I moved out to the country to live in peace and beauty away from the stresses of the suburbs. It is pretty quiet out here. Unfortunately I discovered country living is not stress-free by any means.
Country living is quite different form living in the suburbs or in a subdivision with houses in your back yard! I get to look out at farmland, hear the cows mooing, all kinds of beautiful song birds singing and the honking sound that gorgeous pheasants make and occasionally coyotes howling. Thankfully I don’t hear that sound too often.
I never knew how stressful living in the country can be.
Every now and then I hear a loud thump against the front picture window. Dang! Another bird that didn’t see the pane and killed itself Not only does that death leave me feeling sad but the awful part is I have to dispose of the dead body. Yikes. That still gets to me! Freaks me out, actually.
Then there are the mice. When the neighborhood cats leave me gifts (dead mice on my patio or near the front door) that too freaks me out.
Of course it is way worse when the dead mouse is in the house! Thankfully I manage to turn on lights to see them rather than find them underfoot. Usually the lights surprise the living mice as much as their presence surprises me. Scream time!
So I also had to learn to dispose of dead mice and to be able to get to sleep when I know I saw the mouse scamper across the room but cannot find it. (I miss my cat who used to catch them—except then he would bring them to me!)
At first I did lose sleep. The sleep deficit built up my stress level. How would you feel about sleeping when you know a mouse is running around your house?
And then there are the spiders everywhere. I pulled back my bedcovers and there was another spider. I moved a rock in my garden and there was a huge black widow spider sitting on that rock.
I never used to kill anything. I still do not like to. But after being bitten multiple times by spiders last year and having been sick from the after effects of those bites for eight months I now kill any living thing in my house that is not human. Note: I did talk with all of them about being in my house. I did warn them.
Remarkably, what freaked me out when I first moved here making me wonder if I wanted to stay, now just bothers me. I can deal with all the animals (oh yes, the raccoons and squirrels too) both alive and dead.
I may not enjoy it but I can do it. And I still jump when I see a mouse zip by—especially because they are so fast I not only cannot catch them I cannot even determine where they went to hide!
My stress level is considerably lower now that I decided I would rather live out here in farm country than closer in to town. I also see how clearly I alone control whether or not some experience is a stressor or not for me.