A skink slipped into the house today.
When it happened, I am not entirely sure. Shiny, wet looking, dark colored, about a foot from tip of head to length of tail, it looked like a fat snake with short, stubby legs attached.
It didn’t move terribly fast. But fast enough.
It was fast enough and big enough to make littlest sister and I scream. Brave sister was out. Bummer. It was a job I would have to take care of myself.
Max, the 18 pound kitty eyed him first, and turned into the hunter cat. Armed with more prowess than I had seen from the 18 pound Big Kitty in recent times, he cornered it, wrestled it and chased it behind the piano.
I moved the piano with all my strength. The skink moved further in. Now Tabby, the 2 pound kitten was in on the game. The cats circled the piano, occasionally extending a paw underneath in an attempt to grab the skink.
Sweat dripped down my neck, chest and back. I moved the piano all the way out. And to the side. No skink.
He was too big to escape. There was one option. He had moved into the piano.
I knew just how our mom would react to a skink in the house.
Operation Remove the Skink commenced.
What’s your skink?
Do you have a current skink in your business? Is there a goal that seems a little too big, too intimidating, to slippery for you to wrestle?
Has the “skink” been on the outside? I am talking about the important, but not the urgent project. The potential opportunities and clients that make your heart beat a bit faster when you think of contacting them- the challenge brings new growth and it is a bit out of your reach- but after thinking about it, you set the project aside.
Is there a new stream of income you have the opportunity to pursue? A new way to use your skills in a new project, new line of products, online training, seminar, speaking engagements to further develop yourself?
But you delay. The calls go unmade. The idea book is left untouched.
The skink stays outside.
But then the skink gets in.
Maybe you hit rock bottom in your business. Current income has dried up. You have to make the calls, develop the line, go for the licensing opportunity, seek the speaking engagement, pitch the article, call the potential client, write the book, talk to your boss, put paint on the canvas, write down the new recipe, compile the book, set up your display.
The skink is inside. He can’t be ignored and you have to do something. OR, you have to be o.k. knowing that a huge, foot-long lizard is running around your house.
As my sister fearfully stated, “What if we can’t get him out and he crawls into my bed tonight?”
What if? Are you willing to live with those consequences?
Most goals and pursuits are harder to achieve than we anticipated. It takes more effort, more time, more sweat, some tears and more money.
But the results are worth it. And the more effort it takes, a little bit of drama, some killer nights meeting a deadline and some sweat make the victory sweeter.
We got the skink. It took almost three and a half hours. After hiding in the piano, Max, Guard Kitty, did not leave the room. He planted himself down and stayed on guard.
I kept checking the room, pulling out various pieces of furniture. I called my brother for advice. He suggested a garbage can to capture it with. Sounded good to me.
A while later, Max leaped. We ran it. KJ had the garbage can and we commenced in chasing the skink around the room, behind the desk, the book case. He ran just fast enough to outwit us and the kitty. But we kept track of where he was hiding.
The sweat kept dripping. I was beginning to feel exhausted. Two females and an oversized cat chasing a lizard around the living room, screaming, lunging and diving. We must have looked a bit crazy from the outside. Who knows what the neighbors thought.
My brother and darling nephews, age 3 and 6, were stopping by later in the day.
And in the nick of time, they showed up. Littlest sister bolted outside to scream for their assistance. They all came in.
It got a little wilder. The game was on. Cats, nephews, Littlest Sister, two adults flying, furniture throwing, rugs moving. More running around the living room, more screaming as the skink desperately tried to evade us.
And then- the capture of the skink. We cornered him under the piano. I quickly pulled it out before he could run up. My brother grabbed the skink and he was taken outside to escape under the azalea bushes.
A lot of life lessons can be learned by our unusual experiences in our daily lives. Here are a few I learned with the skink.
- When the skinks come inside, when the problem cannot be ignored or the opportunity missed, now is the time to take swift, outcome-driven action. Keep it simple and essential. As Nike said, Just Do It.
- Do ask for help. I could track the skink, move the furniture out of the way but I am not fast enough to grab the wiggly guy. I needed my brother’s swifter fingers.
Who do you need to ask for help to get the job done? Sometimes it is one bottleneck holding you up that someone else could quickly fix. Getting the right people’s help at the right time is vital to your growth.
- It takes a little sweat, muscle work and even a bit of yelling. Just get over the mindset that life is supposed to flow calmly. Move into your goals with determination to get the job done despite obstacles, delays and frustrations.
Finally, commemorate the excitement you feel for the work accomplished, the gratitude for those who helped and the significance of a goal achieved. Feel it, soak it in for a few minutes.
As my sister said to me when I left, “wow, that was an exciting afternoon! What a great day!”
When you and I accomplish our goals, we will say the same thing.