Crisis, Stress, and Being a Frog
When Howard and I were first married, we moved into a new home. It didn’t take us long to meet the neighbors. We quickly became friends with a family in crisis. They needed our help and we gladly gave it. But over the course of four years that same family was always in crisis. Not the same crisis, it was a revolving parade of feuds with neighbors, tight money, rebellious teenager, and quarrels with coworkers. While it was possible that they were just being slammed with a series of bad luck, I slowly realized that no amount of help from me would move them out of the constant crisis zone in which they lived. Somehow the patterns of their lives created the crises through which they swam like fish in water. I began to believe that they simply didn’t know how to live without crisis. If it was removed, they gasped and flailed like a fish out of water until the flailing landed them in crisis again. I sometimes hoped that they could learn a different way of living. I’m not sure that they ever did. I moved away and lost contact in that pre-facebook era.
My life this week has been crazy. Nothing has been a big crisis, just a hundred small things, most of which popped up unexpectedly despite my efforts to plan ahead. The sad thing is that this crazy week was normal. Most of my weeks are filled to overflowing with a hundred small tasks. I try to simplify and reduce, yet still end up feeling overwhelmed. When I visit with my friends, I have an ever evolving list of things I am managing. I get really tired. Often. I have to wonder how I am creating this insanity for myself. I say I want calmness and quiet, but my decisions keep landing me back in busy-land. On energetic days I love busy-land. On tired days, I don’t know how I do it and I have to believe in miracles. If I want to come up and breath calmer air rather than swimming in stress. However in order to do that I have to transform myself like a tadpole transforms into a frog. In theory being a frog is better, but transformation is always scary and frequently frightening.
The good news is that it feels like we’re poised for a period of calm. The things I managed this week were structural things which should make the rest of the year easier. I hope. Perhaps I don’t need to transform. Perhaps I’m already a frog and I’ve just been swimming up from the bottom of a deep lake after a winter’s hibernation. Surely I’ll surface soon.
Mirrored from onecobble.com.