Lately that’s been a lot easier.
There’s a very funny moment in Draft Day when Cleveland Browns manager Sonny Weaver, played by Kevin Costner, gets fed up with his crew. They were tasked with delving into the first round pick’s background, for which Weaver had just traded the team’s future. That task had descended into a puerile discussion about how many hot babes the kid bedded a day.
Lately that’s been a lot easier.
Here it is:
Weaver’s father had just died the week before, his owner was pressuring him to make a big splash or be fired, that morning he had just been told he was about to be a father. Weaver had traded three years of first round draft picks for the #1pick, and his brand new coach and his quarterback, rehabbed to perfection, would also threaten to quit. To say he was under pressure is an understatement.
No wonder coaches and owners and managers die of hypertension. This is their lifestyle.
As much as I adore football movies, this one is, along with Rudy, my absolute favorite. How Weaver handles the moving targets all day long, his relationship with his coworker played by Jennifer Garner, and all the intense pressures laid on him by the vicious local sports media (sound familiar) who want him fired, I could go on. Chances are that most of you can relate in some way.
The way he nailed it is pure Hollywood. Most of us would implode. Hell, I nearly did.
I have been losing my shit lately from what appears to be delayed stress. As I finally get my house put together and am preparing to leave for Africa in the morning, all the pressures of the last several years came crashing down at once. I have a really good skill around just dealing with the moment. I deal with the stress about it, the exhaustion or pain later, because I don’t panic. I handle my stuff. Next.
The problem is what happens when there is an onslaught of those moments, a relentless long line of catastrophes and accidents and events and problems that simply don’t let up. When I’ve had a near-death experience in the wild, and I have had way more than my share, the next day I pay for it with a migraine or I do my share of vomiting. But I have recovery time.
These past eighteen months for me and a great many other folks have been just like that.
The last two years haven’t offered me a “next day.” In so many ways my life has been a Sonny Weaver day from one emergency and problem and injury to another. From a huge move to flipping my car to multiple injuries to, well, you get it. I’m on the sidelines of my own life trying like a mofo to keep my aging ass in the game. It’s been going on for nearly two years, since I finally decided to leave Denver, the brutally unkind ex BF, and get my butt in gear.
So it comes as no surprise when, now that things are slowing down, the BIG WHOOPS SURPRISE five-figure projects have been handled and so was my bank account, my blood pressure is spiking. This is what the body does when you keep stressing it out.
I spent a fair bit of time researching BP spikes. It will come as no surprise to my regular readers that while my BP numbers went way up for me, as I reported last week, every other single indicator said I was in vibrant health. That, from the ER doctor last week. The only piece is the stress, albeit there is a medication outlier for my migraines, which are also stress-related. They started after I got sexually assaulted by my big brother when I was ten and blossomed into a full-time experience when I was raped repeatedly in the military.
I would call twenty-five migraines a month a full-time experience.
Any and all sexual assault survivors can relate to how the state of high anxiety about men, proximity to men and the dangers they present can and does lead to health issues. My hand is WAY up here.
The reason I’m not dead is my commitment to get ridiculously healthy, as much as possible. Had I not, chances are the intensity of life events these past two years would have done me in. As it was my history of sexual abuse almost did do me in. I chose life, and committed to vibrant health.
That doesn’t mean I don’t lose my shit. In fact, if the last several weeks are any indication, the countdown to leaving for Africa is a good case in point. Massive confusion and misinformation about Covid testing, changes in the evisa online application process, last minute screwups and hours upon hours on hold (four hours with Lufthansa alone, just saying) don’t help.
Then this morning. Here’s how I almost lost my shit. Yesterday, being the good strategic, thorough military person I am, I called my Chase Sapphire card. Told them I’d be out of country, when, where, and PLEASE DO NOT DENY CHARGES RELATED TO THIS TRIP. I spoke to two different people, one in the fraud department, and get this, who DOUBLED DOWN GUARANTEED THAT NO CHARGES TO MY CARD WOULD GET DENIED.
So this morning. There were issues with my evisa, I can’t leave without it. My safari guy bribes someone in immigration to help with a new application, in the meantime, the very first card purchase that I use to pay for my evisa application is denied.
Four times in a row. YES I respond to their email. YES I responded to their texts asking if indeed I was the person making the charge. I called.
“Everything looks fine here,” says chirpy Tweetie bird. I try again with her on the phone. Denied again. Five times.
Ultimately I used a third card. I had tried two. Three times a charm. You get my meaning.
I am leaving tomorrow, have to get my Covid test in a few hours, can’t leave without my evisa, I have taken every single precaution I can think of to prevent this, and my card, with a perfect rating, gets denied. Five times in a row.
I nearly lost my shit. You can see why.
I will be writing a personal letter to the president of the company. I find those well-written, to the point, incident report letters get responses.
I didn’t lose my shit, but I almost did. Again, you can see why. I am trying my best to do everything right, but systems designed by people who don’t think, managed by people who don’t think, serviced by people who write service promise checks they can’t cash, are in the way.
I got the evisa. I am waiting to see if the uber-expensive, $299 Rapid results covid test does indeed show up in an hour as promised. I can’t leave without uploading those results. You see why this is all so high stakes. We have to count on people to do the right thing and they don’t or can’t, we want to believe people’s promises and are let down, and we cannot get done what needs to get done without turning into the Monster from Hell, having lost our shit.
This is not how to do business. And it’s how we’re doing business right here, right now. Getting business done is doing business to our hearts, minds and trust in each other. I realize much of this is Covid, but as my buddy Rosennab and I laughed about the other day, because it’s funny:
The default excuse for EVERY SINGLE THING ON THE PLANET not working is now Covid.
Hey, I stubbed my toe. Because, Covid.
Hey, I can’t parallel park. Because, Covid.
Hey, I can’t get laid. Because, Covid.
Hey, that’s misinformation. Because, Covid.
Hey….you get it. Every service failure, lousy health outcome, bad product, well, Because, Covid.
No, Sparky. You are mismanaging, undertraining, underpaying, and not doing a decent job in your business. That’s not Covid. That’s YOU.
No. It’s not all because Covid. It’s because we’re stupid and we make bad decisions, that’s why. Some of what’s going on is because of Covid. But the greater truth is that we have failed each other in terms of business practices, training, education, you name it across the board. Now we see it.
And we want to say it’s because of Covid.
Nope. You want to blame someone, go look in the bathroom mirror.
You want to hold someone accountable, go look in the bathroom mirror. Me, too.
You and I are the problem.
Covid just did a superb job of dropping our collective tightey-whiteys for the American public and the world.
For all those losing their shit over genuinely stupid shit, kindly, we’re wasting our time. There are far, far bigger issues than so much of what makes folks outraged.
If you and I are going to lose our shit in a way that makes a much larger difference, it might pay well to actually educate ourselves on the larger issues which result in our stress levels. Fox News doesn’t count, Facebook and Twitter and all those social media outlets don’t count.
They are why we’re so outraged, because we’re manipulated by outrage.
But that’s just me. I am subject to losing my shit like everyone else. Perhaps a minor difference is that I know it’s my doing, I know it’s my job to fix it, and I know that the mug facing me in my bathroom mirror is the only one that I need to deal with in terms of managing said shit.
That said, I am off to Africa. There’s shit over there too, but they most certainly aren’t “shit hole countries.” That’s America right now.
Just saying. We have work to do and it begins inside us.