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Why, That Little Rat...

March 31st, 2021 (from email)

Dear friend,

2:27am Thursday morning and both my husband and I were wide awake. We were awakened by a (the world's loudest?) rat in the attic. Brian went up to investigate and I was right below him in our bedroom closet handing him things as needed. Meanwhile, I had “A Rat In Tom's House Might Eat Tom's Ice Cream” stuck on repeat in my head.

Why the spelling mnemonic for arithmetic was the earworm of the hour is beyond me- but it was, so let’s roll with it and see how it all adds up. 🧮😉

This was not our first encounter with a rat in the past year. Our journey started back in June when I thought there were squirrels above my home office. 🐿 No squirrels, but a little bit of rat ‘evidence.’ We had the attic rat-proofed and few traps set. In late August we came home from a week away to the very strong smell of a trap having done its job. 🤢 Since then it’s been pretty quiet until this week.

I realized that each of the times I’ve seriously considered moving over the past 10 months, a rat has shown up. The idea to move started to take hold in June- got very strong in August (wildfire season) and then died down in late fall- until last Tuesday.

On Friday, I was walking with a friend and recounting the rat in the attic story, how it has coincided with the idea of moving, and I was trying to ‘add up’ the pieces. I realized I needed to look up the rat symbolism again. If I’m home, I use Ted Andrew’s book, Animal Speak, (which is undoubtedly what I referenced in August) but since I was out, I googled it, so this message came via

“Challenge yourself by learning something new or taking the uncertain first steps towards your dreams. Thus this spirit animal is letting you know it’s time for “new beginnings” and change.”

OK. I can see how that is encouraging for a move.

“Alternatively, Rat symbolism warns you to evaluate the clutter around you. It’s time for a spring cleaning. Sell or give away all the physical things that are just filling up space around you. In doing this, you will often symbolically begin to clear old emotional issues and cluttered thinking. Then you can purge old baggage and feelings that no longer serve you. Moreover, while you do this, allow yourself to feel as you purge. This cleansing act will make space for the new things to come.”

Ok. This message is a lot more ‘comfortable’ for me, I’m always up for clearing clutter. Being acutely aware of both the energy and symbolism of all the ‘stuff’ in my house, I constantly feel like it’s time to do yet another whole-house clutter clearing. One of the big draws of moving for me is actually being forced to evaluate everything in my environment and letting go of what no longer serves as I know it is so much easier to leave things as they are than to actually let them go. (Which is why I always advocate dumping out the drawer or emptying the closet as the first step…)

While I’m not sure it’s in the cards for us to move at this time (as I’m the only one of the four in my family who’s interested in the idea), I can shift the energy of our home and within me by listening to the rat and releasing the clutter (without the approval of the other 75%.)

Since Friday, I’ve been doing a little bit each day. I’ve gone through a kitchen cabinet, weeded the front yard, cleaned the garage, hung up a few pictures that were leaning against the wall, and have been more intentional in doing what needs to be done wherever I am. Typically, I can walk past something that needs to be done 30+ times a day for months and months and not do it… each time feeling a little bit of an energy suck “Oh, I should get the hammer and hang this picture 🔨🖼 " and still do nothing.

Thanks to the rat, I’m taking the time to do the task as they present. In the end, I know it will all add up to me having more time and energy and being clearer and more ready for whatever is next; and I want that.

I want to make space for new things to come and even more so, to invite in the courage needed to take the uncertain first steps towards my dreams.

Because, I know that for me, it is a lot more comfortable to let go of the past and what I do know than it is to step into the unknown of what I don’t.

If you’d like a little support tackling some drawers, or some nagging projects, perhaps we could do it together. I was thinking about organizing a little ‘challenge’ where every day for a month (say) we each clean a drawer, or tackle a small project, or take a small step towards our dreams. Let me know if you’re up for it, if there’s any interest I’ll put something together, otherwise, I’ll just keep plugging away on my own.

I hope you are well and in good spirits; filled with the light of the moon & the energy of spring.

...and now I want ice cream. 🍦



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