Saturday, 2 January 2010

It's the little things in life

It's amazing how little discoveries can help make your life less challenging.

I've always been scared of spiders - discovering one in the home and, worst of all, bedroom, has filled me with terror. When I was single and living with my parents, there was a simple solution. I'd call my father, who would get a soft cloth and very carefully gather up the terrifying creature and gently let it out in the garden.

I'm convinced that one of the monsters was actually responsible for me failing my 'O' Level Latin, first time around. I remember waking up very early on the morning of the exam to do some last minute cramming. I'd just started, when a large black object on my bedroom carpet floor caught my eye. Before I could do anything, it scuttled off somewhere in the room. I was incapable of thinking straight and the cramming session was over.

For years, whenever I came across the beasts I was initially rooted to the spot in terror, before dashing for the hoover and attachments. The only way I could attempt to tackle the invaders was by sucking them up into the hoover bag. The trouble was, by the time I was primed and ready, the buggers had often disappeared.

But, all that has changed now. I'm still terrified of spiders and discovering one in my bedroom, especially in the evening, often leads to a sleepless night. But at least I can deal with them, thanks to the Betta Bug Katcha .
As soon as I spot a spider I grab one of the devices (I've got several of them dotted around the flat) and plonk it on top of the little (or nowadays not so little) devil before it's got a chance to leg it out of sight. I'm no longer rooted to the spot, because I know exactly what to do and can take action immediately. True, I do have the occasional accident resulting in a squished spider and once in a while I don't hold the device the right way up and The Prisoner falls out, but I don't feel so terrified by the situation because I can deal with it instantly.

Another source of terror for me, is falling down - the nearest I've come to finding a phobia listing is climacophobia - the fear of falling down stairs. I suppose that must be how it started, because as a child I began having nightmares about not being able to get down the stairs without sitting on the steps and easing myself down. Another fear, was being in a lift and having to secure myself against falling out.

In recent years, the main difficulty faced has been walking on slippy surfaces - even indoors. And if I'm outside in winter, I literally freeze when confronted with an icy pavement or road. Many's a time, I've actually got stuck and not been able to move.

But, again it's one of life's little discoveries that has made a big difference to me. The Yaktrax Ice Gripper Walker , a device that fits easily over the soles of shoes and boots and keeps you on your feet on the ice.

This winter, which continues unabated, the grippers have been an absolute Godsend. When I went to my Health and Fitness Club last week, the car park was totally covered in compacted ice and snow. There's no way I would have got out of the car if it weren't for my Yaktraks. I've been able to venture out on several jaunts that would have been impossible without my faithful friends.

As you can see, life can be improved by discovering little devices that help you cope with some of it's challenges.


  1. Thank you for this post, Sharon, both for sharing your fears and for sharing the solutions you've found! I know all too well that fear can literally stop one in one's tracks, and it's good to have a reminder that there are sometimes quite simple things that will allow us to beat the fear and not let it beat us. (I wish I could outfit all the cars on the roads with YakTrax, because one of my fears is driving on ice, and specifically the OTHER drivers who are out there driving on ice, just waiting to smash their cars into mine. I don't quite relax until spring comes again.)

    Take care of yourself, and have a wonderful 2010!

  2. I'm slightly less fearful driving than walking, though with our worst winter for many years, it is so hazardous driving at times, especially on the side roads like the one I live on, which hasn't been gritted.

    You've got so little control in icy conditions and have just got to hope that if your car skids, you can manage to avoid cars and other objects and also, as you said, that other drivers keep clear of you.

    Hope you have a wonderful year too!