Reflections on Life Thus Far

My life. My story: Exploring mental health, spirituality, meditation & random thoughts I have


Maybe I have Mice…

So I thought about it and decided I may have been hasty in my assessment of having rats. I looked up the size differences between mice and rats and viewed pics of house mice and it seems more like I have house mice. This is still bad but I feel slightly better because I figure (at least psychologically anyway) mice are somewhat less disastrous to have. They are still going to have to go though.


Image from:



A House Mouse.

House Mouse CC-BY-SA Wikipedia user 4028mdk09 Image copied from (

©Natalya, Reflections On Life Thus Far, 2016.





Life is testing me right now because after months of letting the housecleaning get put on the back burner it’s caught up to me. We have rats (roof rats) and I am really p*ssed off because I am the one doing all the cleaning now. My dad is not tidy and rarely cleans up after himself. Maybe I should cut him some slack but it feels like he doesn’t care about the clutter and dirt and he leaves it for me. In fact if it were not for the rats I likely would not have been motivated to clean up and declutter. So in that respect I am grateful for the rodents.

I’ve been trying to trap them humanely (catch and release) but they have evaded capture


Roof rat on top of a bird feeder. Pic is public domain.

thus far. All I hope for now is to eliminate the food sources and clutter so they will find somewhere else to live. Cleaning up rat poop is not fun and makes me feel worse about how slack I’ve been in keeping house these past months (prior to when I spotted one late in May). It’s like this is my punishment for being depressed and not having the motivation for keeping a clean, tidy home. Now I have no choice but to clean and declutter if I want the rats to go. Technically I have only ever seen two but I am sure there are likely more. Why do they have to be so cute? It would be easier to hate them but even now I am only angry over their unsanitary practices (i.e. pooping in places that are not the toilet, or leaving food they found before I smartened up and put the food in sealed glass containers). Honestly, I am really grossed out by their poop and have trouble falling asleep because any noise I hear makes me think of the rats. It’s wearing me down.



Roof rat. Public domain pic.

There’s just something about having a rat problem that makes me feel horribly dirty. I wish they would just leave and not return. They are making a lot of cleaning work for me and I do not like it! The grass, trees and rose bushes have to be trimmed too since they likely hide in such spots. Gosh, I feel like there is an awful lot to do so they will hopefully leave. Even if I was alright with killing them (I’m not) it would still be necessary to do the cleaning and decluttering so they don’t come back. As it is though I don’t want to kill them because they are dirty and messy but not any worse than humans. Plus they are cute and it’s awfully hard to murder a small furry creature that simply wants to live somewhere and have something to eat. I just hope they don’t damage anything important like pipes or electrical wiring.


©Natalya, Reflections on Life Thus Far, 2016.

Epigenetics and family trauma A link to a short but interesting piece on epigenetics and healing trauma.



Why I Can’t Watch Compulsive Hoarders On TV

An example of a compulsive hoarder’s home. Reminds me of how mine used to look before mom died and I was allowed to clear the junk.

For about a week I was watching various compulsive hoarder t.v. shows on YouTube that captivated me because I grew up with a mother who hoarded. Little did I know how triggered it would make me though. At first it was entertaining and slightly voyeuristic for me but I noticed after a few days my mood was dipping. So I initially chalked it up to PMS but it just didn’t feel like that explained it well enough for me. Then lying awake in bed feeling sad I realised it was my shame that had been triggered watching the compulsive hoarders on YouTube. I’d been transported back in time to the days when my mother hoarded and I felt powerless and ashamed of my home; embarrassed to have friends over I identified with the other adult children on these hoarder shows as they shared how they felt due to their parents’ hoarding problem. Of course having friends over is the last thing you want when you’re living in squalor essentially because one of your parents can’t throw anything out and collects stuff to the point there’s no room for anyone to actually live in the home anymore (cleaning anything is practically impossible too).

So once I had the ‘epiphany’ about where my uncomfortable feelings were stemming from I was able to wake up the next day feeling well again. No more compulsive hoarding shows for me! It felt too dreadful being moody without knowing why, reminded me of years ago when I didn’t have awareness of my emotional states. I felt scared thinking I might be slipping back into a time where any emotional state I was in came as a total surprise to me. Fortunately since stopping watching the compulsive hoarder shows I feel better. Likely the fact I honoured my feelings helped too because I could have simply brushed off my concerns like I used to and kept on watching the shows. But I don’t punish myself anymore and forcing myself to continue watching something that triggered shame and deep sadness in me wasn’t an option.

Now I watch shows where they clean messes and the people aren’t ill like on the hoarding shows that reminded me of my mom. My favourite is “How Clean Is Your House” with Kim and Aggie. It’s not produced anymore but I enjoy the old episodes. The UK episodes are better than the American b/c the Brits are funnier (IMO).

©Natalya, 2014. Reflections On Life Thus Far®



Tired of Winter (It’s Supposed to be Spring!)



Cute raccoon hanging on opossum’s tail. Just because 🙂

Winter isn’t letting go here and I am feeling my energy levels evaporating each time I shovel. Officially it is Spring but you wouldn’t know that to look outside. Outside it’s blustery and snow mixed with freezing rain makes for tricky conditions (driving/walking). Fortunately, the snow we got last week has largely gone due to rain we got afterward but there’s still a fair amount about. Maybe Spring will get here in another week or so then we won’t lose the whole season to cruddy winter! As you can tell my tolerance for cold temps and snow/freezing rain is pretty low.

Yesterday I saw my counsellor where I complained about the weather and how it’s making me cranky. That likely took more time than was reasonable which makes me think I’m stalling or experiencing resistance to something. My resistance is likely due to not wanting to talk about why I never go out or have a social life. My excuse is it’s too difficult to go out and try having fun in social situations. Historically, social situations have not been fun for me so I am already primed to expect negative outcomes. It doesn’t do much for getting me out the door to try retesting the experience. My counsellor would like for me to try going out a bit more so I am not such a hermit like I am now. Currently, I spend most of my time at home unless I have an appointment or my dad has one where he needs help from me. So I really don’t know how to have fun unless it’s on my own. Making myself vulnerable enough to experience new situations with people I don’t know is scary for me. Suddenly my fears of rejection and abandonment come back in a most irrational way.

Sweet raccoon and opossum hanging onto the moon.

Sweet raccoon and opossum hanging onto the moon.

I’m really good at finding courage for facing stuff that scares me internally but externally it’s a whole other issue. In a way my fear is from inside me but it’s a visible or concrete one that can be observed. Recently, the social anxiety has lessened in low social pressure situations like going to the grocery store but stayed the same for social situations requiring me to interact more, such as conversations longer than a minute or two. Maybe I am supposed to just go slowly. But it feels like I have nothing to “show” for all the time I’ve been taking to work on healing myself so I get frustrated. It’s my darn ego trying to trick me into being its slave again! Guess I’ll just have to work on cultivating my patience further.

That’s it for now. I am going to read some blog posts now since I have been slacking in that area.

©Natalya, 2014 for Reflections On Life Thus Far.

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Benjamin Fry and depression

Benjamin Fry and depression.

Great post on dealing with trauma even though the title doesn’t say so.


Speaking vs. Silence

Does anyone else find it utterly annoying to have someone constantly talking about stuff

Listen to the Silence

Listen to the Silence (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

that isn’t all that important or interesting? I get how it’s an effort to reach out and connect with someone but it doesn’t achieve the purpose at all with me. My dad talks all the time about things I consider not worth mentioning or talking about. Yes, I am a bit of an anomaly as a woman I suppose in not enjoying chatter for its own sake. More and more I find myself wanting to have silence. It’s like I’m too comfortable with my own thoughts and having nothing to listen to but the whir of a table fan. Sometimes that gets annoying too though and I end up turning it off to enjoy the silence more.

What is it that makes me disdain listening to someone talk on and on about basically nothing? Is this something anyone else can relate to or am I simply on my own here? Of course I sound totally unfriendly telling you all this but I am happy to converse or listen to stimulating conversation. Heck, even something unstimulating but new is better than hearing the same thing all the time. If my dad has something to say I haven’t had to listen to already before that’s better than his usual conversation; which is, in my opinion, a way to fill the silence with anything he can think of.

Just so you have an idea of what I’m talking about concerning meaningless conversation I’ll give you a few examples. One would be bringing up what to have for a meal (he eats meat and I don’t so I typically can’t offer suggestions he likes). This is not interesting for me and I usually feel irritation when he asks me about meal choices since I can barely cook anything! Another example would be talking about something he is interested in intensely and not considering that I am not interested in the least. He’ll converse about these interests frequently and often not noticing my complete lack of interest. Specifically, he talks a lot about cars. I have zero interest in the mechanics of cars and anything else about them-except for perhaps their fuel economy because that impacts the environment.

Why am I telling you all this anyway you may wonder? Well I want to know if I am being antisocial somehow or unfair. Is it unfair to want a bit of silence? My dad and me are both introverts but me more so. Am I not being sociable enough? To my mind, it is unnecessary to speak if there is nothing of importance to say. I realize that likely makes me sound like a bit of a crank or something but it’s how it is. This also extends to social media but I can tune out what I don’t like there. Real life is not so simple.

Okay, I’m done with my ranting. If you survived this long I thank you for persevering.

©Natalya, 2012-2013.


A Soul Is A Soul

I agree! Love this pic and quote 🙂 Haven’t quite managed to extend it to mosquitos yet though 😛 Apparently this poor baby’s mother was killed so the man is offering comfort 😦


Hoping For A Better Day

It’s been very hot and humid for the past 4-5 days in a row and I am happy today is supposed to be somewhat cooler.

Laptop cooler preventing heating of lap and im...

Laptop cooler preventing heating of lap and improving laptop airflow. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) WHERE CAN I BUY ONE??!!

So far it is and I am grateful! My computer is running better too so I am grateful for that as well. It’s frustrating having your laptop wonky for 4-5 days in a row from unrelenting heat and humidity 😦 I don’t have an air conditioner so my poor computer has to ‘grin and bear it’. Yeah, I know I talk about my computer like it’s sentient or something but it’s just because I am fond of it. I’m not totally delusional! LOL I may buy an external hard drive to take some of the pressure of my laptop then it won’t have to work as hard in the heat/humidity and might run better. The laptop cooling fans don’t work all that well in my opinion. Well the last one I had didn’t anyhow and it was a fairly standard one. Now I just use a regular fan and direct it on my laptop when it’s hot. It might sound like I should get a new one but mine is still working well on the whole. It’s not quite 5 years old and in my books that is not old enough to replace it. Maybe if I had more money I’d consider it but why throw out something that still works well just because it’s a little old?

I’ll try to catch up on reading blogs today as I had been using my computer less out of frustration due to its poor performance in the heat and humidity.

©Natalya, 2013.