31 Days of Blogging – Day 4
Today was forecasted to be a scorcher. It is summer here in Australia and although we’ve had some warm days, it has been pretty mild…it is summer after all. Last night was the first night this summer that I found it hard to sleep because of the heat and so when 4am rolled around, I was not happy about getting up for work. When we got in the car at 4:45am it was already 27 °c and when we arrived at work it was over 31 °c in the kitchen, it was indeed going to be a hot day.
As we worked through the morning and the mercury began to climb, I found myself becoming irritable and snappish and so was Gavin. Then I started to get annoyed because Gavin was cranky and then he got annoyed because I snapped at him and things were starting to deteriorate until I pulled myself up and made myself look at what was actually happening. There was no reason for our behaviour except that we were both tired and both hot. It is pretty amazing how our environment effects our mood and it got me to thinking.
They say that diamonds are produced by carbon having prolonged exposure to heat and pressure.
In order for a diamond to be created, carbon must be placed under at least 435,113 pounds per square inch (psi or 30 kilobars) of pressure at a temperature of at least 752 degrees Fahrenheit (400 Celsius). If conditions drop below either of these two points, graphite will be created.
I find it very interesting that if the heat and pressure are reduced during the “diamond making process” then graphite is formed instead of a diamond. Diamonds and graphite have an identical chemical makeup, but their physical properties are completely different. The atoms in a diamond arranged tetrahedrally – each carbon atom is attached to four other carbon atoms. This gives it a strong, rigid structure that accounts for a diamonds hardness, strength and durability. The atoms in graphite are layered and each carbon atom is attached to three other atoms and arranged at the corners of a network of hexagons effectively producing a “chicken-wire” array. These bonds are weaker and the layers cleave readily. Where a diamond has a hardness of 10 on the Mohs scales, graphite has a hardness of less than 1. (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-can-graphite-and-diam)
What has all this got to do with the heat in my kitchen today? It made me think about how different people respond under heat and pressure. Some people avoid it at all costs. They run from situations in which they may feel pressure or hide behind excuses. Unfortunately pressure is a part of life and if we don’t learn how to not only exist under pressure but thrive then our lives will never be all we want them to be.
We have all seen the results of people who have not learnt to deal with pressure…in fact, I am not ashamed to say that I have experienced first hand what it is like to not be able to deal with the pressures that life has thrown at me. It wasn’t pretty. I didn’t want to go through life like that. I wanted to be a diamond, but I was more like graphite, falling apart at the slightest resistance. It is no way to live. I knew I had to make a change and I worked really hard. I faced my fears, stood when I would have normally run and took personal responsibility for the choices that I was making and had made in the past. It was a long process and not a very nice one, but my life and my marriage are all the better for it.
Does this mean that I never fall apart, no definitely not, but it does take a lot more to make me crack. My moments are not nearly as devastating or as painful and my lows are not as low. When I do have my moments, after the dust has settled, I can look at what happened and see where the weaknesses were and what the catalyst was so that I can recognise the warning signs next time. This makes me sound like I have it all under control, believe me I don’t, but I have made it a goal of mine to continually evolve as a person. I am not the same person I was ten years ago and I don’t want to be the same person ten years from now, so I am always trying to look for ways to change for the better.
So what did I do at work, I told myself to pull it together; yes it was hot, but that was no reason to get all hot and bothered. When we left work it was 36 °c so we went straight home and got into our pool and cooled off. Gavin played cabana boy and bought me a cool iced drink while I sat in the water and read my book under the shade of an umbrella. Then I went and had a sleep in the air conditioning…it was a good day 🙂