By Marian Connor

I was thinking…

Mice are no laughing matter. Last week I discovered interlopers in my kitchen. Well to be honest I saw a creature cross my path twice, could have been two individuals or one very lively solitary chap.

Instant horror, I held siege, barricaded the kitchen door with enough stuff to stop a medium sized dog, just in case it wriggled underneath. This was not a lovable mythical creature, a Mickey, Jerry or Mighty Mouse, no yellow shoes and red buttoned shorts or catsuit and cape.



This was invasion of my space by a wriggly unhygienic rodent.

In the wait for the pest controller; I put down traps and began a bleach blitz, if it was stationary it was bleached, floor, work tops, walls, fridge, cupboard doors, take that Mr Mouse, that will mess with your nose! Remove all edible matter into secure places; in fact why not remove everything so I have a clear area to espy any unwanted guests. In hindsight I actually think the universe sent Mr Mouse to get me to sanitize the kitchen. The cleaning bit is good but the dashing in and out jumping over barricades and securing doors is not exactly a fun way to live. Neither was the unwanted feeling of panic, get a grip, it’s a mouse, it won’t eat you.

The pest man came and was certain this was not an infestation, it was a lone mouse who had lost its way but nevertheless he would put down bait just in case, and put it down he did, with enough peanut butter aroma bait, to do for a few large men, I, the person who finds it a problem to kill anything, who escorts flies and spiders out of the house inside a glass, was relieved to have a mouse life executed, amazing what fear does.

The pest man’s parting words were meant to be reassuring; this would not be a problem “You have what we call a Casual Intruder.”

CASUAL can mice be casual? I think of them as furtive little runners. Suddenly I have a vision of a chilled out rodent, checking out a venue to recommend to his chums for a party, well Mr Mus Musculus, it won’t be taking place in my place, oh no think again mouse boy.

When I considered the situation and my reaction to it I must confess I allowed it to cause me a lot more stress than the situation actually warranted.

I needed to apply some of the de-stress techniques I know are effective. Let’s face it in any given day we encounter a lot of casual intruders, people, situations, events that create a lot more stress than is deserved. The intruder, is what it is, the stress factor is determined by our reaction to it.

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”

Marcus Aurelius

When stressful events occur I need to ask:

Can I do anything about this? Then do it.

Can I put things in place to prevent it happening again? Then do so.

Can I do something to reduce this stress and all the inevitable stressors I will encounter every day? Well what are you waiting for!

Listen, “No one can give you wiser advice than yourself.”


Well just as the casual intruders will keep dropping in, we need to be prepared for the visits by incorporating into our daily life a practise of centering and mindfulness that will help meet the guests from a quieter place.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honourably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Rumi – Persian Poet and Theologian 1207-1273

Think about what steps you can take to limit the screaming abdabs whenever things go a bit wonky. Perhaps laughter is a good antidote to mousage.

We will all find different actions, to negate the need for bleach, barricades and bait, that work for us. Here are a few moments of calm for your day.





Image Tile/Header – Screaming Woman – chicagosean

YouTube clip – Mighty Mouse (Original Cartoon Theme Intro)

YouTube clip – Mindfulness Meditation track 8-The Three Minute Breathing Space

YouTube clip – One Minute Breathing Exercise


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