Life has been chaotic and stressful around our house the last week or so. As my husband is self-employed, transitioning from the winter, when work is not quite as abundant, to spring, when everybody wants to start their home improvement projects, can be exhausting (very similar to the weather in Minnesota – you know… if you don’t like the weather, or you don’t think you’ll be busy, wait five minutes and it’ll change).
Add on to that somebody drove over our small trailer (yes, you read that right), and the riding lawn mower decided now that we need to use it, it’s not going to work. Of course, it could have conked out prior to us wanting to use it – how we would know? And, I’ve been sick – spring and fall allergies always take me down; but add in allergies bringing on a cold and I’m out for the count. Much to hubby’s dismay.
It is so easy when all of this starts happening to rush into a tizzy, and pretty much chase your tail, because as soon as you start one thing, seven other things blow up in your face. Which when you think about it, life pretty much resembles the game of bowling. Well, okay, with several modifications.
In life, we get up every morning which is rolling the ball down the lane. If we’re lucky, we will get a gutter ball – the same-o, status quo, the usual, the ordinary, every day existence. If we’re not so lucky, we strike a pin.
On the other hand, we can strike a pin. We may only knock one pin down, or that one pin knocks in to another pin, knocking into another pin, and so on and so on and so on – until it feels as if the whole world is crushing in on us.
Now, I can actually hear some of you tapping your feet and drumming your fingers on the table in an effort to aid me in getting to my point faster, but if you ask anybody, that’s not how a conversation with me works. But for the sake of your sanity, and keeping you interested, I’ll see what I can do here.
In those moments, when I’m knocking down all the pins, and I start doing my little crazy dance, which is never the same dance twice I might add, it helps me to stop. For example, the other day we were late getting back from a trip to see our daughter, and I was rushing to get to work …. annnnndddd I got pulled over. Not something that happens very often to me.
That whole incident is another story in of itself, but while I was sitting there with my window down waiting for the Trooper to come back to my car, I saw a hawk flying above me. Then I noticed the chorus of the frogs in the swamp across the road. And the sun became brighter, and I realized what a gorgeous day it was and by the time the Trooper came back, I actually thanked her for stopping me. See now, that pause, that regrouping, is that moment in the game of bowling where you stare down the lane, just prior to taking your two and a half steps and letting go of the ball.
In order to be prepared for that next knock-down, or three-seven split, or strike; I need to pause and take a deep breath. I am a firm believer, if I don’t take that pause, it will take longer to overcome those knock-downs because all I am doing is focusing on what is happening and not on what I can control. It’s taken me some time, but I’ve realized I can’t stress about what has happened. All I can do is figure out how I am going to recover.
In the movie, ‘Hope Floats’, Birdie Pruitt (played by Sandra Bullock) quotes her mother as saying, “Childhood is what you spend the rest of your life trying to overcome. That’s what momma always says. She says that beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will, too…”
Stress, bowling, getting pulled over, and childhood – I know if you just scanned this you may not be able to see how this is pulled together; but replace the word childhood with stress or cancer or unemployment or whatever you may be going through. For many people their lives are spent scurrying about trying to overcome, or recover from those obstacles, when maybe, perhaps, the first step should be stopping. Just like we do when we wait for the ball to come back to us via the automatic ball returner thing-a-ma-bob; we should stop and give that peace and hope a chance to float up. I know it works for me.
Until next time…. capture life kreatively!
P.S. Be sure to sign up for email notifications regarding new blog posts. Next week I am going to start sharing more about the little town where ‘Hope Floats’ was filmed. I fell in love with it!
P.P.S. Stress makes us do some pretty strange things. What’s the strangest thing you’ve done while stressed out? (Like thanking an officer for a ticket? LOL) Leave a comment and let me know!