Decompress

Decompress: (v) to relax; unwind

When I was nine years old, a friend of mine jammed his finger.

It hurt.

No doubt about that.

But over the next week, through the urging of his mother, the jammed finger went from being a painful incident to a potentially lethal trauma.

Every day when I saw him, he had a new angle on how a jammed finger could lead to some sort of bizarre complication, culminating in a contorted death.

Honestly, I started avoiding him, waiting for his finger to heal, so that he could become normal again.

That has been my inclination with the human race.

Since most people think they have a jammed finger, they are prepared to exaggerate their wounds to make themselves feel more endangered.

Therefore I hate the word “decompress.”

I hear it all the time: “I am under so much pressure that I must get someplace and decompress.”

Really?

I guess I have a different definition for “pressure.”

To me, pressure is when you realize you’re going to die.

And even then, it’s a good idea to get a second opinion.

Everything short of death is problematic—and by problematic, I mean solvable.

I am just completely flummoxed as to why we think our lives are more intriguing when we express levels of breathless desperation.

Why is it more enticing to say, “I don’t think I’m going to make it,” than “I’ve had a bad week.”

Why must we think the world is going to end simply because we can’t find our favorite jar of pickles?

How in the hell important do we think we are?

For the record:

I do not need to decompress.

I do not require escaping somewhere to spend even more time musing over my plight.

I need to expand.

I must be around people who also have problems, and together, we can develop the good cheer of realizing that there doesn’t seem to be anything life has come up with that can destroy us.

If we reach that point, we gain a certain lightness of spirit—an irrepressible joy that makes us love ourselves and valuable to those around us.

Don’t decompress.

Just don’t get yourself in a position where you take things too seriously.

In life there are no dramas—there are just comedies, and sometimes we don’t get the joke.

 

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