A few years ago, we thought we heard the scurrying of a rodent. up in the rafters. Then we saw droppings under our sink. So the local pest control sent over someone to check it out. And after spending the better part of an hour in our attic, he told us that yes, we had been visited probably by a rodent.
But how? I asked myself silently in my befuddled head. I am as clean as they come. I clean every day, I’m even a stress cleaner. And I’m organized. How did this happen???!!!
He could see I looked perplexed. And quickly explained that the few droppings he saw were probably the result of our neighbor doing roof repairs. He set some traps and told me not to worry. Then he said in a hushed tone, I’m not supposed to tell you this, but you can’t completely get rid of rodents. They’re just part of living in a city.
He explained that basically, no matter how much bleach I drowned my house in, I could not rid myself of rodents. So maybe it was time to chill on the cleaning. Which I did…
And I remembered that story the other day, when I was frustrated at how I had handled a conversation with one of my children. I was going around and around in my head, wondering how I could have handled things differently, what I could have said differently, and the only answer I got, from somewhere up on high was, Remember the rodents.
Remember that it’s impossible to have a perfectly rodent-free home. Remember that it’s impossible to have a conflict-free relationship. Remember that it’s impossible to read another’s mind and anticipate what we should say in every conversation. And remember that it’s impossible to get it right every time.
Annie Lamott says that perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor. Maybe it’s time to stop oppressing ourselves and accept a bit of inner-chaos. It’s inevitable, so why not chill and enjoy the ride…