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  • Writer's pictureBev Spritzer

It's entirely possible to sabotage literally any moment of calm, and here's how!

Updated: Jun 9, 2023

You're sitting there. Your kids have recently fallen asleep on the couch. You've transferred them seamlessly into their beds. The time is *checks phone* 6:45 pm (?!?!)

This is way earlier than usual, you think to yourself. And it's utterly SILENT... perhaps alarmingly so?

It is precisely at this point that we need to begin CATASTROPHIZING.

That's right, friends. We need to engage *immediately* with the ever-present undercurrent of anxiety that likes to rear its stupid face right on cue, whenever an errant moment of peace or tranquility arises.

Surely there must be some way to wrest ourselves free of this strange, unexpected feeling of calm? It just feels so foreign and surprising, and worst of all, who's to say how long it could last? A second? Maybe three? There's no way of knowing! Ok I'm calling it, I think we're gonna need to enlist PANIC.

This, dear reader, is the perfect time to think to yourself: How the fuck can I sabotage this shit now, before life sabotages it for me?

Let's stew on this for a moment. Really stew, though, like get in there. Let it wash over you. The feeling that you're completely at peace BUT FOR HOW LONG.

You see how easy that was? To go from zero to one of those little yellow bits of shrapnel from the game Perfection, just sitting in its cozy li'l spot waiting to be ejected into the air and land who-knows-where until somebody steps on it and screams??

You know, that game??

[pictured: yellow bits of shrapnel being propelled into the air]

We are now on HIGH ALERT which is great because one of the children just made a small cry noise, presumably in her sleep, but we don't actually know if she's asleep, right?

A super fun thing to imagine at this point is: What if one of your kids has a cute li'l night terror? Like it began as a small cry, but what if it spirals into a full-on, exorcist-level tantrum, except you're the exorcist and you are *woefully* unqualified, like you don't even speak Latin.

Or - what if one of them wakes up screaming that they require tickles and singing, IMMEDIATELY. You'll have to close your book. Take off your glasses. Put down your snack. Take the deepest fucking breath you've ever taken, and perform like the calming, sleepytime presence that you somehow always appear to be (The Role of A Lifetime), all the while imploding with anxiety lava - but they'll never know because your rendition of "A Whole New World" is far too beguiling.


I'm already so easily startled at the best of times. So imagine the fun of being startled by a cry! Or worse: A cough!

Why must the sound pierce through me like a fiery knife and then burrow itself even deeper? It's like I'm a cavewoman and my internal Emergency Event Alarm is extra sensitive, maybe even broken after years of misfiring at the sound of rustling leaves that are definitely not sabre tooth tigers. "False alarm, everyone! Back to your caves, nothing to see here, just a crazy cave lady shaking her fist at a tree!"

Worst of all, why must I do things to myself like sit around anticipating being startled by a cry, or another Perceived Emergency Event, when I could be calmly enjoying a comedy special and a snack, or a book and another snack?

Oh, the what ifs we could conjure together!

People are always saying things like, "You can be a part of the problem, or you can be a part of the solution!"

Well guess what, that's a false dichotomy.

I'm the problem, AND the solution, muthafuckas!

Listen, it's super easy to sabotage potentially peaceful moments by thinking yourself out of them. It's even easier to blame yourself for "putting those thoughts out there in the universe"knowing full well that's not really how the universe works.

If I'm gonna be ejected out of my cozy little me-shaped spot like so many bits of jagged, yellow shrapnel flung haphazardly in all directions - I'll still be just as startled when it occurs.

So I should probably just... enjoy the calm that exists in between?

Because more often than not, the Perceived Emergency Event doesn't even materialize. And so much time and energy have been wasted, wondering when I'll pop, imagining all the potential threats from which I'll heroically have to rescue my children.

Like, what if one of them steps on a yellow piece of plastic the next day, one that wouldn't have been there in the first place, if I had just allowed myself to enjoy the silence?

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