diamond geezer

 Thursday, November 22, 2018

Life is a series of instabilities.

We juggle them as best we can, but every so often something comes along which changes the way we live.

Sometimes it's for the better, but sometimes not, and we have to readjust to a new version of personal reality which may not be what we'd hoped.

Major instabilities include the loss of a job, the birth of a child, an unexpected diagnosis, the start (or end) of a relationship, a bad accident, a sudden windfall, a death in the family, that kind of thing.

It doesn't even have to be a major instability to make a difference. There you are thinking your life's in balance, and something comes along which disrupts and unsettles everything.

I reckon there's a sequence to it.


Awareness is the moment something shows up, but you don't yet recognise it for what it is. It might be a child's cry, or a twinge in your chest, or your partner staying out for the night, or the sound of the phone ringing. When I lost my job, it was the moment an email pinged into by inbox inviting me to 'a meeting'.

Suspicion is the first dawning realisation that something might be up. It might be spotting you've had a lot of headaches lately, or noticing your birth date amongst the lottery numbers, or a lorry suddenly turning left, or wondering why your grandmother didn't ring this morning. When I lost my job, it was five minutes after the email arrived, when I suddenly thought "oh, this might not be good".

Confirmation is when a forthcoming change is verified. It might be the time a doctor sits you down and tells you something, or the split second after you fall off a ladder, or a positive pregnancy test, or reading the letter inside a brown envelope sent in the post. When I lost my job, it was the Powerpoint slide revealing what 'the meeting' was really about.

Definition is when ultimate ramifications are made clear. It might be being told the arthritis will make mobility difficult within three years, or having a pay rise confirmed, or being offered an engagement ring, or learning that the meteor will hit next Tuesday. When I lost my job, it was the meeting in which terms and conditions were settled along with a termination date. Sometimes 'what' and 'when' are confirmed separately.

Execution is the point at which the instability actually happens. It might be the first day at a new school, or the day your children leave home, or your first pair of bifocals, or the judge passing sentence. It might be the moment you give birth, or the moment you drop dead. When I lost my job, it was the moment I walked out the door and never came back.

(I was trying to get these five stages to start with consecutive letters of the alphabet, but I couldn't find a good 'B', sorry)

Some further examples.

1What's that smell?
2What's burning?
3Kitchen's alight!
4It's spreading!!
5Lost everything :(
1Off house hunting
2I like this one
3Offer accepted!
4Moving date set
5The van's here
1They're out again
2Are they cheating?
4I'm leaving you
5Single again

1Doorbell rings
2At 4am?
3Police on doorstep
4Sorry for your loss
5Cup of sweet tea
1I'm always tired
2Is that normal?
3Pah, diabetes
4Injections for life
5No chocolate
1They look nice
2Was that a smile?
3Second date!
4Down on one knee
5Just married

Things can move slow or fast. The onset of a chronic disease can take years. An eviction notice might give you two months to get out. In a car accident you might go from stage 1 to stage 5 in a matter of seconds, if you even notice at all. Sometimes having longer to adapt to the instability can be invaluable. Sometimes it only gives you longer to worry.

Importantly, sometimes the later stages never happen. You suspect something's wrong, but it isn't. Bad news is announced, but never followed through. You fear the worst, but it's not that bad. Sometimes things stabilise, or something else happens which entirely dwarfs it, or the whole problem goes away. But other times, sorry, there is no escape.

And I mention all this because I'm currently at stage 3. Stage 1 was last month, and looked perfectly normal. Stage 2 was a couple of weeks ago, but I didn't act on it until Monday. Stage 3 was yesterday - uncannily less than an hour after I'd been making a cup of tea and reflecting on how stable my life was. Stage 4 might be later this month, or next year, or even 2023. And I'm not concerning myself with stage 5 until stage 4's happened, because there's no need to destabilise my life until absolutely necessary.

It's all fine, don't worry. It's how things are. comments

Life is a series of instabilities. We all readjust as best as we can.

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan19  Feb19  Mar19  Apr19  May19  Jun19  Jul19
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18  Aug18  Sep18  Oct18  Nov18  Dec18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream