Good Monday all! Hope you all had a very happy Thanksgiving with family and friends!
A couple weeks ago while setting up for SCY, Phil showed a video on YouTube featuring two Australians passing time by wrapping hundreds of rubber bands around the belly of a watermelon to see just how many rubber bands it took to make a watermelon explode.
Phil showed us leaders this video to introduce our first activity of the night with the high school students: exploding miniature watermelons with rubber bands.
It never really occurred to me this was possible but when I saw the video and thought about it, each rubber band squeezes the watermelon until it can’t take the pressure anymore and pops like a balloon.
A cool experiment that (aside from that night at SCY) I must try myself one day.
But then, I imagined myself as the watermelon just going through life with my hard, smooth shell and soft, mushy inside while the world around me continues to wrap rubber bands around my body testing my breaking point.
Interesting analogy isn’t it?
At that moment in my life, I started to rack my brain with all of the things that stress me out. And, of course, as fifty rubber bands don’t do much to a giant watermelon, two or three things in your life are easy to manage.
But, then you add another fifty rubber bands…and another fifty…and another fifty…and another fifty, and pretty soon you start to see the indentation in that hard, smooth shell and realize it’s only a matter of time before a single rubber band causes an explosion.
So, I thought of my first fifty rubber bands: rent and bills (phone, cable/internet, student loans, credit card). Of course they cause stress but nothing I can’t handle.
My next fifty: my job (scheduling and my responsibilities). Although I love my job, it does become stressful to make sure I take care of all my responsibilities Eric trusts me with each week. Because I do love my job, this stress is also relatively easy to handle.
Next fifty: my health (taking all my pills, doing all my treatments, refilling prescriptions, etc.). The stress begins to build but I have had CF my whole life and although it can be stressful at times, I can keep it under control.
Next fifty: my social life (lack of friends in Breckenridge). When life gets tough, it’s nice to have people to go to. Unfortunately, everyone I go to lives 80 miles away. I can keep in contact via phone calls and text messages but when in need of a friend, it would be nice to have someone to actually talk to.
I’ve crept up to what I would think to be around 200 rubber bands. According to the few internet answers I found, it takes about 500 rubber bands to explode a watermelon.
With that in mind, I add on almost losing my health insurance just weeks before I had to go into the hospital. After my hospital stay, it became figuring out my work schedule so I can still work but keep my ever-so-important health insurance (100 rubber bands).
Not only was I dealing with my practical issues, but was also dealing with some deep emotional issues having to do with my relationships with some of the people around me (100 rubber bands).
If my calculations are correct, a couple weeks ago I approached about 400 rubber bands. Another few small things or one more big something to stress over, I might have exploded.
We all have our share of rubber bands pressuring us and pushing us closer to our breaking point, but the key is not to let them stack up on each other. One, ten, even fifty rubber bands don’t do much to a big watermelon, but they begin to stack on each other and before you realize it, you become a few rubber bands away from explosion.
I realized those rubber bands wrapped around me had just about broke me. Before I let them get the better of me, however, I managed to snap a few of them for some breathing room by solving my work schedule and coming to terms with my emotional distress. In the words of Paramore: “Some things I’ll never know and I had to let them go.”
Be wary of your rubber bands. We might have our breaking points, but don’t forget those rubber bands can snap as well.
Until next Monday!
Keep Fighting, Keep Breathing, Live Today, Say Tomorrow