Finding balance in a chaotic world

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December 2017
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Formula 1 Racing

When Hope was a baby, I’d feed her every Sunday morning. It typically happened around 6:00 in the morning and I’d go downstairs, get her bottle ready and then pick her up from her crib. I’d sit down in the living room and give her a bottle, trying to be as quiet as possible so Amy could get some more sleep. I’d turn on the TV and looked for something that I could have on but not pay much attention to. Well on SpeedTV they had live Formula 1 races and since they were usually in Europe, they started just at the same time as I started feeding Hope. So I’d put them on and watch the cars go by. By the time Hope stopped taking a bottle, I was hooked on the sport.


There are many fascinating things about Formula 1. It is basically the pinnacle of automotive racing technology. When you look at a car, you see all these little things sticking out of it, each designed to move the airflow just enough to give the car that slight edge in a race. When it is time for a pit stop, twenty guys surround the car. In less than ten seconds, they’ve refilled the car, changed all four tires, and made adjustments to the car. I’m usually not out of my car in ten seconds when I stop to put air in my tires.


They say that due to the aerodynamics of a Formula 1 car that it could drive upside down and stick to the road if it were possible to get in such a position. Basically, the wind rushing by pushes down with five times the force as the weight of the car so it would just stick to the road. The downside to all of this is that if just a little piece on the car gets out of whack, the car becomes increasingly unstable. I watched one race where a driver was rear ended early on. He kept driving, but suddenly his rear spoiler ripped off and the car twitched for a second and then suddenly spun around, completely out of control.


There are times in life that I feel similar. I’m racing down the street in control of my life, but I know that things are moving quickly around me. I know that I’m perched on the edge of things and one thing can go wrong at any moment. When that does happen I need to be ready to fight for control of my life and slow down to where I can deal with whatever it is. It is the ultimate balancing act, like surfing at the tip of a wave or waiting until the last minute to pull the rip cord on your parachute.


Truthfully, I try to avoid being on the leading edge like that, I usually try to minimize the issues behind me and coast along at a more sedate pace, but life does not always allow me that luxury. At that point I slip into the old “one day at a time” adage. I take care of what needs to be taken care of today and let tomorrow take care of itself.


At least I try to. Ultimately, I find myself worrying about tomorrow and that is the least productive thing I can do. It is probably my greatest struggle and one that I am having the hardest time overcoming. Mentally I know to let tomorrow take care of itself, but emotionally I’m still charged in that “fight or flight” response. I’m still struggling, but each day I seem to make a little more progress. I worry less now about the future and I’m glad. Worry is just a waste of time and energy.


Do you find yourself balanced on the edge of control? Do you worry about what will happen if you lose control? What do you do to help combat that worry? I’d be interested to know.