Monday, August 17, 2009

To Sleep with Mosquitos

There is a saying, "If you think you are too small to make a difference, try going to sleep with a mosquito." I am paraphrasing, but you get the idea. This has been one of the rainiest summers in the Berkshires and with the humidity and heat, our mosquito population is flourishing. They will not make it to the endangered species list anytime soon. In fact, they are probably excited about global warming. They are pretty powerful insects when you think about it. For something so small, they take up an aweful lot of our thinking and conversations. Walking in the woods with a friend last week, doused in bug spray, I managed to escape with only 100 or so welts on my legs. They are not deterred by the chemicals we place on our body. They don't succumb to whispers of sweet nothings, flattery or begging. I tried all three on my hike. I finally resorted to running. You can outrun them, but stop and they catch up. There are articles written about them, whole conversations take place with this little creature as the topic. We have become mosquito obsessed. For a good reason, they are eating us alive. But I return to the quote. I could learn a lot from a mosquito, not a lesson in nutrition, but one in persistence. They will try to bite no matter who you are. They are not afraid to fail and go the extra mile, or three, to get their dinner. They are unaware of their size, and have no fear. They take chances, landing on an eyeball or wrist. This morning I was journaling about fear, mainly my fear of failure, but what goes with that is a fear of success. What if I succeeded at my goals? Would everyone like me or would they talk behind my back? Am I freezing up, skipping some work because it just might help me to succeed? Can I break the fear into pieces to examine them closer? What is behind the flight or fight? Am I feeling too small to make a difference? For me the process of writing keeps me sane. I sit and type and immediately feel a sense of serenity. But when I am upset I don't turn to my journal or computer, I turn to ice cream or anger or pity. Today I am holed up in my apartment, spending the day writing. I would like to think I could sit outside, but there is danger lurking. That is power and that is why I should pay attention to the lesson the tiny insects teach. Off to find my Caladryl.

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