I have honed and polished terrific coping skills in my life. As a matter of fact I have said jokingly many times that when I die if I am sent to Hell, at least I'll have good coping skills in place.
What skill set do you use when things in life are overwhelming, and you have a headache but it's your turn to bring treats to little Suzy for school, and you rush to the store, buy the treats because you just can't possibly cook them today, rush back to your car and it won't start...or even worse, you've locked your keys in the car and there is nobody that you can call to get the spare set because your husband is traveling for work and is out of town, or even worse still, you have your little doggy in the car, you can't get to the keys and the day is marginally a bit too warm for a dog to be left in a car for longer than five minutes, did I mention that you had to rush to the bushes to throw up because your headache has now turned into a full blown migraine?
Next scenario, one of your family members has an emergency, so you run out to your car so that you can drive to help, only to find out that you have a flat tire, so you call your neighbor to take you to your family member's rescue, and they are having a worse day than you (hard to believe but it's true), so you call a friend and they don't answer the phone, so finally you manage to change the tire, but then the baby messes their diaper, and your family member calls frantic to know where you are and why you aren't there with them, NOW?
Lest anyone scoff and say, "That doesn't all happen together," (In which case may I have YOUR life, because quite honestly my life has had all those scenarios and more on the same time over and over and over again) I beg to differ. Not only has this been my experience in life but I have seen it happen over the span of life to many other people.
Some people think that somehow you can wrest control out of life's sometimes chaotic rhythm. Bully to you if you do!! Three cheers and many hoorays!
For most of the humanoid species it is positively, absolutely, one hundred percent impossible to plan for any and all eventualities that may happen in life. Does that mean that I'm saying, "Give up.....become very, very self-pitying." No, that is NOT what I'm saying.
I wish to discuss a couple of techniques that I have learned through the years that have gotten me through many a sticky wicket. I just love that oh so English phrase, "Sticky wicket." Anybody out there that knows what it means? It just sounds ever so deliciously threatening, and well, um, sticky.
1. HUMOR...this is the best, Best, BEST, of all techniques in coping with the uncontrollable events of life. I don't recommend that you go around all day in public places with an idiotic grin on your face laughing hysterically to yourself. The general populace would find this behavior extremely problematic. You may find yourself invited to a comfy place on a therapist's couch. (No doubt a good place to be if you ARE walking around laughing hysterically and telling yourself jokes out loud.) Watch funny movies, comedy shows, sing silly songs (to yourself please) I've heard one too many people singing silly songs to themselves on the bus and it has much the same effect as laughing out loud and talking to yourself!
When my dear Mama was in her late 70s she developed a habit that I highly recommend. If she were feeling blue she would simply slip on a fake nose with moustache and glasses. She wouldn't say anything to anyone but you would walk past her room and there she would be casually watching television englassed, and nosed. (Who knew that in my world nose could be a verb? "Nosed?) She did this when she was the passenger of my car once. I glanced over and there she was with those on. I almost wrecked the car! We did enjoy a grand laugh at the reactions of others when they saw my dignified, lovely Mama with her silver white hair, with a fake nose on.
2. EXERCISE....a friend once told me of her adult struggle with weight. She disliked being overweight. She thought about the younger years of her life when weight was no issue. She could eat anything and not worry a bit about gaining weight. So she began to exercise. Not only did the weight not come off but she was bored and ready to quit quickly. So she began to remember the activities that she loved as a child. Jumping on a trampoline, as an adult she developed a wonderful exercise program that you can do on a mini-trampoline that gives her the same rush as it did when she was young. She LOVES the water, so she became a water aerobics instructor, and then re-designed the class to include elements of Pilates and Cardio workout. She lost 60 pounds, and then discovered hiking, rock climbing, weight lifting....she went from couch potato to hot potato. The results are very sustainable for her because she LOVES doing them.
3. MEDITATION/PRAYER...Even if you do not believe in God, or call him by another name than Jesus, spiritual connection has been proven multiple times to relieve stress and renew your spirit. I have a meditation basket that I use to direct my thoughts. I have a pretty significant case of ADD or ADHD (I'm just generally mentally scattered and need the visual to hold my mind on course) Sometimes I add the benefit of a journal to that basket. I write the thoughts that come to me as I review the items in my basket. The items include these things, something tiny that represents the four most important inspirations in my life, My Mama, My "other" Mama (some may have a mother-in law, I had another Mother), my Papa, and my beloved husband. I have a seashell, and a rock (ocean and mountains are places that I love to be), and other things that have significance in reminding myself of who I am and who I wish to be. Sometimes I direct my thoughts to a higher being. My prayers are not memorized, but it's OK to use memorized prayer, there are no absolutes in this skill....it's a matter of finding something that strengthens you and using it.
Well I have achieved my purpose in writing this blog. My purpose was quite selfish. I had a rough day today (they come to us all) and needed to remind myself of some productive ways to get through. I hope that someone that needed this lift will read this post and smile. I will end this post with the wise words of my deceased darling Nyle, "Oh buck up!"