You see, I have a knack for making things bigger than they are.
How is this a talent?
Well, it’s a sure sign of creativity and a vivid imagination, both of which you’d want to see in a writer, yes? And, by making minor things major, I can easily distract myself from really critical things that would suck to think about. (See how that works? It’s kind of like reverse psychology or Massive Distraction Disorder…or something).
How is this a problem?
Oh, dear…let me count the ways. Primarily? It’s about self-induced stress and causing mountains of unnecessary, waste of time pain. Here’s how it works – your friend Sue tells you that her dog has Kennel Cough. And YOU:
- Wrack your brain to remember the last time your dog was at the kennel.
- Remember it was only 3 weeks ago.
- Try to recall whether or not the dog has been coughing.
- Assume he is, right now, hacking up a lung.
- Shiver and shake at the memory of how much it costs every time you take the damn dog to the vet.
- Realize it’s the end of the month and all of the bills are due.
- Start panicking about money.
- Worry that if you lose a client this week, you won’t be able to pay your bills.
- Find that Huffington Post article about the average number of middle class families that can’t pay their mortgage.
- Groan at the thought of having to relocate to Topeka to live with your parents because you lost the house.
- Pop a Xanax.
- Pop another for good measure.
Oh, yes, I could keep going.
A dog, not even your own, has a cough. A cough!!! And now, you’re having a full-blown panic attack about living with your mother in Kansas!
Because you haven’t kept it right-sized – you made it wrong-sized, super-sized. Step away from the story and walk back up that 12 step ladder we just slithered down (into hell). Go back to the first moment. A dog has a cough? Oh, maybe you should call the vet and make sure your dog’s kennel cough shots are up to date. Great idea! Now finish your lunch, enjoy it and then move on to the next thing. In other words, stop and look around at reality.
If someone told you that you could reduce your stress by, let’s say 75%, wouldn’t you jump at the chance? Me too. So when a situation presents itself – say there’s a lot of traffic on the way home – I’m doing my best not to write a rapid-fire story that leaves me with a terminal disease. I just call the family, say, ‘Hey, I might be a little late’, put on some good tunes and dance my way home. Perfectly sized.
If you think you need a little help ‘sizing’ your life, I highly recommend you call the best life coach in the universe.
Image credit: Editor B