I know, I know, previously I was all Zen-like about the snow storm. Yarn, rabbit, cocoa all at the ready, I would not be daunted by what passes for a snow storm in the Pacific Northwest. But the stuff is still coming down and they are predicting that we will be inside for at least two more days, if not longer. So what has changed? It isn't the snow, obviously, but the old mental state is slowly but surely shifting into the slightly batty range.
It isn't like I'm the sort that would be chomping at the bit to get out to do last-minute Christmas shopping. I avoid that like the plague, generally engaging in one dash to the stores to get anything that I can't acquire quickly on-line. I'm aware that we could be housebound through Christmas, but I don't feel any angst about that element of the situation. However, ramen for Christmas dinner might be a bit off-putting.
We're fortunate that our electricity is holding steady and so the heat is on. Don't have to worry about excessive cold. I am a bit miffed that the few festivities that I had planned on attending were canceled. Lost out on some much valued socializing there. But that's hardly enough to send me slipping towards the edge.
As I smugly watched others go bats after two days, I didn't imagine that this would continue to the point that I would join them, but here I seem to go. Why? As is my wont, I've been giving the situation a think and I have come up with a possible answer, or at least a partial one.
I first noticed myself slipping when I realized that I had not done enough grocery shopping for an extended snow-in. I'd gone to the store on Friday to pick up a few necessities, but I did not stock the pantry by any stretch of the imagination. Now this is a crucial point for me. When I was a child, the month always exceeded the paycheck and I learned to value a well stocked pantry. It symbolized security (as well as meals) to me. So this extended snow must be rattling my inner sense of security on some level, despite the fact that I am warm and fed at the moment.
This, of course, leads my mind to other security issues. Could that be the reason so many find themselves with, what is lightly referred to as, cabin fever? Is there a loss of security in being stuck inside? In spite of the fact that inside is safer than outside, I think this might be it, at least in part. When we can direct our days in any manner we like, we have a sense of safety in that we never have to face our constant and very real vulnerability to life. When Mother Nature asserts herself in our lives to the point that we cannot make choices that we otherwise would, we come face to face with the idea that ultimately, in some senses at least, we do not control our own destiny, whether that destiny be a trip to the grocery store or keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe. We may not recognize this threat overtly, but when we are constricted, it burbles around in our subconscious and niggles at our sense of well-being.
All of us like to think that we are in control, on one level or another. Even though I often acknowledge that I have very little control over what life decides to serve up, I also like to control the little things to give myself the comfortable illusion of control. But a blizzard, or an earthquake or a hurricane, will very quickly send that illusion flying out the window. And, perhaps, this is why we become so very uncomfortable internally, as well as physically, during such times.
Teacher Voices: Stewart Matthews - Here's another post in my continuing series on teacher voices. I'm interviewing some of my former students who have gone on to become teachers. In this po...
5 days ago