Someone once told me that those who suffer from extreme jet lag are the lucky ones. Their body, she told me, has a steady, healthy rhythm, that it tries to maintain in times of change. It protects itself against stress by keeping a strict balance. So basically, that makes me a flexible mind in a rigid body? It rings true, though. In the past, I have often been frustrated by the rigid structure my body adheres to (‘so you’d like to go dancing and fall asleep around six in the morning? Sorry, can’t do that. New day, new dawn, we’re just starting up the system for the day, computer says ‘no’ to shutting off, so better prepare yourself’).
In the end it brought me advantages too: a healthy lifestyle (‘no, you can not go not swimming today’) and a mental grid to fall back on. For I know how it works. It helped me through problematic assignments when everyone around me was in full stress mode. And, just like my body I am able to stubbornly stick to a plan against all odds. Did that in high school against the headmaster’s political ways, and used it to maximum benefit during five years of presiding over a staff of 300 (mainly volunteers..), trying to reorganize the COC Amsterdam. And in some working arrangements, though I must say I mostly used mental flexibility to keep ahead in my advertising life. Then again I stubbornly stayed with my plan to go to Vancouver and start on my book.
So maybe I should be thankful for the rigid, controlled part of my being. But now, dear body, I would be grateful if you would accept that, somehow, we’re not in Vancouver anymore. Flexibility and rigidity, they both may have their advantages, but you should be able to decide which one prevails every time.