am up late getting a late night snack, and I pass my husband who is sleeping on the couch due to his increased snoring when he is mildly congested. The crickets are peeping away, one here, one there, hidden little noises making a symphony around us. The pitch and volume is incredible, really. It's loud. The suckers have been multypling in my house.

"How can you sleep?" I ask my husband.
"Doesn't bother me." he mumbles sleepily.
It bothers me. I am not tending house for a cricket festival of mating insects!
Pretty soon, they have migrated, unseen, into MY bedroom and they are keeping me up at night. I am frustrated because before, earlier, I could see the one or two crickets, but now, I can't see where they are to get rid of them!

It occurs to me that there are lots of places in my life, where I have let the "crickets" be.
When the conversation I had with a family memeber doesn't go exactly the way I intended, ah oh well, next time it will be better. I have other things I need to tend to right now.
When the toys start piling up in the livingroom, I think later, later...
When I exceed our budget one month and then another month, I keep thinking, oh it will be fine.

Then, one night, the noises in my head are a cacophony of those put off things, the rewind button keeps automaticlly replaying what my family member said and what I stupidly said back. The toys are driving my bonkers and I hate the way I ineffectively yelled at the kids about them today. The budget has me feel like I am in game of slipe and slide, only it's not fun, and I have been tossing and turning and cranky with my husband.
These "crickets", things that just don't belong there or just don't work for me, but I chose to ignore them, are now keeping me awake at night. They are robbing my peace of mind and stealing increments of my wellbeing and patience. Because I let them, because I chose not to catch and release right when I noticed them the first time.
I can see now that there are just actions to take, catch and release...catch the words that just came out of my mouth and release them by acknowledging that those words are RIGHT there. I said them. And that's not what I want in our space. And then shooo! out they go. And we have a new clear space to create something new.
Same with the toys and the bills, just acknowledge that they are there, right THEN, catch the issue and release it where it belongs. The toys go where they go and a system for having them go that way. The money goes where it goes and we consistently have it go there.
By taking these steps I begin to have a new found freedom in those areas, and find myself being much more present and bold in handling other areas of my life as well. I am writing more consistently, being much more present with my children. I am taking care of business with my business and in communication immediately with my husband.

In fact, my husband teams up with me, hears a cricket inside the portable cassete player in our bedroom the other day, and moves the squatter and boom box outside. I feel a minor sense of victory.

Zen Honeycutt

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