Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Lizard! LIZARD! Sloth! SLOTH!

Warning: this might just be the most incoherent babble you've heard all day.

I try not to throw the word hate around too much lest it lose its poignancy, but I hate lizards. HATE. What you call irrational fear, I call perfectly justifiable SCREAMING BLOODY MURDER WHILE STANDING ON THE KITCHEN TABLE. Living on an island, there are all kinds of slithery creatures that I inevitably come face to face with on a daily basis. It's pretty gross.

This weekend, I was rolling the trash can back up to the side of the house, when I stopped three feet away from the gate. Just a sudden *gasp*/*HALT* moment. Something felt horribly wrong in the universe. Had I left a teenager somewhere? Had I stepped outside without any clothes on? No. There was a lizard on the gate latch. A lizard. A! LIZ! ARD! It was hiding on the side of the handle closest to the gate, but I saw its creepy-crawly little feetsies peeking around the edges. But then, the green little demon creature pulled itself around and actually turned its head to look at me with its beady little demon eyes. Oh it was disgusting! It was so so horrible! It saw straight through to my lizard-hating soul and made my insides burn with images of all the wretched things it was going to do to my house as payback. Needless to say, I ran away with the speed of an antelope with a pack of lions at its heels and abandoned the trash can for a few hours till it felt safe again.

I know this is a weird analogy, but just bear with me here... There's a lot going on in my life. Good, bad, ugly, just... a lot. And it's mostly good, I've got to say! But wrangling ten teenagers takes it out of me. I'm exhausted all the time and when I'm exhausted, I tend to get sloppy. Like maybe my first reaction when plans change is a negative thought. Or a kid will say something rude and instead of thinking, 'He's 14, he doesn't know what he's saying!' I find myself crying in my room. This is what last week looked like. Just a whole lot of feeling tired, overwhelmed, challenged, and, I hate to say it, but bitter. I'm not proud of it.

So when they were all off at a tournament this weekend, right after I'd stared down a green stealth monster from the pits of Hell, I had a thought... Why have all these mishaps and misunderstandings seemed so bad? So omnipresent? And I realized... I was allowing them to be a metaphorical lizard in my life. I let the dread seep in so deep that I was hypersensitive to it, maybe even looking for it even if I didn't have that feeling that something was about to go wrong. How messed up is that? Fearing hiccups and a smart-mouthed jumble of raging hormones is no way to live.


I'm not going to beat myself up about it, but I am going to do something about it. And I'm starting with, why don't you start looking at the good things like a "good lizard"? But since there's no such thing as a good lizard, let's go with... a sloth. Like a magical sloth! Just like I have an irrational fear of lizards, I have an equally irrational love for sloths. Which came looooong before Kristen Bell took all the sloth-loving credit in this world, mmmk? GOSH. But back to the sloths... Man oh man do I love them! I like to think that if I was anywhere near a sloth, I would just feel it! So that's what I'm doing. I'm looking for sloths instead of lizards. I'm making time for sloths (bubble baths), I've got my eyes peeled for sloths (tirelessly happy dogs on the beach), I'm anticipating sloths (homemade frappuccinos with Ali), I'm hoping for sloths (impromptu One Direction dance parties in the car with my girlies), I'm starting to do more and more sloth things to keep me nice and rested and sloth-y. And maybe I'm just going to start being somebody's sloth. I'm going to be someone you can count for a little bit of sloth; a compliment, a cookie, a hug, a listening ear, whatever it is. I want the people in my life to feel like I'm there for them even if it's just in spirit, anticipating their needs, wishing good things for them for them before they even tell me what's going on their life. 

What I'm very inarticulately trying to get at is... what if we started living like the trees bordering this road called Life were full of sloths instead of lizards? What would that kind of living look like?


  1. I really do think it's true that the devil tries hard to get to us when he knows we're closer to God. So I think you should take it as a sign of encouragement that you're on the right path. I've found myself battling this recently, more along the lines of seeing tornadoes every where (my irrational fear). I'm constantly allowing them to rip through my life when there's really no need. Because my safe shelter's always going to be there. ALWAYS. And I think that's what I'm having to learn through this time in my life when it seems all my friends are growing up and starting families and careers and here I am living at home in grad school forever single. But you know what, I think it's okay. Because, man, has He been teaching me lots of things that I know are only going to make me appreciate where I'm headed even more. And if I'm starting to enjoy the journey along the way, well, maybe that's what I was supposed to learn all along.

    Love you!

  2. I think this analogy makes perfect sense, actually! Good luck with everything. :)