Flirtin' with Disaster is my favorite southern rock song. Except for the super tight and punchy drums, the band careens out of control through 4 minutes of guitar and vocal switchbacks on two wheels over a precipice with the radiator spouting like Old Faithful, oil burning, 2 cruisers behind, bounty hunters ahead, bad debts, good liquor, cigarette smoke and the general badass-ness of going too hard and banking on dumb luck that's bound to run out real soon.
Tapping or emotional freedom techniques are a way of settling one's mind in stressful situations like going around the switchback on two wheels with engine smoking and so on. The practice derives from traditional healing using meridians or energy channels in the body, combined with positive messages.
Today, in my life, Molly Hatchet meets the modern version of this ancient form of healing. I awaken to the none-too-welcome hiss and whiffle of wind meeting the corner of my house. The wind makes it harder and more hazardous to work on the water.
My creditors and I really need me to go out and haul lobster traps today. Like many fishermen at this time of year, I have a robust stack of overdue bills and escalating credit card balances. This causes my cortisol to go nuclear at 3 a.m. and wake me up. Then I worry and stew until I decide to get up and go do something about it. Yesterday, that worked out great because the tide was high early in the morning so I was able to get an extra load of gear set out super early and still be back in time to go to my other job, cutting dead trees and landscaping.
Early this morning, I heard the wind and its whispering song of Despair Upon You, Lobsterman. I did not bound out of bed at 5:00 am. An hour later, I checked the wind report from Matinicus Rock: Southheast at 14 knots gusting to 16. Not out of the question but uninviting. Also uninviting are the showers and 40 degree temperature. There's no meteorological index for wind, temperature and salt spray.
Yarrgggghhh.... I really need money. I'm scared of hauling alone in snotty weather. I'm scared of not hauling and how I'll feel about myself.
Hmmm. Maybe I should do some more quick reading on this Tapping thing Lisa brought to my attention. Tap meridian points, combine with a positive message, repeat. Being kind of a jerk about new things, I searched online for critiques of the practice. Nobody said it was bullshit, just some seemed to think other approaches were better. OK, now for some practical application.
Feeling a little foolish, I followed the instructions, then opened the door and walked into the cold, damp gloom of May 1, 2012. My first stroke of genius was to remember that not only could I go out and try to haul, but through the miracle of hydraulic power steering, I could turn around and come back if I didn't like it. Seems obvious enough, but with a thick, blubbery layer of self limitation in my brain and maybe yours, we can miss the obvious. The second was that, oh yeah, I have other paying work, I have a good Plan B. Third was to deal with a small problem on the boat before it got bigger in poor weather conditions, even though it meant a little back tracking first thing. Peace of mind is worth a little back tracking.
I went into the wet sloppiness and hauled contentedly despite escalating winds and seas. Back to Flirtin' with Disaster. Rolling and slatting about, hauling traps aboard, picking them and running them back off. I made almost an entire day of it before deciding I'd had enough. As I was cleaning up, the lobster dealer called me and inquired when I might be in as I was the last boat out today. Go figure.
No, I did not use biofeedback or accupressure to rationalize an unsafe workday. I was fine. It never got past the flirtation stage.
Bop, bop, bop yeah! Flirtin' With Disaster Every Day.