cripsy13

Musings, mutterings from the misguided.


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Well, my 46th birthday came and went with very little fanfare. I spent some time with friends and family and it was all very nice, indeed.  But, I did something a bit different this year. You see, last year, I started taking on a ‘fear a year’ – where I would do something completely out of my comfort zone.  

I have many, MANY things that would take me out of my comfort zone.  The list is endless.

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I am very fortunate to work next door to our Provincial Museum.  Over the years, I’ve gotten to know my neighbours very well, to the point where I can come and go freely within the building.  It’s a pretty nifty place, filled with history, exhibits of all kinds and…a Bug Room.

Yes, a Bug Room.  An enchanted place where you can see live and in person, bugs of all shapes and sizes – everything from stick insects to a mammoth bird eating spider.

Maybe enchanted wasn’t quite the word I was looking for.  Hmmm…let’s go with terrifying instead.  Yes, that’s better.

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You can literally hear them scuttling about, you can watch cockroaches crawl over each other and you can even view a millipede (this one looks like it’s on steroids).  But the worst thing?  The spiders.  All different kinds, shapes and sizes.

I hate spiders.  Hated ’em since I was a kid.  I remember once when I was little, playing in the basement, I saw a spider (which at the time – to me – was the size of a football), so I started screaming ‘SPIDER!  SPIDER!  SPIDER!’ at which point my mother came running down the stairs with a bucket of water – she thought I’d been yelling ‘FIRE!’

Now, as a grown woman of 46, I can still scream like a little girl when I find one in my house.  I’d never kill one; in fact – I would scoop it up into a glass and toss it over my balcony (which is 12 storeys up, so I’m not sure if they ever make it or not).  Those little black ones that run across your ceiling like Ben Johnson with the shits – I HATE those!

(You might have an inkling where I’m going with this).

I mustered up the courage to contact the guy who runs the Bug Room, Pete.  I explained why and what I wanted to do and he was more than happy to accommodate my request.

So, at exactly 3:00 pm on my birthday, I made my way over to the museum – shaky, a bit queasy – but kind of excited at the same time.  I met Pete in the bug lab, where they grow all of the bugs – imagine the Smithsonian Institute – but with containers of insects – row upon row of them.  I made it in the front door and just sort of stopped.  I’d been in there before, but this time it was different.  I was gonna do it.  YES, I WAS…

I WAS GONNA HOLD A TARANTULA.

Pete is amazing.  He loves these creatures like they were his children.  He was thrilled to be able to help me overcome my fear (now, at this point, I wasn’t sure if I was going to throw up, wet my pants or possibly just pass out).  Very gently, he took Rosie from her house and put her on his hand.  I stood about 10 feet back, just looking.  Then, I slowly made my way over and took a good look at her.  Yep, that is one big, hairy spider.  Looked at her for a couple more minutes.  Then, I very tentatively touched her.  OMGOMGOMGOMGITOUCHEDIT!  But, wait a minute.  That wasn’t so bad.  As a matter of fact, she’s kinda fuzzy.  Like a pipecleaner.  Pete then asked if I wanted to hold her and I drew in a deep breath, and said – sure.  Very slowly, Pete placed Rosie in my hand.  Watching her, each leg moved with exact precision as she adjusted to my hand.  She was so delicate in her movements!  She just sort of sat there, not moving much.  For about the first 30 seconds I stood there in shock…THERE IS A GIANT TARANTULA ON MY HAND.  Then I took a really good look at her.  She was sort of cute, in a giant, hairy spider sort of way.  And very light.  Then I smiled – this wasn’t so bad!  This was really cool!  She started to move a little bit, which for a millisecond threw me off, but then it was neat how she sort of tickled my palm with her movements.  I was smitten.

I held onto Rosie for about 10 minutes, looking at her with complete awe.  What an interesting creature.  Pete explained the misconception regarding tarantulas and how they’re much more afraid of us than we are of them.

I allowed Pete to put Rosie back into her house.  I was beaming from ear to ear – not only because I found her fascinating, but because I did something that in a million years, I never thought I’d be able to do.

I stepped out of my comfort zone in a big, BIG way.  I overcame a fear.  Now, I’m not about to start collecting spiders as pets, but in the future, I will look at them in a completely different way.  

Next year – ‘a fear a year’:  Gonna go on a date with a nice guy.  Of course, I have to find one, sedate him and brainwash him, but I think I’m up for the challenge 🙂

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46 Shades of Grey (hair)

I don’t remember getting here, but I have arrived!

Yep, in less than a week, I will be 46.  That’s one year closer to 50.  

I’m afraid.

To be honest, I’ve never thought about getting old.  I mean, I knew it was going to happen (eventually and obviously) but I’ve really not sat down and thought to myself ‘well, here you are.  I guess it’s time you started buying polyester pants and sweatshirts with kittens on them.’  Or, ‘Don’t forget to put orthotics in your shoes, because you know how much your back hurts when you forget.’

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I think that the big reason that this has come to a head is that I found my very first grey hair about two weeks ago (pun intended).

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Now, I always thought that was stupid.  Really?  A grey hair?  Big deal.  Well, to me it was a big deal.  It made me stop and think that hey, I am getting older and it’s time to stop putting off things that I need and want to do.

Like lose the weight I’ve gained over the past 10 years.  Take myself to Ireland.  Scrimp and save so that I can buy the condo I’ve rented and called home for the last 10 years.  Get my affairs in order (okay, yes I know I’m 46, not 106) – but some of these are things that I’ve never thought that much about.

I’m also realizing that as I get older, my body is starting to rebel against me (okay, let’s just call a spade a spade – it HATES ME).  I went to the doctor yesterday for one issue, and came out with two.  I am scheduled for a minor surgery in two weeks.  Next week I have to see a new doctor about something else.  I’ve some weird rash on my face that I’ve never had before.  In there are more appointments for my Weight Wise program.  Let’s not forget my counsellor!  

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All of it a bit overwhelming to someone who has the memory and attention span of a drunk fruit fly.  Which is where the problem lies.

I’ve found myself this past week trying to take too many things on.  I’m worried that the person I rent my beautiful condo from will want to sell as soon as my lease is up and thanks to my addictive personality, I haven’t saved enough for a down payment.  I’ve finally got a date for my surgery, which is a good thing, however not something I’m looking forward to.  I’ve got a crap load of weight to lose and I’m struggling with that and how I need to make some very serious changes to my lifestyle and I’m not sure if and when I’ll be ready to that (thankfully, next week I meet with the shrink from my WW program and she’ll be able to provide some help).

And, the more these things pile up, the more I push people away and just want to be by myself.

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The Dragon of Depression is breathing fire at me once again and I’m doing my very best to dodge out of the way.  There are so many things I have to do.  There are so many things I regret doing.  There are so many things that I wish I had the courage to do.  There are so many things I wish I could do, had I the self esteem to do them.

There are so many people I miss, who are not here with me as I travel over the hill, but the one I miss most, is my dad.  He’d be standing with me at the top of that hill, holding my hand – smiling – imparting his wisdom – “Kid, sometimes ya just gotta sit down and separate the pepper from the flyshit.”  

And then you know what he’d do?  He’d push me head first down the hill and laugh his ass off.

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Miss you dad.