Olivia’s Catastrophe ~ Forgetting to Breathe
I hope you all managed to have a good week. I know some of the university people are nearing the holidays and I hope you’re enjoying it!
Olivia’s Catastrophe is a discussion post I host here on the blog. And today I want to talk about something that happens to me in real life and then try and apply it to books. Then at the end I’m going to try and bring a deeper meaning to it. So! Let’s see how that goes.
Today I wanted to talk about forgetting to breathe. I’m sure a lot of you know that I love basketball and playing it
because I am constantly going on about it. But not every game is easy to play, and sometimes I’m just happily playing and running and then BAM.
I’m hit with a hyperventilation attack.
Luckily, this isn’t something that happens to me too often. I think in the last two years of basketball it’s happened only four times. The coaches who have been trying to figure it out came to a conclusion the third time it happened. Sometimes when I’m playing, I forget to inhale. I get so distracted with the game and pushing myself to keep going that I take in very small breaths and then exhale a lot.
It took me a bit of time to get a grip on the fact that when I’m submersed in a game I fail to remind myself to do the usual bodily function of forgetting to breathe. I mean, every human does it. How could I possibly forget?
Yesterday when I was mulling this over in my mind, I thought of those kick-butt heroine characters like Cinder from the Lunar Chronicles, Katniss from the Hunger Games and people like Percy and Annabeth from Percy Jackson. Do any of them forget to breathe as well? They often end up fighting against the whole world, or government systems and monsters that are hard to comprehend. It can’t be easy… and I know that in books they face their times of doubt. But when they are needed to be fighting, or needed in that exact moment to stand and attack – they never fail. I’m in the middle of a game and I can’t keep myself together. Why is it that none of these heros and heroines never have a panic attack? Throw a tantrum? Decide that they want to give up when they’re so close?
I know the answer is obviously because if they did that we wouldn’t have a good book. But maybe I would like a book better if there was a more realistic moment of doubt in a character at a critical moment. Maybe I just want them to take a step back and look at life and appreciate what they do have before they go and change everything. I want the main character to take their time.
But maybe it would be better yet if it was us who took our time. Main characters can do this – to a certain extent, yes – but I wouldn’t want them doing that to compromise the fun of the book as well. It’d be better yet if it was something that we did. How about all of us take a step back and say that it’s okay to stress and panic a little? I think these day we have this idea that stressing is an entirely negative thing. In the end, because we’re trying to suppress the stress, it either grows in size or bubbles out in short (or one massive) attack. Why do we do that to ourselves?
Another thing that we can try and work on is slowing down from time to time, breathing, and appreciating what we have. Sure, it’s easy enough to think of things we don’t have. But we also have so much. Looking at that can sometimes make the world a more beautiful place. It’s the little things…
Olivia’s Question: What makes you nervous? What is a little thing in life that you forget to appreciate sometimes?