I had someone tell me recently that I stay remarkably calm in the face of chaos. I’m not sure how true that is but I’m glad that it seems to be my reputation. The benefit of having dealt with chaos is that a) nothing surprises you and b) you have a realistic viewpoint of what will actually kill you…and if it isn’t going to kill you, you will live another day to deal with what will probably be a whole new chaotic episode, leaving today’s in the dust. In spite of that, while I may try to project confidence and calm, I know I’m not always feeling it.  My internal dialogue is just as scattered as everyone else’s. Sometimes, it, unfortunately, spills out and takes everyone by surprise.

Some examples:

  1.  I am a die-hard “get to the airport two hours early” lunatic. Lines are my arch-nemesis. Lines at the airport are kryptonite. I have never missed a plane or lost my luggage but for some reason, when I walk into the security line, I break into a sweat. I feel the need to also confirm that I am not trying to smuggle anything in – I have no reason to be antsy…I just am. If I were security, I would search me just because I look guilty. My poor friends from our recent cruise got to experience this as we disembarked. I had been up and packed since 6am.  Waiting until 8 to get into the customs line was requiring Ativan – although, since I don’t take Ativan, I didn’t have any handy. I watched the line off the ship get longer and longer and was hyperventilating by the time our friends joined us, ready to leave. I was deep breathing, doing imagery, internal dialogue all for….the ten minutes that it took to get through the line. I was then calm but my shipmates were a bit irritated that we were now on the outside of the ship…in the sun…waiting 30 minutes for a shuttle.
  2. I cannot talk on the phone in the car if I’m not sure where I’m going. I’m convinced I can only use one sense at a time…so I can either talk or see where I’m driving. I’m that person that turns down the radio when I’m lost.  When I’m driving to work, I can use the Bluetooth in the car to talk because I’m on auto-pilot – my car knows the way.  I drove a co-worker to our company Holiday party recently. I tried to answer a call while looking for a turn and actually yelled at the person on the phone “I CAN”T TALK TO YOU! I DON’T KNOW WHICH WAY TO GO!!!”  A few hours and an apology later, we were back on good terms but I have a feeling she will be driving herself to the next party.
  3. Just to assure you that this is not just age setting in, I will remind anyone that knows me that I lost my two-year-old…at the beach…in my arms. I had my eyes on the older boys and lost sight of Matthew. I was becoming slightly hysterical when my best friend asked me what I was freaking out about. I screamed that I couldn’t find Matthew at which she pointed out how my senses were failing me…since I was holding him in my arms. Yes…it’s true…I’ve always been this nuts.

So…the calm exterior is just that….a fake candy shell. I’m one big hot mess on the inside. In an emergency, however, I will still be the voice of calm as long as I’m a)not exiting a ship b)driving a car or c)holding an invisible two-year-old in my arms.  Other than that…I’m your girl. (If your locked in a room somewhere, and need help out, just tell me you have my remote…Read Here.) The Face of Calm






Posted by:Sheri Saretsky

I spent ten years as a single parent of three boys. I then married my wonderful husband and he was inducted into the world of boy raising. Now we get to add my peri-menopause to the mix! Its been a crazy life...one I wouldn't change a minute of....

2 replies on “The Face of Calm

  1. I haven’t lost a child while holding him, but I have lost sunglasses that were perched on my head and you could have been writing about me when it comes to catching planes and driving in unfamiliar territory. I say I don’t like to travel but it is actually I don’t like the stress of catching flights. And I need complete silence in the car when I’m in traffic or driving to a new place. Glad you patched up your friendship! LOL!


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