Isn’t Conundrums a great word? It thunders on your tongue if you say it slow – Con-un-drums, and it is a great word for describing our lives these days; they are full of Conundrums. We are not supposed to be stressed, but our lives are full of stressors. Words like “time” and “expectation” and “perfect” and “competency” can cause our stomachs to drop as though we were on the downward slope of a roller coaster, and we develop a “case of the nerves”. Oh no! Not that! We all know that can make us sick! What now?
You know, as I look back through time i can’t really see why our time now is more stressful than in our past. Trying not to be scalped by angry indians had to be a major stressor for some folks in the old west, and the Civil War was no picnic either, so why is today worse? Is it just that those people, long ago, did not live long enough to get sick and die of stress? That is a possibility. It is also possible that they handled their stress differently than we do today. I suspect that could be the case.
Maybe those people could not be bothered by concepts like “perfectionism” because they were too busy trying to survive. I don’t know, but I do know that as a recovering perfectionist my life is much less stressful now. Why did I need to be perfect? I can’t remember, but I after I gave that up, I had a lot more time on my hands, and when I stopped trying to make those around me perfect, a lot of tension drained away.
Instead of being perfect, I am now trying to figure out what it means to be authentic. I am not positive what that means yet, but I think it means taking off the mask we put on for the world and being who we really are. The challenge for those of us who have worn the mask for so long is to figure out who that person is, and not get swept up in being “perfectly authentic”, which would, of course, create one of the greatest Conundrums of all! So perhaps the goal is just to be human after all; to not try to appear to be something we are not. That sounds too simple, doesn’t it? Well, I quit dyeing my hair – is that a start?
By the way, the magic glasses work! I think I will go put on some Jimmy Buffet music and my magic glasses and count my blessings while working really hard not to create any more Conundrums.