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Old 04-05-2013, 02:41 AM
hyperskeptic hyperskeptic is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 438
Default A Stability Engine?

I am starting to think I might actually be developing a knack for short-circuiting stress and anxiety.

Today, I had to make my way back toward home from work, riding the train to where the car is parked so I could pick up my older daughter at school and drop her off at dance class just in time to drive home and pick up my younger daughter and drop her off at her dance class . . . you get the idea.

Today, though, a wrench in the works: a half-hour delay on the train line! So, my older daughter had to walk, but I had to catch up to her with her dance shoes, which she'd left in the car. Then I was late picking up my younger daughter, and so on . . .

And why is it that, when you most need to hurry, other drivers seem to slow down and get stupid?

Or is that just confirmation bias?

Anyway, it was a stressful afternoon, on its face. I did rage at one or two especially befuddled motorists - in my quiet, Midwestern way - but I came out the other side with my mood and my outlook relatively unscathed.

I just rolled with it.

After the 2008 election, as I remember it, one or another talking head - I think it was David Brooks - described President-elect Obama as having a kind of built-in "stability engine." His point was that, unlike the previous two president, one of whom seemed desperate for the approval of his daddy, and the other of whom seemed desperate for the approval of anyone at all, Obama seemed very composed and self-contained, not desperate for anything, and not likely to be knocked off-center by the buffeting he had received as a candidate or was about to receive as president.

I remember thinking, at the time: Hunh! A stability engine! I should get me one of those!

Well, lo and behold, I may be starting to cobble one together, now.

Last edited by hyperskeptic; 04-05-2013 at 03:57 AM.
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