It Was A Nice, Quiet Evening
That’s all I wanted—a nice, quiet evening. My husband rented a movie, and I was tired from a long week. The boys finished supper and we piled into the living room to relax.
An hour into the movie, I heard it.
When the dishwasher repairman came last week, he found small, white pieces of plastic in the void underneath the machine’s drainage system. Then he showed us our problem—chewed wires. I know what you’re thinking, Seriously, another mouse? Well, what you’re thinking is a lot better than what I was thinking, ‘cause I’m fed up with these little boogers around here.
My husband jumped up, slid the fixed dishwasher out, and sent Frank, the dog, into the hole, behind the dishwasher. Within seconds, the larger than expected mouse shot across our living room. Frank was hysterical, running laps, barking, and sniffing like a maniac. Recliners were flipped upside down as the chase went from the kitchen, around the living room, and behind the “catch-all”.
For the record, I’m a nester. I scatter my projects, papers, folders, and books wherever I work; this time my nest just so happened to be where Frank thought the mouse was. He slid into spaces barely big enough for the mouse, much less a dog, spinning his wheels and shooting papers and notebooks out behind his energized feet. I was perched on the tallest barstool and had the boys gather my papers since there was no way my feet were touching the floor.
Then we heard him under the china cabinets. In order to move the pieces of furniture, we had to remove the piles of junk from the top. So much was hindering us from catching the mouse because we had seventeen years of junk stuffed everywhere that should have been dealt with years prior.
We cleared the tops and scooted everything out from the wall. Frank immediately charged into the new hole, barking and scratching.
“I see him! He’s under the fridge!” my oldest yelled.
My husband hit the floor with a flashlight and spied the culprit. A few shots with the BB gun later, the rat hunt was over, and we were left staring at our messier than usual house that looked more like an obstacle course than a living room and kitchen.
In the aftermath of another critter hunt, I realized just how much junk we have actually acquired. We stuff things everywhere. There were items on top of the cabinet that I forgot we had purchased. Instead of sorting through and dealing with the stuff, we just shoved it away for another day.
Like our emotional junk. Mental junk. Life junk. Even when we realize a new problem, sometimes there is so much other stuff in the way, it takes twice as long to get to the root of the matter.
This mouse hunt last night made me aware of the importance of daily maintenance. If I want to get better at tackling the new, bigger struggles in my life—the ones eating my wires and killing the machine—I have to do better at dealing with the smaller, daily struggles and not letting them pile so high.
Daily reflection. Journaling. Still moments with the Lord. All of these will help me be better prepared when the bigger problems arise. Self-care routines, mental health maintenance, physical activity, and accountability also need to be apart of my days.
How about you? Are you prepared to capture the rodents that randomly show up in your life? Or do you have too much junk in the way to have a good chance at a chase? What daily maintenance do you need to put into place to be better prepared for the bigger critters of life?