Tuesday, August 21, 2012

[calm in the storm...]

Dear future freaker-outer,

This past week I had a lovely compliment from a nurse I worked with, who I had never worked with before.  She said to me at the end of the day that although the day had been very busy and chaotic, she noticed that I had stayed calm.  She said she'd looked over at my side (we work sides - a side of a nursery each) and there was obviously madness, but that I'd appeared calm through the day.

Funny, future me, I remember that I didn't feel calm.  I felt a bit fretty and stressed - it was a very busy day.  It's not something that comes naturally to me - I'm a worrier and I get stressed easily (hate that about myself).  I'm proud to say that (mostly) I've taught myself to keep cool when I feel like I might lose it if I don't...  At work, anyway.

After work that same day, I got lost on my way home.  Whaaaaat?  So dumb - I go home that way every day after work.  I missed the bus by about 30 seconds - as in, I actually saw it up the road.  Gutted.  So I looked on my phone when the next bus would come - twenty minutes.  My housemate and pal, K,  had made me lemon chicken (amazing) and she was waiting at home for me.  My headphones weren't working so I couldn't listen to my Hamish and Andy podcast.  Then my phone died (no map).

So (stupidly - have I mentioned I'm a direction douche?) I decided to walk to the next bus stop and see if I could get ahead of my bus.  Fail.  Then I thought I'd walk along the route and catch the other bus I sometimes get.  Fail.  Next option, walk to Waterloo station and get the tube home.  Fail.  I ended up at the wrong tube station, on the wrong line and had to catch the tube to Waterloo (would have been faster to walk the right way in the first place).  Multiple fail.

I felt a bit mad.  I'd left home at 6.30am, worked a long and tough thirteen hour day and I just wanted to get home to my lemon chicken and brownie (it's really all about food for me).  How does one get lost on the way home?  Idiot head.

Then I remembered a choice I have.  Being calm in the face of dilemma or stress is really a choice that I can choose to make - the frustration doesn't have to overwhelm me to the point where I yell (I sometimes yell at things - like buses "why do you hate me, bus?!"), and cry (I sometimes sob just a little).  I can just realise that whatever happens, this will be over soon and I can learn from it.

I'd like to say that I just chilled right out and took each (wrong) turn as it came.  Instead I muttered under my breath "stoopid, stoopid.  you don't even know where waterloo is.  what are you, blind?  bakerloo line?  what happened to the jubilee?  oh, and now there's nowhere to sit on the tube.  stand up then, bum bum face.  couldn't have waited for twenty minutes for the bus, huh?"  Ah, negative self talk.  You are unhelpful.

So, my dear future me - you have much to learn about relaxing and realising that life is an adventure made up of missed buses, flat batteries, broken headphones and wrong tube lines.  Frustration and stress will get you to the end no faster than calmness and laughter.  At the end of the ride is lemon chicken, brownie and watching New Girl with a great friend.

Learn it, and learn it soon.

Love, present day me.  xx


  1. Oh Stace, sounds like a rotten day all around! I hope the lemon chicken and brownie were too divine! Sounds like you needed it!!

  2. Ha ha ha. I have also been told I am very calm when everything around me is falling apart. Little do most people know that I am calm because I don't know whats going on most of the time!

  3. So hard to stay calm under pressure, so well done to you on getting that awesome compliment! Maybe it's a bit different when it's not about you? It's all about the babies, and then when you're lost, it's all about you. I don't know, but that's often the case for me. I was as cool and calm as a cucumber when Tyler had to be rushed to hospital in an ambulance, but when stuff goes wrong for me personally and doesn't affect anyone else, I do the kind of thing you did (negative self-talk). Ah, it's hard to live life sometimes, isn't it?


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