For the past week or so Ross and I have heard noises in the ceiling.
Both too scared to get up and have a look, we called in the pest experts.
They came, climbed into the roof cavity, agreed there was something there, either a rat or a possum and laid baits and traps.
Each night we would hear the animal leave and then arrive back each morning between 4:30am and 6:00am.
Each day the pest people came to check the trap.
Nothing had moved.
“Should we move the trap closer to where we think they are?” Ross asked the pest person.
“No. They’ll come get the apple if they’re hungry”, replied the pest person.
That didn’t really make any sense to Ross and I because the animal clearly wasn’t hungry. It was coming home to sleep.
This morning I heard it trying to get into the roof about 6:00am.
“Come on Ross. We should go up there and see for ourselves.”
“I’ll do it later”, said a sleepy Ross.
“No. We need to get up there now and see what we can find”, I insisted. “I’ll go with you.”
So we got up, got dressed, put shoes and gloves on and got the ladder and up we went.
It was difficult for me to get into the ceiling through the manhole because the ladder was a bit short. Anyway, I got up.
We had a look around. I shimmied over to the lowest part of the roof where we thought the animal was. We couldn’t see anything. There was nothing more to be done except get down.
Now the fun began.
I have a bit of a fear of heights and attempting to get down through the manhole reminded me of the day I got stuck coming down Mt Gower on Lord Howe Island. I was okay going up, but coming down and coming down face first. Now that’s a different story.
I had visions of me falling face first through the manhole and collecting the ladder as I went.
I froze. Just like the possum in the roof. I couldn’t move.
“I’m scared Ross. I can’t do it.”
Ross did his best to encourage me.
“Hold onto me”, he offered.
“No. You won’t be able to hold me.”
“You have to get down Shirl.”
“I know. I know I have to get down. I just can’t do it yet. I have to figure it out.”
“Let me show you.”
Ross stood with his two feet either side of the manhole and gently lowered himself onto his arms and then dropped his feet and legs onto the ladder.
My eyes bulging, I was terrified.
“I can’t do it. The ladder is too far away.”
“Do you want me to get the other ladder?”
I stood in the ceiling shaking and holding onto the beam above me while Ross went and changed ladders.
“You have to get down Shirl”, he encouraged.
Shaking all the way, I somehow managed to get the courage to trust myself to move one foot at a time and lower myself to sit on the edge and dangle my feet to the point where they almost met the ladder.
“A few more inches”, motioned Ross.
At last, my feet connected with the ladder.
“You did really well”, said Ross.
“Hmmm. Not something I want to do again in a hurry.”
There is something about going head first that scares me. For some reason I am much better if I can turn around and go out backwards.
In the end I did get down because I had to get down.
How about you?
What are the things that you’re scared to do, that you just have to find a way to do? There is no other option other than to do the thing that frightens you.
As Susan Jeffers says in her book of the same name, “Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway”.
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