Day 108. Count your blessings — not your geckos…

365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 108.  Tuesday, July 12, 2011
This morning my door bell rang at 9 am.  He’s here! 

I was excited to open the door and greet Batman / Superman / or whatever name this caped superhero goes by.  The more “common” name is exterminator. 

The badge on his uniform indicated his name was “Scott”.  He didn’t say much and he wasn’t smiling.  Nevertheless, I remained optimistic. 

He asked me if the salesperson had gone over the service agreement.

I mumbled, “not really.”

He proceeded to explain the contract and stood there at my door waiting for me to sign.

I looked at him puzzled. 

I said, “I’d prefer if you walk through my home first and explain what you will do.”

He walked in reluctantly. I began to explain my gecko woes.  He wasn’t interested. 

He told me I need to go buy sticky glue traps.    

I looked at him puzzled. 

He explained they don’t treat geckos. 

I debated with myself at this point.  He might not treat geckos—but he needs to focus on how they treat the geckos’ food source.  Spiders, for instance.  He has not done this. 

There was dead silence as I wrestled with my thoughts. 

I explained to Scott that the salesperson led me to expect a different service than what I was receiving.  I explained I would not need his service and led him out of my home.

I was fuming.  I was expecting a team effort in ridding my home of these stupid, tiny creatures that have invaded my garage and my mind.  I had imagined having fascinating discussions on geckos and wasps’ nests, and various other invaders that are inevitable as a homeowner. 

Instead I drove to Lowe’s Home Improvement and bought sticky glue traps.  As I reflected on how my time was wasted and how the exterminating service completely missed the mark, a thought occurred to me. 

In talking to the salesperson last week, she explained they’d inspect the house and find the points of entry for the geckos.  Over the weekend I found that point of entry.  It’s the water heater closet.  The builder did not seal this closet completely. 

If I hadn’t spoken to the salesperson I wouldn’t have discovered the problem in the water heater closet.  I was finally able to smile again. 

The Smiling Daffodil is now an exterminator.

The Dale Carnegie principle I used is from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Count your blessings – not your troubles

While the exterminating service did not deliver what I expected I did my best to find the good in the experience.  I will be the first to admit it’s not always easy.  I really had to work hard at not chewing out Scott and the salesperson who called to follow-up with me.  But in the big picture—it’s not worth it. 

Do your best to focus on the good and you’ll live a happier life.

Day 105. The geckos made me do it.

365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles

Day 105.  Saturday, July 9, 2011
I woke up this morning and I was overwhelmed with the thought of geckos.  How will I survive this day with this one thought looming in my mind?

A Kniphofia plant (a.k.a. Red Hot Poker). Main features are its bright fiery blooms. I too was red hot trying to combat worry.

I put on some grubby clothes and decided to do yard work in 100+ degree weather.  This wasn’t delicate gardening—this was yard work.  I pruned the bushes, I weeded, I dug up a stubborn tree sapling.  I removed old wasps’ nests.  I was irritated with myself that I let these tasks go untouched for so long.  Then I contemplated if I’m lazy in these areas where else am I lazy?  This gave me a stronger resolve to continue my rampage. 

I took the battle into the garage where I cleaned and removed junk I have never touched in years. 

Then the battle for clean and organization went indoors.  I cleaned out closets.  I vacuumed.  I folded laundry.

I did this for about 7 hours today.  I’d like to say I didn’t think of geckos once during those 7 hours—but I did.  I had to deal with a couple of them in the garage.  But what is important to note is that my approach to this day worked. 

I was so irritated with myself that I’ve been too busy/distracted/lazy/not interested in being a homeowner.  I accepted this reality—because I was looking at it—overgrown bushes, weeds, laundry, clutter, etc.  But I also knew I didn’t have to accept living like this. In this process I distracted myself from my real fear that greeted me this morning “the g word”

The Dale Carnegie principles I used today are from How to Stop Worrying and Start Living:
Keep busy.

My lesson to you—keeping busy is an excellent way to keep your worries and fears in check.  In my case, I was very productive—cleaning, weeding and creating organization out of my perceived crisis.