Wednesday, 26 March 2014

The Ol' Frazzle Hassle

Life can be hard, sometimes. Anyone who disagrees with that statement needs to send me a prescription of whatever medication they're on, because life is pretty damn hard, sometimes. Now, I'm not saying it's a daily struggle, and I certainly don't want to be one of those depressing "Life is Pain", angsty misery-guts. And I don't dare to claim my life is as bad as the plight of those with chronic pain, mental disorders or terminal disease; I can't even imagine that kind of suffering. But even though I've got a pretty cosy life, all in all, the Long Walk can get the best of us sometimes . . .

I know, because I've been a little flustered, lately. With all these Duke Forever stories I'm working on; with this anthology fiction I've got to do; with finding words for this blog; with driving tests and with personal time management issues, I've got a lot on my mind, lately.

The other day, I took some time to talk to Beloved about it, and I learned that she too has been worn down a bit lately, with everything life's been throwing at her, particularly family drama and too much on her plate. The word she used to describe herself was 'frazzled', which is both evocative and, in my opinion, enlightening. So, I decided to use it for today's blog post. The Word of the Day is: 'FRAZZLE'.

Frazzle /frazəl/ v. 1. To wear to threads or shreds; fray. 2. To weary; tire out: Those six eight-year-olds frazzled me. ♦n. 3. The state of being frazzled, worn-out or burnt. 4. A remnant; shred.

I don't think that day-to-day life is about big problems; not really. I mean, we have big problems, but they're not the main issue. Because as much as getting your leg cut off by an axe-wielding maniac, or catching the ebola virus or getting put in jail are all big problems, overall, they're a small fraction of what really makes life miserable. See, I think it's the little problems that cause the most worry.
Because a big problem is like a dragon. Once you slay the dragon, the problem is solved, happily ever after. But little problems, they're more like ants. They're small and they niggle and pester, and sometimes they bite, but usually they can be ignored. But if there's too many of them, they can become an absolute nightmare that plagues our lives, with too many to handle at once.

Although, for dragons, we have swords and for ants, we have bug spray, yet there's no tool or weapon to fix all of our problems, so my simile is imperfect, (but what do you expect, it's just a simile).

See, with little problems, the only way to deal with them is one day at a time. Steady as she goes, just get on up and deal with the problem at hand. But, because they can build up over time, this often leads to us becoming worn out by the sheer number of problems we're trying to handle.
As with Beloved and myself, we were both feeling frazzled by the sheer weight of the stress, work and worries rattling around in our skulls. But we decided to sit down and talk about it. And, as we did, I started to feel better, and she too started to smile, despite everything that should have made her frown.

This is, of course, because I can't help but be happy around my girlfriend, she really is amazing. But this is also because we were both stressed out, and so we both understood what the other was going through.
It's true, there's no tool or weapon to fix all of our problems, but there is a solution; you just can't hold it in your hands. In fact, it's quite an elusive tool, an impalpable quality called empathy.
Now, I've spoken before about my own views on Empathy, and while I still believe that there's no true empathy, in this instance, a parallel understanding is all you need.

This reminds me of a video from RSA, which explained the difference between sympathy and empathy. Not only because Beloved an my experiences allowed us an understanding of each's problems; but it also reminded me of the thesis of that video: What makes something better is connection.

So, with that all in mind, I find it kind of apt that my Beloved called herself 'frazzled'. Because, it seems to mean "shredded" - as in, torn into little pieces - and, from my perspective, that means that all you need to do is pick up the pieces and put them back together, and you can be whole again.
And I know that it's not easy to pull yourself together when everything is bearing down on you, and some of the problems are bigger than others. That's why it's good to have someone there with you. Someone that cares, someone that loves you and will help you pick up the pieces.

So, what's the point of today's blog post? Do I have any eye-opening theories to divulge, or any outstanding opinions to share?
No, not really. Because I'm a little bit frazzled, this evening, and I'm busy taking care of my girlfriend, because she always comes first. But also, in accordance with what I said earlier, I'm sharing my troubles with you.
I've started to realize the effort it will take to write Duke Forever in its entirety, and while I'm trying to see the bigger picture and understand the way everything will fall into place, the scale of it all is getting the better of me. And there are a lot of stresses with this license and trying to manage my time better, sometimes it feels like I'm stuck in a rut.
I'm not expecting any answers from you, I just want to share that with you - and my Beloved - because sometimes, just making a connection is enough to help us feel better about the problems that wear us down with the Daily Grind . . .

Anyway, I'd best be off now. But thank you for reading - thank you for listening - because just having someone to talk to helps a little. Don't worry, I'll solve these problems in time.

But for now, and until next time, I'm the Absurd Word Nerd; and this is for you, Beloved. I hope you're feeling better, today.

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