The other day I was lying in bed, in the desperate pursuit of ever-elusive sleep (which is the life story of every graveyard shift worker on the face of the earth), when BOOM!!!! Lightning struck the house, and I instantly had two very terrified dogs on top of me.
I went without internet for three days and without a land line for four. It’s funny. For more than half my life internet didn’t even exist and yet I got along just fine. But those few days of total communication blackout nearly drove me insane.
I do not like the feeling that things are out of my control.
I had that very same thought yesterday when an extremely large tug and barge grossly miscalculated and wound up drifting toward my bridge sideways. It was slowly, inexorably coming toward me, capable of doing millions of dollars worth of damage, not the least of which was knocking the tenderhouse into the river, me along with it, and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it other than look on in horror. At the last possible second the captain was able to right himself and missed us by mere inches. I was shaking afterward and felt quite sick.
I also hate having to rely on others.
And I had that very same thought upon the inexplicable disappearance of the flagman who is supposed to prevent cars from driving into the drink while we’re under construction and can only open half the bridge. This rendered me incapable of opening the drawbridge for a sailboat for 45 minutes. I was livid, because contrary to the stereotype of the sleeping bridgetender who is only there to draw a paycheck, the vast majority of us actually do take our work seriously and want to do a competent and efficient job. I had a hard time unwinding after that particular shift.
And nothing rattles me more than erratic drivers who put my life in danger, like the guy who nearly ran me off the road the other night. Sometimes I wonder if I’m invisible.
All of these events are unforeseen, and leave me feeling as though all my nerves are on the surface of my skin. It’s not that I don’t deal with them well. I have no choice but to do so. I just tend to be shaken up in their aftermath, and that feeling is unpleasant at best.
I long to be one of those people who takes everything in stride, who rolls with the punches, who is quick on the uptake, but the fact is, that’s just not who I am. I’m a plodder. I muddle through. I make it, but it isn’t always pretty, and there’s usually a distressing recovery period afterward. Oh well.
So I was driving home and I had this whole blog entry plotted out in my mind. The whole thing was going to be about how I hate the unexpected. And then something unexpected happened.
I came around a curve to discover that every car was at a standstill on a 4 lane highway. What the heck? Instant spike of anxiety. But then I saw what was going on. Everyone had stopped for a procession of eleven very slow moving Canada Geese. I was delighted, and impressed with the teamwork and the overall humanity of it all. It made my day.
So I can’t say I always hate the unexpected. Life does have a way of presenting you with delightful surprises every now and then. But even those would be preferable with some advanced notice.
(Image credit: nj.com)