I’m finding it somewhat difficult to be positive this week as to a large extent we have been held hostage inside the house since Tuesday. Just when I thought that we were getting on top of the heat problem (its only 42 degrees today and our 5:30am wake-up has allowed for playtime outside), a swarm of killer flies has descended upon our little community, laying waste to everything in its path.
People have had to take time off work, there have been numerous allergic reactions and the local health centre has issued warnings.
These aren’t just ordinary house flies that buzz around your face and generally aggravate you a bit. Nor are they the typical March fly. Both of those I can handle. These devils bite through clothing, have absolutely no regard for insect repellent and leave the fortunate ones covered in red welts, while the less fortunate are faced with Epipen injections, daily antihistamines and time in the medical centre.
Our daily walk to the local pool has become a cross between an Indian war dance and a scene from a horror film as the swarm descends on the pram and I, leaving me dancing about and doing my utmost not to curse out loud.
However, in a sick and twisted way these horrible creatures have reminded me that despite this plague of biblical proportions, there are undoubtedly positive lessons to be learned.
1. We are lucky! Unpleasant though the itching is, it’s highly unlikely that we will contract diseases from the bites. Medical assistance is available and unlike many places across the world, insect plagues aren’t resulting in deaths.
2. Daily exercise soothes the soul (and the itching). Our walk to the pool may be a nightmare but the daily hour of swimming offers a reprieve from the biting and itching. It is a time of peace and tranquillity with the added bonus of burning calories!
3. Even after a relentlessly long hot summer, it is still possible to find non TV based activities to entertain a toddler inside. This week we have made play dough (rose pink), baked cupcakes for our neighbour, played sock puppets and done lots of dancing around the house.
4. Adversity makes us appreciate the good things in life more. Once we leave here it is doubtful that we will ever again be faced with such long hot summers, or killer flies, man eating lizards and oceans of stink beetles. As a result, I am genuinely looking forward to enjoying more moderate climates and swatting the occasional mosquito, things that I otherwise would have taken for granted or even complained about.
5. Killer flies tend to be most savage towards darker colours. Is this a metaphor for life? Can our own light coloured attitudes (positive, calm and happy) help us to ward off unwanted pests, while darker more negative attitudes have the opposite effect?
What lessons have you learnt from unpleasant (and frankly irritating) experiences? How do you stay positive?