Musings on life, the universe and an elephant named Flobo


Pressure is something that seems an intrinsic part of life. Pressure and temperature applied to carbon atoms create diamonds. Pressure combined to people can either make or break us.

Some people thrive on pressure. I’ve been told by quite a few over the years that I am one of those people who don’t feel content unless I am under pressure. I don’t think that these people are correct. I don’t believe that I seek out high pressure environments. I am not a surgeon or anything. I just seem to always end up in the fray whether I like it or not. I don’t try to seek out drama in my life. It finds me. I suppose the reason I tend to end up in these situations is because I always aim to be better than I was the day before. This may seem simple. Believe me, it is not. Trying to be better in some way than the people around you is a walk in the park compared to trying to be better than yourself. After all, how much do you really know the other people? You don’t. All you have is your perception of the persons skills and abilities which you weigh against your own and hope you come out on top. Fighting against yourself is more difficult. You already know all the tricks up your sleeve.

It is easy when facing the battle of the wills to start letting things get on top of you. When reports are starting to pile up, it is oh so easy to just let yourself sit back and let the pile keep stacking until it has that nice lean to it and it all comes crashing down. It can be easy and tempting to just lock the door on everything. Throw the bolt and pray for everything to just disappear. However, problems don’t tend to just disappear because you wish them to. And if I’ve learnt anything over the years. Some people won’t disappear. No matter how many times you have to close the door over on them for a while.

We live in a high pressure society. Everywhere we look there are more people and elements just waiting with that shovel to pile it on. We put pressure on ourselves to be the best, we put pressure on our partners and our families to live up to certain expectations, we put pressure on individuals to think and act a certain way (which ever way we think people should act). We put pressure on kids and pester them from a young age to discover what they want to be when they are older and then come up with a list of extra curricular activities to match.

Why can’t we just sit back. Take the foot of the accelerator and take a breath. Things can happen in a moment that take time to put right, however, with all the pressure and rushing that we do to get through our days, we are missing all the important moments.

Let the email sit unread for a minute and enjoy that drink and breath of fresh air. Turn off your phone at the end of the day and enjoy the family time. All the issues will still be there when you log back on. Stressing about things isn’t going to suddenly make your mind work any clearer.

No matter how much we may want it, if we apply too much pressure we aren’t going to turn into stars or diamonds. We are slightly more complex than carbon atoms. Plus, I could do without being a lump of rock no matter how shiny.

At the end of the day I know that I am incredibly guilty of piling on the pressure. My mind seems like a constant swirl of worry and doubt and little dreams and nightmares that play out behind my eyes where everything comes crashing down the second I stop. I need to remember to relinquish control of things. Shit, I need to realise that “control” is abstract to begin with. It is an illusion which gets us through our days and helps us sleep at night. If we don’t have it, we want it. If we think we have it – we fear to lose it.

What are you waiting for? Slip those shoes off. Stand barefoot on the grass and look up at the stars. Have a drink or two. Eat that chocolate and forget about things for a while. What is important will remain important. What isn’t, will slowly fade away.

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