This past few weeks have been stressful. I have taken on extra responsibilities at work and at times, have let the stress get the best of me. I’ve spent time worrying about what I couldn’t get done rather than feeling accomplished by what I not only could…but did get done. As I sit here and reflect on the past few weeks, I’ve had to ask myself…why? I’ve spent way too many hours feeling distressed…worried…anxious…and at times…even angry. None of these emotions are very stimulating when trying to write humor…they would be great if I was going for something in the Kill Bill family but they are not Erma Bombeckesque. Erma handled everything with an unshakable humor that not only kept her sane but those around her.
I’m known at work for being pretty level headed (other than one particularly bad day which involved a 104 degree fever, and a student with a dog in her purse- that day will live on in infamy.) When all hell breaks lose, I slow down…become the voice of calm…and while I may be screaming in my head, my outward appearance is more…”I know it looks like an emergency but it’s really just a flesh wound…no worries…we got this!” The past week, however, I’ve felt less able to project my voice of calm and a bit more like looking around and asking -“someone else want this one? I’ll take the next one!”
This prompted me to start looking at how Erma did it. What kept her calm in the sea if chaos? I found this quote – “There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt.” Maybe Erma was gifted at finding the line. She even describes it as a thin line because maybe once you find it…it’s not a leap to get to the other side, it’s merely one…step. It’s merely…one…choice. I think she chose to find the humor in the chaos…and in the pain…and in the stress. I think she still allowed herself to feel all those emotions, all the while looking for the line and then leading everyone to the other side. She never went there alone but allowed everyone around her to find the line with her…and join her in the laughter.
So back to me…and my stress levels. I had multiple moments to laugh this weekend. A few involved a large dose of wine but others involved a large dose of just not taking it all as seriously. There is only one letter and one fine line between distress and de-stress. I think I’ll approach this week by getting back to basics. I can’t control some of the things being thrown at me this week. What I can control? Looking for the line…and finding the laughter…and taking other people with me…even in the chaos. To Erma…everything was writing material. This week I’ll look for the crazy moments to talk about later. I’m sure there will be a fair share!
Good luck with your week…I hope you find your line as well.