Stress relief for mastodons

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relax-written-in-sandI have a confession to make. It’s not really a confession, because I’m not going to tell you about a sin, but more of an affliction. I’ve been told, by more than one person, that I may be just the tiniest bit “high-strung.” I know, it’s shocking to think someone who becomes apoplectic when they accidentally eat gummi bears out of correct color order (darkest to lightest, because the clear ones are the best and should be savored and eaten last) might be a few bricks shy of a load, but I believe that’s about where we’re at.

We’re leaving today for the first time in eight months without a scheduled date to be home, and I’ve once again transitioned into the crazy person who organizes the entire world before leaving home. I’ve got to say that the past eight months of doing a dedicated run being home every other day has been pretty sweet and easy to get used to. I’ve fallen off my A game on the expert “getting ready to go for a long time.” I’ll admit to being a little angsty the past dew days.

George is a smart guy, and has known me long enough to know that when I get in crazy mode, it’s just better to leave me alone. He kissed me on the forehead yesterday morning, and left to do truck things while I did house things.

“Don’t get so wound up, baby. It’s fine. We’ve done this a hundred times. Relax a little, I’ll be back with the truck this afternoon and we can pack it up together.”

I waved him off and mumbled, “The laundry bag is in the garage… I need Febreze and Clorox wipes, the cat has to go to therapy, I’m afraid the dogs are going to die while we’re gone, I should call the vet, did I pay the water bill?”

He left, I hit the list of things to do, and by two o’clock I was wiped out. I decided to check out the new relaxation channel I downloaded to the Roku a week ago and never used, and sat down with every intention of doing a guided meditation session and a quick yoga stretch, to get myself calm and centered and ready to finish what I needed to do.

Unfortunately, the relaxation channel icon is right next to the PBS icon, and I’m a sucker for PBS. Also, squirrels. An hour later, I was mired in the saddest story I have ever heard in my life, and I have to share it with you for any of this to make sense.

There’s a place in Colorado where they found a huge deposit of mastodon bones while digging a dam. In the interest of brevity, I’m going to cut to the sad part where they came to a conclusion about how so many animals of varied ages and levels of health all apparently died at once, and it involves the scariest thing I’ve ever heard of, called Liquefaction, a phenomenon in which the strength and stiffness of a soil is reduced by earthquake shaking or other rapid loading. Basically, an earthquake happens and the soil turns to liquid cement. Honest to God, if that’s not something straight from a nightmare, I don’t know what is.

So all these mastodons were just standing around, doing mastodon things, and an earthquake happened and the ground turned to mush, they all sunk to about their knees and got stuck forever and died from starvation in a big ol’ pack. And it made me sob like a baby to think about those poor animals, stuck and dying in the mud. I mean I was a damn mess over it. It upset me so bad, I turned the show off and flipped back over to the relaxation channel, but as hard as I tried, I couldn’t stop thinking about those poor mastodons.

George walks in on this scene: me, sitting cross legged on the living room floor, sobbing and attempting to chant with the guided imagery guy on the relaxation channel.

“What the hell happened to you?! Are you OK?”

Ohmygoditwassoawful! There were mastodons, and they got stuck in the mud, and they all died! There’s something worse than sinkholes… The Earth, it just liquefies sometimes, just like that, shakes a little and you’re stuck forever and starve to death… I hate PBS! I’m not watching it anymore! Liquefaction! Aauugghh!

“I think you need a nap.”

“I think you’re right.”

And because he is a nice, kind man and my hero, he led me to the bedroom, shut the blinds, made the cat get off the bed, and let me sleep for a couple of hours. And I didn’t dream about mastodons.

Sometimes, relaxing is hard.

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