Friday, July 29, 2011

Being the Calm Collected One - Not Me!

I love watching action movies where there's a bank robbery scene and everyone's on the floor cowering for cover.  The camera fixates itself on the hero of the flick plotting and waiting for his opportunity to take out the would-be bank robbers without putting himself or anyone else in danger.  When the opportunity arises, the slow-motion action star gets up off the floor, disables his nearest opponent, takes his gun, wraps his arm around his foe's neck, and uses him as a shield as he back his way towards the door let everyone out while he sprays the bad guys with bullets.  As shots are fired back, not one round scratches our hero because not only does he have ex-covert ops military training but Lady Luck is on his side as well.  He perfectly finishes the enemy with bullet holes in the bad guys' heads (center of the forehead) and discharges the smoking cartridge from his weapon.  He then looks at his love interest barely getting up after the melee and smiles.  His love interest winks at him and says, "Well, that's one way of getting my attention!" The camera pans out of the scene as police rush in unnecessarily and get the people out to cheering crowd.  Triumphant music plays as our hero drapes himself with his woman and an American flag.  Fade to black.

Too bad none of that shite happens in real life...

I used to think I am a level-headed person when I get into a crisis.  I'd pride myself as a leader of sort when looking at the flight attendant's eyes and saying to her, "Yes.  I've heard the instructions on the placard and can life more than 20 lbs. in the event of an emergency."  I would watch Lost and say, "Oh, I could do Jack's job.  Lead these fawkers off the island?  Noooooo problem."  Who the fawk am I kidding?!

I am learning more and more that if everything is cruising quite nicely, I make an excellent leader.  If a few things go wrong and there are bumps on the way, I'm still a pretty good leader.  But if the shite goes down within 2-3 seconds, I'm a freakin' useless idiot as I go through 7 emotions as once and my mind races to the most negative thought I can think regarding the situation.  It kinds sucks having to come to that realization as I now recognize that I'm becoming even more mortal in my older age.

It got me thinking.  You never know how you'll react until you put yourself into those situations where you test your inner will to survive and thrive.  Things that fall into this category for me:

  • What would I do if just saw a horrific traffic accident and see that a car is on fire?  Would I go out of my way to save the person?

  • If a gunman was holding my family hostage, would I try to be the hero or would I beg and plead for them to leave us alone?

  • I'm in a car that goes off a cliff into the sea.  Would I be clam enough to remember that the power windows and locks work even a car is submerged or would I try to kick out the back window in vain?

  • Would I sacrifice myself to the aliens that come down and try to take everyone I hold dear to me back to their planet for mating purposes?  Would I ever utter the line, "If you want someone to mate with...cot damn it...take me...just leave them out of it."?


  • It's hard to say.  I get mind flustered on simple shite like the air conditioner breaking or my  basement flooding.  I can't get my brain to calm down when I think Lola's gone missing on one of her sunbathing expeditions. I never associated myself with someone who would panic in a situation.  Now I've learned that I would.

    I need to work on being calm, collected, and fearless.  Living in the moment is going to be the best way of doing it.  Off to the bank!

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