Helplessness: that dull, sick feeling of not being the one at the reins. When did you last feel like that –- and what did you do about it?

This would be a few weeks ago. It was something I’d been looking forward to for a while but had only recently had the confidence to put it all together and take action. You know like when you have your heart set on something and it’s all you can think of and you’re really looking forward to it? It was that kind of excitement.  It wouldn’t be the first time I did, but this was damned well gonna be the best because of how badly I wanted it!

I had planned and everything was ready.  I swung into action.  I was trying to stay calm. I knew I was prepared. I knew how it was going to happen and rehearsed it all in my head. But what was it going to be like when it actually did happen?! Was it going to be as good as I hoped? Would it be better than I hoped? Time moved on. It was getting closer. The first few steps were complete. There was only one left. It was nearly here…

And then it vanished, slipping through my fingers in the blink of an eye. One small action ruining everything.

It never ceases to amaze me how, in those split seconds before impending disaster, the brain can work in slow motion. I heard it working through a range of contingency plans. What would happen if we did this? We could do that… You need to do something – you’re losing it. And of course, the brain tells you all this in completely calm, full sentences.

But it didn’t help. As everything I was looking forward to slipped away, I felt helpless; unable to come up with any appropriate solution. My plans shattered in front of me. It was all so close and yet now so far. I stood working out what to do next.

My heart was pumping, both in embarrassment and disappointment.  I was also annoyed with myself for what had happened.

I was gutted.

I had to move forward though to salvage what remained of the situation. Using that cliche – it’s not about how many times you get knocked down how many times you get back up.

I hopelessly, helplessly, wonder why
Everything gotta change around me.
I’d tell it to your face
But you lost your face along the way,
And I’d say it on the phone
If I thought you were alone.
Why do things have to change?

Hopeless by Train

PS. I could have scraped the baked beans up off the floor but I was concerned that, knowing my luck, if I did, I would no doubt end up eating shattered ceramic as well. I could have cooked some more, but by the time I’d done that, everything else I cooked would have been cold. In the end I decided to clean them up and just stick with the steak, egg and vegetables that were already prepared. It wasn’t bad, but some beans would have topped it off nicely.

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