Thursday, 20 October 2011

Opposing views of being calm

Yesterday, work-wise, took a lot of handling - you know, one of those days when things out of my control had repercussions on MY work and generated a lot of unexpected extra stuff to do which put me badly behind schedule...

 I shall hereby award myself a few Brownie points for not going into complete meltdown. For sure, that doesn't help very much when you've got a lot to do.

It got me thinking about being calm in the face of chaos all around me.

This is what Michael Caine said (and not many people know that!): "Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath."

Hmmmm...be like a duck?

Now, St. Francis de Sales:

"Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset."

(Oh, the happy days of a writer before the advent of word processors...perhaps I should slow down and use parchment and a quill pen?)

And me? For a time, I was a bit like the duck, only not calm on the surface. Later on, I managed a slight touch of St. Francis de Sales-ness, only I DID have to hurry. Sometimes you just DO have to hurry.

Striving to be calm has always been a bit of a paradox to me.