Thank every god of industry (Vulcan, anyone?), Tom Lehrer kept me sane. Sadly, it was “Be Prepared,” a rather nasty spoof of the Boy Scouts, which kept racing through my head, sending me into slightly hiccup-inducing giggles because I’m a terrible person who finds cynicism funny, as I again dealt with a leak under one of my sinks, late on a long Saturday night. Lots of old plumbing at my place.
But it worked. I didn’t succumb to the impulse to ignore the whole wet (freezing cold, not hot) mess I’d stepped in until morning. Found the towels, took stock of how quickly the river was swelling the banks (so slowly an alligator would have been bored to tears watching the rise), called the janitor. Declared victory and went to bed. Woke up, pulled everything out from under, was clear-headed enough to recognize that the drip was faster, found a bowl to catch the leak.
All of this is a long-winded way of saying “Find your tools to keep calm.” Doesn’t matter what they are – call a friend, turn on the radio, get yourself a cup of tea – as long as they work for you.
Yes, follow the link to “Tom Lehrer at 90: a life of scientific satire” in Nature, “Books and Arts”, April 4, 2018. “Don’t Panic” and “Where’s My Towel?” were also both quite useful – I refuse to explain. Nerds stick together.