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What's your kryptonite?

APRIL  2, 2020   |  BY LESLIE CAPPS

I heard the birds requesting to be fed this morning, so I was half awake when I reached into the birdseed container. EEK!!! It moved! A mouse had found his way in – how rude!!!

 

After a loud, girly shriek and running backwards, I headed back into the house to assess the situation. Let me say, that I’m not necessarily afraid of mice…they aren’t going to kill me, but something about the rapid movement of a mouse freaks me out. I know all creatures are trying to get through life, but I prefer that mice get on with their lives outside my garage.

 

I closed my eyes and set the lid back on the birdseed container. I tried to rationalize my fear as I steeled myself with a little shot of hooch – to be clear, it’s eggnog with hooch included. I was willing to try anything to calm my racing heart. How to tackle this problem? Who could I call to be my white knight? It’s the height of coronavirus and 7 am.

 

I’m a grown-ass woman, I said to myself. I have jumped into mountain chutes on skis. I have been run over by cows. I have been bit by a dog. I’ve lived alone, 30 miles from civilization. I have doctored myself and others out in the middle of nowhere until we could get to a medical professional. I have faced physical and mental adversity, yet a tiny mouse is bringing me to a standstill. C’mon!

 

After an hour of trying to distract myself, I decided I had to face the demon mouse. He was probably more scared than me. I devised a plan to drag the now covered birdseed container to the backyard and scoop mouse and birdseed out. It worked like a charm. I felt quite smug until the dogs saw the mouse and chased it. As the mouse bee-lined at me, I threw the birdseed scoop, shrieked and ran for cover. One of those moments, you look around sheepishly, hoping no one saw you. Not feeling quite as smug!

 

Mice are my kryptonite. We all have a fear (however, irrational) that immobilizes us. To hear my personal story, you might think that I was fearless, but we can’t know what fears lie in the heart of others. Those fears can lay buried and fester. Then one day, we are confronted with the fear and reality of a pandemic. This adds to our own fears as well as the everyday stress of our lives – financial, health, relationships. It can be a heavy burden to bear.

 

I have been disheartened how some of my fellow humans have responded to this pandemic distress. They have taken to shaming people who are not following the "rules". Let us not assume or make judgments of others in this time of crisis. I am always reminded of “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” This would be a great time to start practicing that adage.

 

The reality is people who were unhappy before the pandemic are more unhappy and happy people are less happy. Lashing out does not serve anyone. I’m no saint. I felt peckish with a cashier who could barely ring up my purchase because he was on his cell phone. I held back words and just smiled instead. Many of us had a heaping plate of troubles without adding on quarantines, lack of toilet paper and isolation.

 

Let us all practice a little more grace in our interactions with others. Let us all recognize that we have fears that are governing our actions and words. Maybe if we wore arm bands that indicated our kryptonite, we would be kinder to ourselves and others. Let us all realize that we are, indeed, in this together. Take good care.

 

 

We all have a fear that immobilizes us.


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