My ex-husband had this sign hung on the wall of the office in our home. I never heard the story of how he came by it. I recall seeing it and liking it and one or two times, beginning to ask him where it came from. But the question never made it out. There was always something else to interrupt it.
Later, the sign began to get buried by other things hung on the wall. There were hot-list, "Must Not forget!" items, layers upon layers of them. The idea was one of "visual prompt". We meant well.
There are a couple of songs (actually just the first couple of bars to each song) that play in my head from time to time and work towards the same goal as the "No Freaking" sign.
One is "Get up, get, get down" (from Public Enemies' "Fear of a Black Planet). This hiccups in my brain every once in a while, usually after a round of bouncing between potential freak-out and whatever last minute solution or reprieve through reality-check came to head it off. It usually represents a second wind, on to the next thing type emotion and is often followed up by a tongue in cheek chorus of ". . . EVERY little thing is going to be all right!" (Thanking you, Mr. Marley!).
Another is, "A little bit of this . . . a little bit of that . . . a "something" a "something" . . . a coat, a hat" (sung in a Yiddish accent, its from the musical "Fiddler on the Roof".) The rest of the song goes on to sing about Anatevka ("Anatevka! Anatevka! Over worked, underfed Anatev-ka!").
I don't think of myself as an oppressed Jewish Russian village- honestly. This song works as a reminder to move. If you're not freaking out, you're still engaged and moving and doing something simple. Often its the simple thing that's in front of you. Its the obvious thing that may or may not solve whatever it was you might have freaked out about, but can't hurt either. My favorite non-freaking activity is laundry. There's a beginning, middle and an end to the activity. It takes very little thought and provides a visual sense of accomplishment (big pile of stinky mess, to simple, neat pleasant smelling stack that should be put away before the children begin to play jump in the laundrey basket).
In the last 72 hours I have fired my first baby sitter. I found the ball game on t.v. for the guy on the vent whose wife said he really liked baseball. I think he was watching it. I'm almost positive. I've gotten angry with my first Doctor. It surprised me. The flash of adrenaline sent me into a short-lived, stumbly numbness, BUT I didn't say or do anything stupid. I problem solved and got my way and learned a bunch of important things very quickly- one (another surprise) is that I'm not as immune to getting attached to my patients as I'd thought I was.
I had a conversation with Awais' teacher that was upsetting, but I recovered, regrouped and again managed to not Freak out.
I've witnessed the passing of one calendar day into another, twice and have marveled over how it is there are 24 hours in a day. Point for me for buying the watch with the date indicator.
Another good thing. Haaris is waving now. He'll be five at the end of November. In a short few months we went from (1) realizing the child doesn't wave to (2) beginning to coach him to (3) an odd, back turned but elbow lifted version of a wave to (4) a real, honest to god, with his hand, wave.
Other things are good, too. For example, I was the one who spotted the hernia. I didn't know what to call it, but it was me who pointed it out, even though the much more experienced nurse was there. It is because I am so freaking brilliant and observant. Oh, yes I am. Occasionally I get a haircut. Sometimes I have a bowel of ice cream. I do love Fall. I can totally do this.