I am not a gardening fan….I think I would be but I have a HUGE fear of spiders. So anything to do in the garden feels like a chore! Just in case one of them crawls on me! The worst of it is, I know I’m on their turf! I’m ok with that! Stay out of my house but have everywhere else!
Today, Scott and I had a few things to do out there, mainly raking up leaves, trimming a few things and sorting out the bird feeding station so it is all set for winter and our lovely birds are fed! I love the idea of it all and making the garden look good for winter. I should confess at this point, we do have a gardener that comes fortnightly in the spring/summer months to do regular maintenance. Last week he came and cut back a part of our garden that was overgrown and starting to be jungle like. Hence us working in the garden today.
So I pulled my boots on, made sure I put on a cosy jacket and then went outside. I made Scott go into the shed to get my gardening gloves, then check them inside for spiders. Scott was looking around the shed and then said, don’t look up! 😬 I avoid the shed as much as I can, as I know what huge creatures lurk in their. Anyway, I got to work raking leaves up, putting it into the garden waste bin and emptying out pots of dead plants all the while trying not to think about the scary spiders that could be lurking near.
Now I did see one, but I just moved away and continued raking and avoided that spot. Now I know, the leaves I was picking up and putting into the bin more than likely had them hiding in it. But for want of a better expression, I buried my head in the sand and pretended they didn’t exist and wouldn’t be there, waiting for me. I continued to work away, thinking about a million other things to distract my mind from going back to those creepy eight legged horror creatures. It worked, I managed to do what I needed to do and not notice anymore. I did help a slater (woodlouse) get back onto it’s legs and crawl away, I didn’t mind helping him. I wish I could be brave like that with the scary spiders!
If I find myself in a situation where I know the scary things will be, I occupy my mind in someway to not pay attention to what could be a fight, flight or freeze situation. I have gone through each of these at times when it comes to spiders, definitely not pleasant!
Years ago when I was travelling with a friend, we went to check out an orchard for potential work, the guy was lovely but when he showed us the accommodation that went with the job, it was terrifying. Whilst the bunkbeds were fine, the live and dead spiders that were all over the windows, the corners of the room and the walls, freaked us out. But worst was still to come.
We were staying one night there before a decision had to be made about the job. we went to go to the toilet, it was dark, it was outside and it was a wee shack, it was actually like a scene from a horror movie inside. I thought the room was bad, but oh my god, this had webs, spiders, flies and a million other things creeping about in the night. I had no choice I needed to pee and no matter how long I put it off, I just had to go. So I bravely had a torch, and went. I had one rule, don’t look up! No matter what I saw in front of me and beside me, the worst would be directly above me and I wasn’t risking seeing something so terrifying or causing it to fall, followed by me screaming and running out with my trousers round my ankles into the darkness!
I survived! I made it back to my room with my friend, who was feeling similar to me. I had the top bunk and went to bed fully clothed with the sleeping bag pulled right up over my head with no chance of anything getting in, let alone me breathing. We left the next day.
We often do things in life that scare us, put us way out of our comfort zone and just make us feel eeky! But maybe we just need a phrase or a rule we follow to help us get through the situation and move forward even if we continue to be unsure and scared for the next step. Mine as you know is Don’t Look Up or if i’m outside I pretend spiders don’t exist – particularly when I am in the garden working or in the woods walking. It helps me to cope in that moment of time, allowing me to fake bravery and just do what I need to do.
Never feel ashamed to just do what you need to do in order to ‘survive’ a situation. If speaking to yourself and talking yourself through it works then do it, or if you want to repeat it in your head then go for it.
Be bold and be brave going into next week. Halloween is coming so the fake spiders will be out in force! Stay safe.
Take care, love Emma xxx 😀