The lesson of the cockroach and the sunset

I’d be lying in a ditch now, if the cockroach had his way. sunsetlight

I was driving back from seeing a client, when he stopped to say hello. On my arm. The one that was guiding the steering wheel. Cue screaming, and a certain amount of arm flapping. And then when relative calm restored, a dilemma. Is the sudden unwelcome appearance of a cockroach the size of Bangladesh, on your driving arm an ’emergency’? Enough of an emergency for hazard lights? And screaming.?

Oh the screaming!  have a blue bruise on my shoulder now, testament to the force I used to pinch the visitor from my arm and squish him into a rolled up piece of paper which I started to lop off into the berm, until conscience stopped me. If not an emergency, is it enough of a problem to excuse wanton littering? Is there ever an excuse for NOT keeping NZ clean?

As I panicked with the ten tonne cockroach chewing his escape tunnel through the rolled up circular left over from Miss Fliss’ paper run trying to decide whether to be a litterbug or not, it occurred to me that the cockroach pretty much exemplified the challenges in my life lately. And my inability to deal appropriately. Another car stopped to assess my situation and as I gestured a calamity that would rival the arrival of Godzilla in Godzone,  I stifled a giggle. I have a problem with unexpected display of humour at the wrong moment. See. Inappropriate.

Sometimes I think my life is one constant celestial joke. Take the new house for example. So, we were finding it difficult to find a house to move into three weeks ago and then as if by blessing or magic this house appeared. It had to be right. It felt right. It seemed the only real option (we did try for others to test the theory) and it came to us in a weird way that seemed predestined. IT had to be right. So why then, has it all turned to custard? I’m struggling to pay bills for the old house and the new one and to work enough to get jobs done in time to get paid, in time to pay the people I owe. I work hard, but despite the trite saying, I just don’t seem to get luckier. I just get more tired. Until it’s hard to find the humour. Yes, even when a cartoon comic villain like the Mother-of-all-cockroaches appears and you almost drive off a bridge.

At the end of the day as I scrambled to get work done and dinner made I felt the cockroach (and all the other little pests in my life) were winning, so I did the only thing I could do. I let go. I didn’t drive off the bridge – metaphorically or literally – but I muttered ‘Stuff it’ to my computer and headed out up the hill overlooking Bucklands Beach. It is beautiful. There is no doubt. I may be stressed, tired, feeling like I’m losing and the work-battles are grinding me down, but that does not take away one bit of the majesty of the sunset in Auckland this evening.

My reaction to what happens is irrelevant. It’s noise. Some might even say it’s interference. Maybe the answer is that I care too much, and all that caring is really a waste of energy and emotion. The sunset didn’t care. It just was. And for a brief moment I forgot to care about work, or clients, or family or friends I’ve let down. I just was. For better or worse. A good thing or a bad thing. After all, the glorious sunset was someone’s last, even in all its soul-lifting glory. It wasn’t good or bad. It just was. And I just was. Standing there on the hill looking out over the sea to the sun pirouetting its finale. I just was in the moment. Like the sunset.

Or for that matter, the cockroach.


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