Wednesday, May 30, 2012

One day you are going along and then ..........SNAP.

I'm reading a book by John Grisham, The Litigators and there is a character in the book, by the name of David. David is a young but burned out attorney. Early in the book we find David on his way to his high powered law firm, one of 600 other attorneys. 
A "snap" isn't used by the medical profession but it does happen to people. There might be a fancier medical term for the moment when a rational normal person steps over the line and can't deal with their current reality. It happens to David and he finds himself running back down his office hallway and throwing himself into an open elevator before the doors close. He huddles on the floor, confused but with a great sense of relief.
Up until I was 60 I probably would have shook my head, tisked, tisked at what my Pennsylvania Dutch heritage would have called, weakness. I admit it. I'm from the line of "tough it out", pull up the big girl panties and get on with it, cut the drama. 
I suspect that's because I have never really felt I had time to indulge in what I call "diva" antics. Before I had a family I was working and supporting a husband through school. When the children came I didn't have time for much of anything. My day planner was divided into 15 minute segments, letting me know how much time I had to drive from one place to another.
But, like David, I did experience a "snap". I would be the first person to tell you that something like that would NEVER happen to me. Well, it's not something that you can control. It just happens.
Mine happened in the middle of a "hippie" like street that I had driven up and down for 30 years. My "snap" happened at a traffic light while I stared at the run down but "artsy" neighborhood. I started to cry. I've talked about this moment before so I'm not going into details right now.
If you know me I not the kind to just cry at random. Yes, if you show me poor, hungry, starving children, living in crappy conditions I'll tear up. Show me neglected animals and I'll whimper and tear up. Normally traffic lights and run down neighborhoods do NOT illicit tears from me.
As I grow older I find that I am a lot less judgemental about the frailty of the human species. We, humans do things strange things some times.
We do have breakdowns.
We do have snaps.
We do find ourselves, one day, refusing to TAKE something, one more minute.
We can be pushed to a limit. Apparently, a subconscious limit.
The old adage, I love you but I don't love your behavior now because very clear to us.  
I might tolerate stupidity but I won't tolerate greed, lust, disrespect and a host of other unpleasant character traits.
Sometimes I think we need a SNAP moment in our lives to shake us up.  Get us back on the path or get us to pay attention to the path we are on.
With age and perhaps wearing the BTDI t-shirt I understand.
A snap isn't pretty. We can't prepare for one. But know if I find you huddled in the corner of the elevator I'll sit down next to you and hold your hand.



  1. Funny you should mention SNAP moments Bea...I just had one week before last myself. One of those clear cut "I'm not taking any more crap" moments. The kind that come when you think about how few years you might have left and you SURE don't want to spend them feeling or dealing with, etc.

  2. I am praying...not to snap under pressure as we draw close to the finish of this project. Snap to it! Snap out of it! Snap back to work!!! Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart