Do Not Go Against Your Better Knowing!

This story is from a time in my life when I did house and pet sitting because I had nowhere to live/I was homeless.

Imagine this scene:



MARIA jumps out through the doors of a bus and signals to the bus driver to open the door to luggage space under the bus.

She takes her luggage out and starts to walk towards the parking space outside TRADER JOE’S where she’ll meet with KAREN who owns the house and pets she is going to take care of while Karen is away on a business trip.


          “Hello Maria! Nice to see you, how are you?”


          “Good, good! It’s hot today isn’t it?”

Maria catches her breath after gotten the heavy bags into the trunk and while having a causal conversation about the weather they both get into Karen’t car.

The short drive goes to Karen’s house not far away from there.


Maria looks at the patio and notices sticky pools of something wet around the plants and on the floor and when she enters through the door into Karen’s house she’s met with an odor of pet pee.

          MARIA: (looking about the room)

          “Where are the furry ones?”

The pets come and says hello while Maria does her best to keep a polite face while looking for a clean spot somewhere where she can put her bags.

She realizes that she needs to address this issue with Karen.

The house is very dirty, it looks like it has not been cleaned in a very long time and the smell of pee is overwhelming.


Karen goes and sits on the couch while Maria is about to take her luggage up to the room where she will live while house and pet sitting for Karen.

          MARIA: (standing in the stairs)

          “You know Karen, I would really had appreciated if you could have cleaned the house before I got here.”

          KAREN: (looking up from her iPhone)

          “Do not tell me how to clean my house!”

          MARIA: (perplexed)

          “I wasn’t telling you how to clean your house, I was just..”

          KAREN: (interrupting while frenetically looking at her iPhone)

          “I do not have time to talk with you now Maria, I’m very busy right now!”

         MARIA: (surprised by Karen’s reaction)


Walking up the stairs Maria hears Karen arrogantly laughing.

Maria turns around and walks back.


          “Were you just laughing at me?”

          KAREN: (still fiddling with her iPhone)

          “No, I wasn’t. And I’m very busy, I don’t have time to talk with you now!”

Maria walks up to her room, puts the bags on the floor and sits down on the bed, wondering how this assignment will go.

The whole situation feels very wrong and bad.


Maria and Karen sits by the table and are trying to have a meal together.

There’s a huge elephant in the room and Maria feels she need to address the situation. 

Pushing the salad around on her plate while looking at Karen’s tense face Maria clears her throat.


          “We need to talk about what just happened. It’s very weird between us now and I want to clear this up.”

          KAREN: (defensive)

          “Do you always complain about people’s homes?”


          “No, I don’t. The other people’s homes have been clean.

          I was just saying that I would have appreciated if you had cleaned the house before I got here.

          Now I have to do it myself and it will take me hours because the smell is really strong and it’s really not part of our agreement.”

          KAREN: (getting aggressive and argumentative)

          “There must be something wrong with you because this house is spotless! I cleaned it yesterday but this is how it looks after a day when you have pets!”

          MARIA: (calmly and surprised)

          “No, it’s not Karen, and you’re not telling me the truth. You did not clean it yesterday, a house does not look like this after one day.

          And maybe it’s because you live here and are used to the smell but my face is actually burning and I have a headache sitting here because the smell is so strong.

          And another thing, I really need internet, it’s very important and you know that. I tried to log in earlier but it’s not working.”

The discussion between the two of them continues for a while.

Karen’s emotions are soon escalating, she’s not able to have a normal conversation anymore and Maria realizes that the situation can probably no longer be corrected. 

There’s an awkward silence around the table.

Both Maria and Karen are staring down on their plates, pushing the small bits of cucumber and tomatoes around the salad leaves.


          “Well, there is another alternative you know..”


          “What do you mean..?”

          KAREN: (subtly smug)

          “You don’t have to stay here if it’s not good enough for you..”

Karen takes a bite of her food, shews it and looks at Maria as if she thought Maria didn’t have any other option than to stay.

The attempt to manipulate backfires on Karen as Maria puts her fork and knife down and stands up.


          “You’re right. I’m going to go and make a phone call.”

Maria walks up the stairs and calls her friend. Her heart is pounding, she’s hoping she can come and stay with her for a while. (It was someone I knew a little, so not really a ‘friend’, so she could have easily just said no to me. I had no friends at that time in my life, but that’s a whole other story for another time.)

Her friend says yes.

          KAREN: (yelling from the living room)

          “Are you going to leave?”

          MARIA: (from upstairs)

          “Yes, I am. I’m sorry that it had to end this way but I just can’t do this. I have to leave.”

Maria hears the front door open and close downstairs. Karen has left the house without saying another word.

Feeling disturbed and threatened by the weird behavior Maria quickly scrambles her belongings together and walks as fast as she can down the stairs, says goodbye to the pets and runs out the door out on the streets.

Waving her hands in the air like a maniac she manage to get a cab drivers attention.

The taxi stops and Maria throws her luggage into the trunk and jumps into the car.


          “Drive! Go! Get me out of here!”


Taxi quickly drives away into the horizon and the scene fades back to Maria’s face as she breathes a sigh of relief.


house sitting spain

Just because I teach and write about being true to yourself and following your gut feeling that doesn’t make me immune against making mistakes.

I went into this assignment knowing that it would be a challenge even before I got to the house but I thought I could handle it because I really needed the money.

Truth is that I compromised with myself and I should never had done that.

Never again; lesson definitely learned.

Thank God I’m not a person who keeps my mouth shut but spoke up and that I asked for help from within to get the situation corrected.

(I said something like “whatever it takes, please correct the situation, I’m aware that I made a huge mistake. Thank you for making it right again, for all involved”).  

If I hadn’t done that I could have been stuck there having a horrible time cleaning up pee and poop every day (there’s more to the story that I’m leaving out) and also have the ordeal of having to deal with someone who clearly disrespected me. 

Let this be a lesson for you too if you have a similar situation going on in your life.

Never compromise yourself. It’s not worth it.

Stay true to yourself and don’t let money be the deciding factor in anything. 

But if you would make the mistake like I did, don’t let it get to you; we all make them sometimes, so brush yourself off, learn from it and move on with your life. 

Even if I lost money in this experience I am so relieved that it cleared itself up quickly (within 2-3 hours) albeit in a bit dramatic way.

That’s what happens when you go against your better knowing; it’s not a tap on the shoulder anymore (from the Universe), it’s more like a brick wall is falling down on your head and it affects everyone involved; it disrupts the natural flow of Life to go against it. 

I wish “Karen” all the best on her continuous journey through life and I sincerely hope she got someone else to look after her house and pets so that she could go on her trip. 

I tried to call her and left a message on Whatsapp but she never got back to me. 

Here’s an article that describes when you do follow your gut feeling: 

Is there anything you’d like me to write about?

Let me know here.


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