Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Another use for duct tape


Dr. Sheldon Cooper, from THE BIG BANG THEORY, model for all sorts of extreme behavior and poster child for control issues. As we arrived late for the series, we are catching up with reruns six evenings a week. A few nights ago, I saw the episode with perhaps the definitive Sheldon line as he tried to find new friends who would do things his way. Abandoning them and rushing to be included in whatever his old pals were doing, he explained, of the new bunch, "They were having fun wrong."

At times I wonder if there is anything other than our own attitude that is within our control, for so little else seems to be. Ah, but the years I tried to have it be different. The enormity of our appropriate inability to control much of anything was reinforced this morning as I learned of a dear family member who is facing additional treatment for a disease thought cured. A previous version of myself would have retreated into worry and blame. Today, I chose, for which I am beyond grateful, action and belief in a good outcome. That is all that is within my power.

This morning I also realized - are those solar flares and their radiation bombarding our thought patterns as well as the guidance systems for airliners? - that it was no longer, as though it had been since about 1985, my task to fret about my son's sending or not sending of thank-you notes for gifts received. It was while actively involved in 12-step programs, the ones dealing with co-dependency, that I imagined wearing a thick roll of duct tape as a bracelet, ripping off strips when necessary and slapping them across my mouth. A fine teaching tool to learn the art of butting out. Somewhere, we must be accruing points for what we've managed not to say.

Back to my search for devices to quantify the unquantifiable, the meter that can gauge just how detrimental it is to our own health, those surges of adrenalin and what-not that come from trying to have it our way. My former husband used to tell me I couldn't like some of the things I liked, because they weren't good. I was having fun wrong.

I won't pretend that I no longer fret or that my fingers don't twitch to see some wrongs put right. However, I have learned a bit about about choosing my battles. Acceptance and surrender take up more real estate in my thoughts and vocabulary than they once did. I remember Leon Russell was once referred to, or called himself, the master of space, time and infinity. Whatever that means, exactly. I aspire to be the master or at least the journeyman of growing really still and awaiting internal guidance, duct tape at the ready, surrender to what is beyond my control always at the top of the list.

14 comments:

JeannetteLS said...

well said, Marylinn... Actually, to my mind? Perfectly said. I gotta go get my duct tape out. Isn't it amazing the breadth of application of some of the simplest ideas from the 12 step programs?

The serenity seems to fit in uncomfortably well too often for me. Duct tape will help.

Penelope said...

Have had the lesson hammered home this week (perhaps we're working from the same Homework Book, Marylinn) – transmuting adrenaline into something kinder and lighter.

Isabel Doyle said...

'Acceptance and surrender' very powerful words. I have long known (in some part of my being) that the only thing I could ever change was myself and the way I feel about things, but knowning and Knowing are far apart, aren't they? I am making progress with acceptance. The surrender part is still a major struggle.

Wonderful and thought-provoking post as usual, Marylinn.

Isabel x

Antares Cryptos said...

The fictional character certainly has issues. At times, I envy his lack of self-censorship or duct-tape, but don't envy his lack of social skills.

Kass said...

Wonderful and well-timed post. Just what I needed. I love how you express yourself. You speak right to me in a way that makes me glad to pay attention.

Jayne said...

"Somewhere, we must be accruing points for what we've managed not to say." Yes, yes, Marylinn, undoubtedly.

Funny, my daughter is always asking for duct tape. I think I'm going to start indulging her.

As always, Marylinn, to the heart. :)

Marylinn Kelly said...

Jeanette - The tape is far preferable to hitting one's self with a hammer AFTER the inappropriate remark has been made. Those simply ideas have wide-ranging, enduring value. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Penelope - I think there may be a Big Cosmic Book of Lessons, out of which we each work, most days. No longer have much tolerance for that adrenalin 'state.' xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Isabel - Thank you. Progress in no small achievement and surrender is just a few short steps past acceptance. One thing we can be sure of, the lessons will keep coming. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Antares - I suppose Sheldon embodies something about intelligent ignorance being bliss. The missing social skills, the lack of empathy...the writers have created a truly memorable character. The duct tape awareness has made my life a less fraught experience. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Kass - Thank you. These seem to be times of introspection and change; we all learn from each other. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Jayne - Thank you. A bit of duct tape between mother and daughter, between friends, what could be the harm? Something good will come of it. xo

grrl + dog said...

the solar flares DO affect us - we both spent Sunday feeling very weird.

All those nutrinos zapping through us..

Marylinn Kelly said...

Denise - How could they NOT affect us, is my question, something not often taken into consideration as far as I can tell. Everybody's guidance system takes a hit. xo