Thursday, February 23, 2006

Do You Thrive On Adversity?

We all either know someone like this or are someone like this. The person that always seems to be at their best when things are at their worst. The person Kipling was talking about when he said, "If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs..." They can be quarterbacks or race car drivers or simply the woman in the office down the hall that knows how to kick the copy machine just so. At times, people have described me as one of these.

That would seem like a good thing, right? But I wonder if there are trade offs for this ability, which I admit I sometimes seem to have.

For one thing, the fact that I don't panic is often misinterpreted as not caring. I do care, and often I care deeply. The outward facade of calm is exactly that; a facade. Underneath, I'm just as upset as anyone and sooner or later it has to be released. I'm not able to choose when either. So when what could have been a simple comment comes out towing a trailer of contempt and anger a week later, I end up paying a price for my momentary calm.

Then there is the issue of normal everyday maintenence. While I agree that I am good when the pressure is on, I seem to be remarkably adept at both procrastination and at missing simple things when the pressure is not on. This has the added effect of creating pressure because then things have to get done in a hurry that could have been done at a more leisurely pace.

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