Monday, October 07, 2013

Bandaid solutions

Over the past few days I have had a rather high number of paper cuts. I think they must be 'going around'. Because of the disproportionately high level of discomfort caused by such small cuts, I have taken to applying band-aids and this got me thinking about the old band-aid analogy.

I am pretty sure there are two types of people. Those who like to rip band-aids off quickly, and those who prefer to peel them off bit by bit over the course of a number of days/weeks/months. I have a lifetime membership of the latter category. As a child I would take a daily stocktake of the state of the knee and its covering, taking a significant amount of time out of my busy schedule (not) to work on the task of gently separating the two, bit by bit. Being a deliberator and a 'thoughtful' person, I am not one for hasty decisions and have always hoped that if I peel slowly enough, the pain will be diluted to the point of being unrecognisable as pain.

This year I have learnt that the same band-aid solutions tend to be applied to matters of the heart. Some people prefer to take quick and decisive measures while others like to linger. Even when all logical and practical indicators point to the fact that the band-aid needs to come off at some point, I still prefer to peel it off gently, hoping again to dilute the pain. Probably frustrated with this situation of band-aid “no-man’s-land”, I have had the band-aid unceremoniously ripped off once or twice by the other person, in the same way as a frustrated mother who is tired of watching that child painstakingly edge the flapping and grubby plaster from their knee will swoop in and rip! And, like the small child, I am left a little bewildered and unsure about whether to be indignant or secretly relieved.

This state of affairs has left me wondering whether there are in fact times when it's better to just "rip" and get it over with. Perhaps ripping is not so bad. Maybe it can be freeing, and positive, and bold. So, in an unprecedented move, I decided to rip off the band-aid that had been on my paper-sliced finger - just to see how it felt. And then I just ... walked away!! Ah, not so bad after all. In fact, I think it means my finger is now truly ready for its next adventure without carrying around any excess baggage, so to speak.

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