RESILIENCY 4 TODAY” The Cockroach V The Big Ass Slippah: A Resiliency Tale

It was a dark and stormy night. Well, actually it was a clear, balmy, sweet 84? Hawaiian night. My mantra had been, “Eventually, but maybe not right now.” I have lived in Hawaii and knew eventually there would be a cockroach and it would be what we call a B52…that means it is about the size of Guatemala and faster than a speeding bullet. I was headed to bed and there it was… in the hallway. It wasn’t moving. It was making a plan. I knew it was out to get me. It was personal. It was one of the biggest ones I’d ever seen. Now having lived in Taiwan for several years in my youth, I’d previously been terrorized by hoards of gargantuan cockroaches and so I have legitimate PTSD (Pest Trauma Screamer Disorder) and even one little beastie gets my attention. Let’s just say I am NOT A FAN. I tell myself, “They are just beetles, they are just beetles, they are just beetles”… speeding, sneaky, monster beetles that are out to make me insane!! So, there it was and I screamed. Dang. I wanted to be very mature, Dr. Vali competent, and a cool kama’aina (a Hawaiian native) but I froze and screamed for my husband. He arrived with 2 large slippahs for us. (Locally we call flip-flops slippers/slippahs) Of course the critter disappeared under something. I moved a box and it came right at me… my biggest fear (almost) and I had no choice but to smack it with the other slippah. I killed it. I was shaking and my immunity fantasy bubble burst. But it was dead and I had survived. My hubby said I should write a little resiliency story about it since I had survived a creature that was essentially prehistoric in nature. In all honesty I was a wreck for at least 10 minutes while up scaling my bug hyper vigilance to DEFCON 4. Tomorrow we’ll put out anti-pest products. But tonight, hubby is asleep and I’m writing… with the lights on. Max our dog is under the bed because he didn’t know why I was screaming and thought he’d done something wrong. Sigh. Resiliency isn’t always about being big and brave and graceful and elegant and fearless. Sometimes it is about facing our fears with a big ass slippah and jumping on the bastards with all ya got and then feeling like crap for a few minutes and then sleeping with the lights on. I am just out of practice since returning home to Oahu. But game on man. I’m in! My husband was actually charmingly proud of me and kindly called me kama’aina. I know better. I know the next one might freak me out also…and then over time the very occasional roach will just be a normal part of the life on this island. The first one is such an event, somewhat of an island traditional greeting of sorts, a ritual, a rite of passage. It’s not as lovely as getting a lei at the airport and I’ll never be a fan of hit-n-run cockroaches. But that is the thing about resiliency…we survive IN SPITE of the size or challenge and IN SPITE of the level of grace in the moment. My resiliency 4 Today was about facing something I knew was eventual and wasn’t gonna be fun and got it done. Not with grace or style, but with a big ass slippah! Whatever it takes!!

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