March 23, 2020 Carole Levy

Immobilization and Resiliency

In France in the 70’s, TV was in black and white and owned by a government agency called ORTF (Office de Radiodiffusion Télévision Française). At that time, when there was a technical issue or a strike, the regular programing was interrupted, and the only thing we could watch was a short documentary about nature with insipid music, or worse, a fixed image with the ORTF logo on it. A total bummer – I hated the disruption of the program, and worse, the immobilization of the image. But after a few minutes, the upset was forgotten, and I would find a new game to play with my siblings. Children are resilient.

Last week, during our current period of confinement and immobilization, I watched a movie with my family on Tuesday night– which was very untypical of our weekly routine (we don’t watch movies during the week). After two days of sheltering in place, I was feeling the disruption of normalcy and the need to make myself and my family feel better. So, we watched Little Women. The movie brought back lots of memories, the book, the 70’s, the ORTF, my siblings… I was feeling very tender. My daughter was sewing – recycling an old dress into a skirt while watching the movie. I love that old-fashioned quality about her. The zipper of the old dress suddenly broke as the new skirt was almost finished. Mega bummer. She left the living room throwing the skirt on the floor and slammed the door. It felt like it was aimed at me and I cried. I cried, both for her lost effort, the likely cancellation of her upcoming graduation ceremony, the excruciating present moment, the uncertain future, my lost childhood, my youth in the 20st century, and the mess on my desk that I had neglected for the benefit of some good family time. My husband seemed empathetic to my upset as he looked up how to fix zippers on YouTube. That was before the electricity blackout in the neighborhood, followed by the fight I picked with him because the battery in my flashlight was dead! I played my famous tape -check link -(no battery needed for this one): “If something happened to you, I would be resourceless and unequipped!”. Our daughter interrupted my lamentation to say Good night! as if nothing had happened. Young people are resilient

As for me, an aging middle-age woman, I decided that the easiest way to practice my skill of resiliency was to drink a glass of magnesium, and crash.

Question: How do you currently practice your skill of resiliency?

Comments (8)

  1. Kathy Makowski

    How do I practice resiliency? I lean hard on my core values of learning and faith. I remind myself that every situation is an opportunity to learn, and that God’s presence is always there – within us and within everyone else. I may be alone, but never lonely. I may be going through something difficult – but it is part of the path to something better, provided I am open to seeing that and learning all I can from it. Though I’m not always as resilient as I’d like, and sometimes suffer delayed reactions or relapses, being as mindful as I can about my core values is a big help to making it through whatever I’m experiencing.

    • Carole Levy

      “Being as mindful as I can about my core values…” I love that Kathy! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Tamara

    I love REAL people! You are REAL like the Velveteen Rabbit only better because you’re YOU! xxxooo

    • Carole Levy

      Ah, I didn’t know about the Velveteen Rabbit… It’s a great story!

  3. Ross Peterson-Veatch

    Resilience is about expectations as much as it is about flexibility. My anxiety keeps me in a box and I can’t see the edges of my expectations because my anxious feelings obscure them. So I’ve been practicing examining my expectations to see where they don’t match reality. When I feel anxious these days I tell myself to:
    1. stop
    2. give my anxiety a number 1-10
    3. is there evidence for my number? real evidence? (there almost never is)
    4. what do I want to be happening?
    5. what can I do now to move closer to that?
    That’s helping me develop the skill you talk about. It’s working okay so far. We’ll see…

    I’m grateful for your posts – and for everything I’ve learned from you over the years.

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