I've seen toddlers engaged in what their parents label a "meltdown." Back in the day, we used to call a temper tantrum...the child loses it and his control evaporates and he melts.....kick, scream, cry...all uncontrollably.
I'm a little old for a temper tantrum, but I know about a different kind of meltdown.
I took a little trip to New York. My plan was to walk all over Manhattan and then attend a play in the evening. My right foot had been bothering me...not too much, but enough that I noted that a trip to the doctor should happen in the future.
However, I stepped off a curb and turned my foot. Instantly, my little aggravation became a huge disabling injury. I was only a block from my hotel; I limped back and reported to the hotel medical guy. Yes, they had a team of EMTs at the Marriott.
One, Greg, helped me back to my room and examined my foot. "It's not bruised or swollen," he said. "You can go to the emergency room but I doubt that they'll do anything more than have you ice it and keep it elevated." As it turns out, I wouldn't have received all the TLC I got at the hotel.
He retrieved some ice in a blue plastic glove, wrapped my foot in a towel and arranged the ice bag. THIS would be my day in Manhattan....sitting in a very nice room with my foot up. the EMTs kept checking on me and bringing me coffee. By show time, my foot hurt less so I grabbed a cab and went to my play.
The next day, it was time to fly home and the NEXT day I was at the doctor when they unlocked the door. Yes, my foot is fractured. Yes, it should heal. Yes, I have an air cast. The doctor was quite curt in his discussion of my choice of footwear. I need less flexible soles.
My foot hurt but I needed to get to the lake. Up there, my nephew is in the process of building a new deck for the cottage. He was at the end of the 'tear down' phase. I'm not bothered by mess; I think it was the difference.
Back home and hobbling around on a hurting foot, I sat down to tackle my pile o' stuff: bills, correspondence, thank-you notes, and etc. I sorted it all out in front of me.
Then came the meltdown: I looked at an estimate bill that was to be paid in June. It's really not a big deal that I missed this. But I stared at DUE JUNE 15 and then my brain came crashing in.
A tear. Another, Then some sobs. Then some big sobs. And through all the precipitation, my mind went blank. I looked at my piles and went blank. I couldn't think what I should do. What are these? What am I supposed to do.
Sob sob sob............and a shudder that I was losing it....
I needed 2 minutes to drain all those tear ducts.....splashed some cold water on my face and sat back down. "Ok, I can pay the bills," I thought. "Maybe the rest will make sense after I finish that task."
I wrote checks and slip them into their envelopes, stamped them and piled them in the MAIL pile. I called my financial guy about the estimated payments. "No big deal," he said.
Finally the rest of the pile made sense and I could get caught up.
This a pride thing: I am not the all competent woman of my fantasy. And that's ok.