Sometimes I just have to laugh out loud. There’s a phrase that’s rolled through my head on too many occasions to count this year.
“Man plans, God laughs.”
How true is that in 2020? Kind of crazy just how many curveballs we’ve all had thrown our way. Without going into much detail as it gets in the way of the story, let’s just say that there were a couple of sudden curves today.
On our walk today Gavin reminded me of a story from a few years that was pretty much spot on for today. We were out on the river and Gavin and I were eating our lunches while sitting on the pontoon. A giant hornet flew up and landed on Gavin’s head.
As it perched on Gavin’s hair he just looked up with panic. “Relax bud, deep breaths, and don’t be nervous,” was all I could think to say. As I said it I was already seeing myself taking ice out of the cooler to put on the sting on his head. For some reason the hornet opted to take off and fly away…
but Fate is a fickle thing…
and the hornet flew right back towards Gavin. This time the hornet didn’t land on top of his head. The hornet, honest to God, landed right on the tip of Gavin’s nose. His eyes grew huge as he stared crosseyed looking at the hornet crawling on his nose. My nose itches as I think of the way it crawled with its stinger millimeters from the skin of his nose.
In that moment Gavin had a choice to make. Take a swat at it and risk hitting himself in the nose and possibly get stung. Scream loudly and jump which would probably scared the hornet into stinging him (and I’m pretty sure what I would have done). The last option was to breathe deeply, focus on calm, and wait for it to fly away.
Gavin made the right call and stayed completely calm and still. That level of inaction is in no way natural to him, but there, in the highest pressure, he maintained his calm, his mind, and his presence. After a short while (in the moment it felt like several hours) the hornet lost interest and flew away.
Today I did my best impression of Gavin to handle the hornets that landed on my nose. When they appeared I took a deep breath, focused on calm, and found a way to roll with the situation.
All around I can see potential hornets swarming. Occasionally one will land on my head, sometimes even on my nose. If I slow down, keep a steady mind, stay calm, and quickly think through the right solution I can escape without being stung most of the time.
Gavin, thanks for reminding me of an example you lived of staying calm in the face of stress; kinda literally!