Warning - Some posts may cause choking, spitting of beverage and /or a severe giggle fit. This advice brought to you by regular reader Louisa.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Scratching the Surface

I was organized yesterday, for once in my life. I knew what I was going to blog about today, and I even uploaded the picture and chose the label and title. All I had to do was actually write something. So far I've just been leaving it till the last minute and blogging about whatever popped into my head when I sat at the computer. The funny thing is, although I was very organized, when I sat down at the computer to write my prearranged blog, something else popped into my head and I decided to blog about that instead.

So.... stuff's been happening over the last twenty-four hours that's been pretty darn crappy. I won't vent on here (I'm determined not to use my blog for venting purposes. Well, not real venting at any rate), but suffice to say that the things that have been happening have made me stop and think.

I think the best way to explain this is by inventing a scenario that demonstrates what I am trying to say. Lets say a little boy is as naughty as can be as often as he can. He keeps getting told off by his parents for all of these misdemeanors, but he takes little notice and generally falls back into his habits after only a few days. The cycle continues in this fashion for so long that the parents forget that he was actually a well-behaved child before the cycle started. They use short-term band-aids (I would normally say plasters here, but I know that most of my blogging buddies are American) to give short-term fixes to the nastiness.

This is all well and good, but it's not solving the problem. The band-aids aren't covering a tiny little scrape, they're hiding a deep gash that will continue to bleed long after the band-aid has been exchanged for a new one.

Applying this hypothetical scenario to everyday life, much the same can be said. Often we stress about the little things, not realizing that the little things are in fact symptoms of a bigger issue. We band-aid the small problems and think we're OK, but all we are doing is letting the larger problems become worse. We're not dealing with them at all. Often we don't even know that there is a larger problem.

But how do we know when the little things are actually signs of something else? How do we know whether we should be applying a band-aid, instead of investigating for further injury?

We don't.

But we can look for patterns in behaviour, we can check to see if the injury is recurring. We can keep our eyes open for all kinds of things; flashes of temper, moodiness, a tendency to avoid company. There are lots of little things that will help you to decide whether a person needs a small band-aid or a full medical. You just need to keep your eyes open and realize that not all wounds are skin-deep - sometimes they go a lot deeper. The wounds can scab over, heal and leave a faint scar, and maybe that will be the end of it, but one day, when you least expect it, you might discover the wound all over again, and to your dismay, it will still bleed as deeply as a fresh cut.

The problem with injuries is that you don't always know what caused them. You might have a scrape on your knee and blame it on that fall that happened on a slippery path. Now, a band-aid is good enough for a grazed knee, but what if the reason you fell was because your ankle gave way in the middle of taking a step? A band-aid is not going to fix a busted ankle.

So I guess what I am trying to say is that no matter how trivial something might be, it's always best to look a little deeper. Sure, it might be painful to dig into that little scratch, but it's better to have a small amount of pain in the short-term, then to opt for a band-aid. It might stop the bleeding, but it will only allow the wound to fester.


  1. I always thought "Band-Aid" was that giant famine-relief concert with Queen, Bob Geldof and co. But apparently I was mistaken.

    I think we should wear our metaphorical wounds with pride. No sense in feeling shame about our learning curves, no matter how steep and bloody.

    Go plasters! I mean... Band-Aids.

  2. I always call them plasters, but I wasn't sure my American readers would know what I meant. I'm assuming that 'band-aid' is the right word.... probably should research a little begore I post,eh? But yes, I associate 'Band Aid' with Sir Bob too.

    *hums 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' and taps foot*

    I normally wouldn't bother much with metaphors, but my 13 year old is having some crap at the moment and some of his crap made me wax lyrical about stuff I usually avoid with a capital 'A'.