Friday, October 15, 2021

Cricket Frog Story

 About three weeks ago, my cricket frog disappeared.

Quarter for scale.

No idea where he went. I tore apart the whole terrarium looking for him but he'd vanished. The thing is, cricket frogs are very tiny (hence the name), and since the environment is semi-aquatic and filled with bugs, I figured he had died and been broken down/consumed. It was very sudden and it really bummed me out. It was one of many tiny things lately that has really disproportionately affected my mood.

Every little thing has been getting me down lately because of two very big things.  The first is that Andrew got a lucrative offer from a company in San Franciso, so we'll be moving out of Los Angeles before the end of the year.  Moves are very stressful to me, and I hate moving.  We've lived in our current home for almost a decade and I'll miss the familiarity of my surroundings.  I love Los Angeles; it's my adopted hometown.  And although San Francisco isn't far, it's just far enough to really get me outside of my comfort zone.

The other major thing is that Seamus is dying.  At sixteen and a half, Seamus is old and demented enough to become a United States president.  I can't think of any way to take him with us; the move would be cruel.  He's already a bundle of anxiety, and the move could very well kill him.  He has panic attacks every night, frequent accidents in the house (which has never happened before), and trouble getting into the bed and even on the couch.  It's time to say good-bye but I don't know how to do that.  He's my best friend and moving to a new place without him is terrifying to me.  We're putting off the inevitable for as long as we can and trying to enjoy the very short time we have left with him, but it's coming.

The anxiety is paralyzing.  When the cricket frog disappeared, I didn't even bother cleaning out the terrarium. Just left it on my desk with all the plants still in it. It felt like a metaphor for my mood: a smelly, stagnant, uninhibited swamp.

Yesterday was another rough day. It was supposed to be Cal's first day of daycare, but due to a series of miscommunications, I drove to three separate locations and he was 2 hours late. By the time I finally dropped him off and came home, I had only 45 minutes to myself.

Having the energy to do anything can be so hard sometimes. (Example: cleaning out the terrarium.) But I was determined not to let myself get mired in self-pity, and so, with an immense push of willpower, I spent those 45 minutes cleaning the bathroom.

(If you've experienced depression then you know how hard it can be to start a big task, let alone complete it.)

Afterwards I didn't feel better. But at least the bathroom was clean.

As I was putting away the cleaning supplies, I moved the shower curtain, and... PLOP.

Out fell the missing cricket frog, right into the bath tub.

Apparently he has been slumming it in the bathroom for 3 weeks, undetected. How he escaped in the first place is unknown. How he made it to the bathroom and avoided getting rinsed down a drain or eaten by the cat is also a mystery.

But he's safely back home now.

...sometimes the universe throws you a bone right when you need it.

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