Today, I’m not talking about nails. I’m talking about something real for everyone and not just the nail industry.
Sure, everyone posts about life on their status’ on facebook. They tweet who they’re hanging with. They instagram their supper. But how often do we see the REAL deal?
Life isn’t always pretty. Recently I said something to a friend who had faced some challenges, it was “Sometimes, we just need to be reminded that we DO have that inner strength. Sometimes we lose it under the bed or somewhere silly like that. Or just need a ‘rest’ and need someone else to shoulder the load for a bit. As long as we find it again in the end, all is good“.
We all have moments or long periods like that. Where we forget who we are and how strong we are. Sometimes we get so lost under a pile of obligations and responsibilities and sundry that we don’t know which way is up. We become caught up in the maelstrom that is life, and the stress of it threatens to strangle us with stress and negativity.
There are those that handle it really well and seem to barely take a pause. Others might be sighted having a great struggle with it. Regardless, it happens to all of us at one time or another, in one form or another.
I’ve been watching the show “Lost” on Netflix with my kids lately. The character Jack had this trick with handling the suffocating panic that could paralyze you. He said:
“Well, fear’s sort of an odd thing. When I was in residency my first solo procedure was a spinal surgery on a sixteen year old kid, a girl. And at the end, after thirteen hours, I was closing her up and I, I accidentally ripped her dural sac, shredded the base of the spine where all the nerves come together, membrane as thin as tissue. And so it ripped open and the nerves just spilled out of her like angel hair pasta, spinal fluid flowing out of her and I… and the terror was just so crazy. So real. And I knew I had to deal with it. So I just made a choice. I’d let the fear in, let it take over, let it do its thing, but only for five seconds, that’s all I was going to give it. So I started to count: one, two, three, four, five. Then it was gone. I went back to work, sewed her up and she was fine.”
Stress can be a sort of fear. Leaving you at a loss to decide what to do and which direction to go. You can try to ignore it, but it’s there affecting everything you do. OR you can do as Jack did above and give it a limit. Give yourself permission to feel it but only for a limited time. Then buckle down and “git’er done” as they say.
I don’t pretend to have studied psychology. I don’t pretend to know the answers, but I’m thinking perhaps that sometimes on occasion; one ought to listen to that inner voice. Listen to the instinct and do as it dictates and if it’s telling you to take a break and step back and learn to breathe again; maybe you should? Use that count of five (which in your case might not be exactly five seconds, it might mean more time) to learn to breathe again and calmly figure out your next step.
It’s easier to tackle things when your mind is clear and you’re feeling calm. When you’ve taken that breather. You don’t have to be a superhero all the time. It’s OK to be human.
When I gave my friend that little tidbit of ‘Victoria wisdom’, I’m not sure who I was talking to more. Her, or me.
We’re all the same you and I. We have our strong moments, and then we have moments where we need to lean on someone. I am not shy to admit that I lean on my husband. Sometimes he doesn’t even know I’m leaning on him because I don’t say a word. Sometimes the only thing I need is to know that he is right there to lean on if I need him and that’s enough. I’m also not shy to tell you that I’ve been leaning on him a LOT these past couple of years. The move from my hometown to this new province and a new life was HUGE. Closing my business to start over again, also HUGE. I took on several new responsibilities in my career. So many changes and challenges in so little time. There are moments that it’s so overwhelming. He’s always there, though. Always my pillar.
Sometimes I lean on friends and it’s something as simple as a 2 minute venting session and then I’m done and they have absolutely no idea how much that 2 minutes of their time of just listening to me rant like a nutter is just the thing to kick-start me back into my old self. Sometimes, I need a couple of days of just running on autopilot and leaving things on back-burners until I feel myself again.
So take your count of five when you need it. Some call it a pity party. I don’t think that’s what it is though. I do honestly believe that there is a big difference between a pity-party and a ‘count of five’ or a ‘timeout’ or ‘a break’. Whatever you want to call it, stop for a moment and just breathe. If you have to, lean on someone.
In the meantime, I’m going to keep this handy light my galpal provided for looking under the bed in future.