How are we supposed to be okay with uncertainty? I feel like I might have an illness but I can’t get a test until tomorrow, the next day, or the day after. Then the results won’t be in for a few days after that. How am I supposed to function in my day to day life? How are WE supposed to function? I’m assuming a lot of you function just a-okay when you don’t have an answer, but I seemingly love to let my imagination just run buck-wild. I’ll start to experience phantom symptoms, even if they’re really not there. I just start thinking I have it. All because I don’t have an answer, the mind will start to become some rabid animal that will eat me up alive or bite me until I have rabies. Fuck, do I have rabies too? I think I’m foaming at the mouth.. I’m really thirsty. SHIT!
This is the one thing in life we all have to deal with. It could be uncertainty of getting the new job you’ve wanted, whether or not your family is going to make it through a difficult time, or if you have some new line of COVID that was released this year. I heard the ’22 model is really popular these days. For some of these instances, we can get tested and make sure we’re okay not spreading anything to our peers. But then there’s other instances that you have to sit around and wait. Obviously it’s best to keep your mind occupied, but that’s not always easy. All of a sudden you start to think you have COVID when you’re sitting around and just finished lunch. My throat is sore, everyone keeps catching it… I MUST HAVE IT! Just like death, taxes… uncertainty is also a certainty in life. Chew on that for a bit.
If we always had the answers, there would be no excitement to life. That’s understandable, right? If we always knew the answers, the lottery ticket numbers, the “right” path…where would be the learning? Where would be the growth? We learn and grow through living through pain, through our work, through patience. That’s always been very clear. The issue that is wreaking havoc on my mind is, “How do we cope?” Do we stay busy and bury ourselves in other work hoping that our patience pays off? Do we distract ourselves with something joyful? Do we meditate on it and come to peace with the fact of “not knowing?”
I don’t know.
Well… that doesn’t really help. There was a book I was trying to read earlier and I think I’d finish a sentence or a paragraph and then my mind would wander to continually answer the “what if’s” of the situation. For some reason, my mind always wants to put an answer to a question. It’s not comfortable with having something being unknown.
Believe it or not, when I was younger I found great solace in math. Algebra, calculus, etc.. it was always a joy to solve the problems, to have an answer. There was something really calming about finding the correct answer to an equation. Not only could you find the right answer with no subjectivity, but you could also check your work. It was right or it was wrong… no in-betweens. There weren’t any uncertainties. Then when you’d write a history essay, well…some of your work would be up for argument. It would depend on what the teacher thought about the question they asked. It was trying to guess what their mind wanted to read. Fuck that nonsense. Give me some multiple choice or fill in the blank, I don’t need my over-analytical mind trying to figure out the teacher’s want to hear.
There was once a kid that I was in high school with and admittedly I didn’t know him that well. He was a year younger, I believe… maybe 2. There was one day that he was at home lifting weights and getting prepared for the next season of football. While bench-pressing, he snapped his arm. Just because of the weight on the bar, his forearm popped in half. Turns out, the poor dude had a really rare form of bone cancer. He died later that year.
Not even on his radar, no one’s thinking about it. Is that the way to live? To put all of that shit on the shelf and live your life? Just like winning the lottery, your chances of having something so rare are slim to nil, but don’t we want to be safe? Don’t we want to know that we’re doing the right thing? Does that mean regular screenings of your health? How many times must they stick a couple fingers up my ass to make sure my prostate is okay? Just please use COPIOUS amounts of petroleum jelly and let’s keep it to 2 fingers MAX.
I suppose we all have to find ways to cope. We have to do our due diligence and screen our health regularly by visiting a doctor (haven’t been in years), we have to check our habits to make sure we’re doing all the right things to steer the course of our life, and we have to get lost in our work. That could be creative work, physicals labor, or just even good ol’ fashioned paperwork. ANYTHING to stay busy.
Funny enough, I was listening to a podcast yesterday and the two doctors were discussing the benefits of the sauna. One of the doctors had been a wrestler, judo player, and BJJ competitor for most of their life…so to them, a sauna was hell. They said they’d rather put on sweats and go running for hours than sit in a sauna. The reason being is that they’d rather keep the body busy so the mind had something to focus on. Without the body being active, it’s just you versus your mind. The mind will work hard to drag you into some deep dark rabbit holes, both when you’re under duress and when you’re dealing with uncertainty.
Wouldn’t it be fun to just think the greatest of every situation? If you could just turn a knob like you do a thermostat. “I’d like to think the absolute worst of this unknown situation, please,” or “Let’s keep it sitting right in the middle so I can get a healthy dose of both sides. That way, I keep an even keel and our electric bill doesn’t go sky high.”
Wouldn’t have to worry about the bill if you could go solar. *wink*