One day, a blood test reveals a suspiciously high PSA count. Your doctor says he’s “99% sure it’s not cancer” but, to be safe, go see the urologist. So you see the urologist who, after the thorough exam, rules out simpler issues and says you’ve “a 20% chance of cancer.”
So, to be safe, you take another blood test. That test comes back and now there’s little chance there’s any problem; looks like the first test was wrong.
Or then there’s the client, whose teenaged daughter was diagnosed with Lupus the day his $10 million financing closed. Or the other client whose lead investor decided he should be fired the day before the company received a term sheet for a new $5 million investment. Or the woman who, on Friday, agrees to marry her boyfriend only to decide on Monday that he’s not her soul mate.
“How do you do it?” he asked over the phone. “How do you go into the office when all you can think about is what’s happening at home?”
Or in your relationship, I think, or, even, your own body.
“Dramamine,” I tell him, making him laugh.
Up. Down. Down. Up. How do you ride the roller coaster?
How do you survive the everyday, ordinary craziness that defines life?
Meds can help I suppose. But, the only real chance we’ve got of surviving, indeed maybe even thriving in, the chaos of ordinary life is to develop a centered core: A set of beliefs, rituals, and inner-knowledge that not only remains unshakable with every gut-wrenching drop but, in fact, deepens over time into a philosophy that is at once unique and lasting.
I think of my own ritualistic behaviors–rising before dawn, journaling, exercise, and meditation—and see them not only as manifestations of my own beliefs (journaling develops a greater self-awareness; exercise provides the short-term benefit of anxiety-release while promoting long-term fitness, and meditation as a practice of accepting things just as they are), but as a means to create order out of the everyday chaos.
Regardless of the inevitable drops, such core systems of belief steady the self and make the everyday possible.