There’s an episode of Grey’s Anatomy where Cristina Yang is trying to compile a wish list of surgical procedures she would like to learn from her mentor. She drew inspiration from a beating heart that’s been preserved in a glass box through some breakthrough in the field of heart transplantation.
If the procedure she thought of did not even come close to giving her the same sense of wonder that that heart in a box did, then its not worth adding to the list.
My version of this is not as happy and wondrous, I’m afraid. I’ve been under some degree of stress lately. I can’t blame it on anything major, just a buildup of life’s minor irritations that have somehow become unbearable: bills, the return of London’s infamous grey skies, Jon Snow being annoying on Game of Thrones, office politics, people being absolute dicks, just to name a few.
Then I remember that this month my Dad is about to go in for testing to check whether he’s got prostate cancer.
That’s my heart in a box.
You see, we may think we’re having a bad day or even a bad week, and we expend so much emotion on things that we’re not even going to remember five years down the line. I personally dwell far too much and for far too long on things that are so beneath me, its not even funny.
I think about things way too much that the result is that I make more of it than I should, and the molehill becomes a mountain I can’t get beyond. But really, annoying colleagues, unmet deadlines, walking in the rain, a bad date, those are a walk in the park compared to the fear of losing probably the only man I’ve ever loved.
An argument at work is not a bad day. A bad day is getting a biopsy result that will change my life forever. That is the measure. Anything beneath that is not worth my time and attention.
Save all that emotion for the things that are worth emotionally investing in. Trust me, you’ll probably need it.