You and I, we’ve been together quite some time, right?
So, if I let you in on my inner workings, you won’t think less of me? I mean, I’m opening myself up to being vulnerable, okay? Thanks.
There’s an expression: “Mother Nature bats last.” Well, yep, she sure does – and she hits it out of the park.
The original plan for this weekend was to drive south for a meeting with one of the companies with whom I work. Alas, the main highway between here and there is smothered with the third in a series of major rock and mud slides, cutting off traffic in both directions, with no estimated time of re-opening. It stands to reason that despite the valiant attempts of CalTrans to hold back the mountain, the road shall remain blocked, locking me in Humboldt unless I wish to add about eight hours of mountain driving each way. (For the record, I do not so wish.)
Welcome to life on the rustic, rocky, rural, redwood coast of northern California.
One can assume my employer won’t be happy when I pull a “no show” – but I would literally have to move heaven and earth to get there. I’m capable of a great deal; but that’s out of my wheel house.
Being a people pleaser, I hate letting others down. I know, I know, it’s not my fault; after all, it wasn’t me who jerked the hillside down on the highway. It’s not logical; yet, it’s who I sometimes am, silly or not.
The amount of money at risk is not much. It’s really not even a dent in my finances. That’s part of what makes this so embarrassing; but when I get caught in that mental loop, my internal dialog begins red-lining and, well, let’s listen in, shall we?
“OH MY GOD! I’M GOING TO GET FIRED! I should have seen this coming. I could have left last week! Better yet, I should have lived closer. Why did we choose to live way the heck up here? We just re-financed the house; how will we pay for it if they cut me loose? We’ll have to drain our retirement account! I’ll be living in a box on the roadside when I’m seventy.”
My thoughts switch to the long-term picture,
“I wonder how long the road will be closed. I have an engagement in July. How will I get there? If I miss that one, it’ll ruin my reputation. No one will ever hire me again! What about groceries? How can they get them to us? We’ll all starve! Or gas? Electricity? Society is collapsing, run for the hills! Lord, save us, we’re all doomed! I better call my family and tell them I love them. The apocalypse is nigh!”
Exhausting just reading that, isn’t it? Okay, it’s a bit of an exaggeration (but not much); but have you ever found yourself getting a thought in your head that sticks and then heats up; and soon it’s at full boil? Of course you have; we all do. It’s some sort of misguided method of self-preservation. After all, if one can worry enough to imagine the worst, it might be preventable.
Reality is it doesn’t help.
We become frantic; we can’t think straight. It actually lessens the ability to figure out solutions.
Once I calmed myself and thought things out, I realized that right now, right here, it’s all good. The grocery stores aren’t barren. Gas pumps are still pumping. There aren’t any riots in the street. It’s a freakin’ mudslide Scott; they’ve been going on forever and the folks who deal with them will fix it when they can and worrying yourself into a cardiac event won’t do a thing to help.
As they say, “Be HERE now.”
I do need a new plan for this weekend however. So, instead of getting up early and driving all day, I’m sleeping in; something I rarely do. Thank God for the excuse of a landslip. Funny how things work out.
About the author: Scott “Q” Marcus is a THINspirational speaker and author. Since losing 70 pounds 23 years ago, he conducts speeches, workshops, and presentation. He also coaches individuals and consults with companies on how to implement and handle change. He can be reached at www.ThisTimeIMeanIt.com