Living in an Emotional Pressure Cooker

Pressure CookerI don’t know much about pressure cookers, except that issues with the equipment can lead to super steam blowouts. They can explode, sending flying parts across the room and splattering their contents on anything and anyone within range. Dangerous stuff — so my mom always said, so that was gospel to me.

I feel like our whole house is an emotional pressure cooker these days. It’s pretty reliable and has rarely been known to blow out the top, but we have had a few ‘near misses’ over the past couple of months. Probably the biggest blowout was over where one is supposed to leave the tea towel for drying hands in the kitchen. Too ridiculous to even get into here.

I’ve also heard some blown fuses sparking across the neighborhood from otherwise very quiet and reserved households. And, of course, we’ve all been reading about much more fragile family dynamics that have lead to an increase in domestic violence of all kinds. Also dangerous. Sad.

This isolation isn’t necessarily causing new problems. It’s just pouring gasoline on existing problems that are simmering below the surface. Not to be too flip, but this tea towel issue has been going on for years!

We’re all locked down in this pot together right now. The pressure builds up every now and then. There are very few outlets that feel safe, restorative and nourishing that allow us to get away very far from each other. We’re stuck here with each other.

Our emotions are so commingled, that when our daughter finished her last final today, my husband and I felt as if we had finished too. Whew …

During her practical exam — a “tele-health” appointment with an actor — we were under strict orders to maintain absolute silence in the house for this one hour period. We didn’t think we needed such strong admonishing instructions. We get it that she’s being recorded and evaluated. Of course, I’m not going to knock on your door and shout at you to empty the dryer. Not sure why she was so worried about us – we’re just quiet retired people! Exactly! … she might reply.

Well, half-way through her sacred one hour of required silence, a piece of bread got stuck in the toaster, which sent clouds of smoke billowing through the downstairs. OMG … NOooo … not the smoke alarm! We scurried around frantically opening doors and waving smoke away from the detector within screeching distance of her door. It was like a slapstick routine from an old I Love Lucy show I could never tolerate. Disaster was averted — thank goodness! — or that pot would have blown up all over our happy little nest.  

We all survived. The exams are over. What a relief. I’m sure I’ll sleep much better tonight. She will claim that she was the only person doing all the studying and the only person taking these virtually monitored exams at the desk in her bedroom, but the whole household went through this emotional experience. 

The pressure valve has let off some steam again. We’re going to be ok for a while.




One thought on “Living in an Emotional Pressure Cooker

  1. Rhonda J Sweeney May 7, 2020 / 7:50 pm

    Know exactly what you mean — and there are only 2 of us here. P.S. Attended my first (and hopefully last) Zoom happy hour today. Ugh. Hard to stay cool and calm when our temps are rising outside. Hoping to have an in person happy hour with a friend tomorrow. Hope she’ll be happy coming inside where it will be cool — far apart.

    Liked by 1 person

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