When I think of keeping calm, I always remember the Friends episode where Monica gets all twirly because of her parents’ upcoming visit. With frantic pillow fluffing and excessive dusting, Monica scrambles to make the apartment “perfect.” Of course it will never be “perfect” according to her mother. Monica should not have wasted worry on the impending storm of her mother’s scrutiny, but rather saved her energy for riding out the blasts of criticism and then felt the blissful relief of seeing her mother go back to Long Island.
Just as Monica worked herself into a tizzy over the visit of her parents, my daughter got all twirly on us last week. We were preparing for our annual Memorial Day bar-b-que. My daughter inherited my worrying gene and did not sleep much the night before because she could not stop fretting over the details of the event. By “details” I mean she was worried about the kids fighting over shovels in the new pea-gravel we added around the swing set. Fighting over shovels was just too much for my sweet girl to bear at the first party of summer. In spite of our frequent reminders to just enjoy the day, she was consumed with worry over the rumblings of potential fights. Fortunately, most of the kids did not even pay attention to the shovels, and, once her friends arrived, my twirly girl left her thundering thoughts behind.
When the party was over, everyone was exhausted. The house really did look like a hurricane had hit and the shovels were calmly resting in the pea-gravel. We had ridden out the storm of a good time and all the cleaning, organizing, and prepping was a thing of the past. Hopefully all anyone took away from our gathering was happy memories.
As you go about your day, find yourself making plans, or are facing a personal worry storm, remember that the calm can be found within yourself. Letting the winds of change and thunder of threatening circumstances consume you will only increase the power of the storm you face. Take each strike of fear with stride and remember once the thunder is gone, it’s gone. After most storms there is a rainbow to remind you of the promise of a better day and brighter things to come. You will find that relief and optimism appear more quickly if you allow tranquility to be your protection from the inundation and down pour of problems. We can’t stop the storms of life, but we can stop ourselves from letting them engulf our every thought and action. Stop yourself and be the calm in the storm. You can’t calm the storm. You can calm yourself.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. Being twirly isn’t always a bad thing, just avoid being twirly with worry.
P.P.S. If there is a real storm, take cover and be safe.