I’ve been challenged, by the wonderfully creative Pensitivity, to write a story or a poem to go with the featured image of this post.
There were actually two images to choose from – to see the other one you’ll have to click and visit Pensitivity: Missed the vital bit……..
I picked the one with the person bent over white cabinets.
Let me tell you a story…
Long before I was this super cool and chilled person which you’ve all come to know and love through my blog posts wherein I share lots of tips and tricks on how to be a marvelous mistake-making mess just like me…
I was a perfect…
A perfect what?
Well, it depends on who you ask. You could ask that ant which was wandering along the edge of my desk, but it was disturbing my Zen-like calm, so I’m the only one available to answer at this time.
I’m not joking about the ant, it really did trigger me.
It took lots of self-control to stop myself from moving all the furniture, ripping up carpets, and tearing the plasterboard off the walls in search of other ants.
I explained to myself that this ant most likely landed on my sweater while I was outside and once inside again it crawled from clothing to desk.
But visions of ant invasions caused chaos in the mind’s eye, flashing images of the walls of my house crumbling because they’ve been compromised by a burrowing army.
Aiding and abetting the B-movie horror mental manifestations were real life experiences of the carpenter ants which infested the porch and one window frame the first Summer I lived in this house turning the wood into dust, and the masonry ants which swarmed into the living room last Summer on more than one occasion.
Those instances made me miss the former abode I lived in, which only seemed to have fire ants and they were not interested in the house, their territory was the garden. You couldn’t do any gardening without riling them up, which invariably led to being given sharp bites which were painful and itchy for weeks.
Ants are rather a good symbol for anxiety. It’s not always visible, you can even go for lengthy spells thinking you’ve dealt with it, but one tiny seemingly nothing thing can cause it to come rushing out from its hiding place within.
And soon it is everywhere in everything and you’re flailing around, panicking, unable to think clearly, exhausting yourself until you slump down, feeling wrecked.
The house I’m living in is the kind of building a perfect… should not live in unless what they want to do is face all their fears, their anxiety.
Let me tell you a story…
Long before I moved into this place, I fantasised about owning my own home. I fantasised so hard about it I definitely blew several brain fuses, luckily none of them were vital for writing posts.
I knew finally owning my own home would be a different kind of challenge to the one which has inspired this post. I knew it would bring out all the monsters hiding under my bed… which is why my bed is just a thick mattress placed directly on the floor.
But that tactic just made the monsters crawl around under the floorboards, in the attic, and behind the plasterboard walls.
At first I tried to tackle it all at once, but this proved to be only the right method if what I wanted to do was increase stress levels to breaking point.
Next up was the don’t do anything because you’re paralysed by the spectre of doing things wrong approach.
But things needed doing.
Finally I settled upon the do things bit by bit technique. Do the things which are doable with a mind which keeps screaming in panic at everything that needs to be done.
What about buying some office furniture for the work studio?
Tidy up the clutter… that clutter which triggers violent thoughts of big bonfires and less practical even more environmentally unfriendly methods of disposing of stuff… shelving and drawers would sort all of that out neatly, no fuss, no more worry.
It took me one year to pick out which Ikea furniture to order (I ended up choosing furniture which looks a lot like the white cabinets in the photograph). Half of that time was dedicated to dithering, doubting, and double-checking for the dumbteenth time.
Once the decision was made and the order confirmed, dispatched… I focused my attention on prepping the room rather than winding myself up into a worry ball about having made the wrong choice.
Once the order arrived. It took me several hours to put it all together, and then several more hours the following day to dismantle it to put it together again properly. Yes, I’d followed the instructions.
Finally it was all ready to be slid into place… and reveal something I already knew – the floors are uneven.
I should have bought adjustable feet. Why did I not buy adjustable feet!
I know why – I was trying to keep the cost down – which was a stupid reason considering the feet weren’t expensive compared to the furniture which needed the feet to stop it from leaning in a manner which made me afraid it would all fall over and crush someone.
A year later, I bought adjustable feet.
Some things take time.
I attached the feet right away… which means I’ve made progress and am no longer such a perfect…
And yes, I am still thinking about the ant.
Fun fact: The title of this post comes from dragging and dropping the featured image into Google Image Search.