noun – composure or coolness shown in danger or under trying circumstances. Derived from the French “sang-froid” literally meaning “cold blood”.
There’s a word for that? Of course there is. I didn’t know it and I appreciate learning something new from the Ragtag Daily Prompt.
Am I sangfroid? I consciously try to be. (Not the cold-blooded part, although I’ve been called cold blooded before.) Panicking doesn’t help anything. But fear is really, really hard to control. I’ve had some pretty hard blows come at me in my lifetime, as I’m sure most of us have. Some were so bad that I was momentarily psychologically knocked unconscious. Like bam! no thoughts, no speech, no movement, before my brain wound back up and started working again, only to cause me to shake and start crying.
There was one time when a stallion bit my hand and crimped my ring down on my finger. I couldn’t get the ring off and my finger/hand was starting to swell. It hurt a lot, and I was crying, but I still had to tell Hubs what to do because he was panicking. Like “Go get some wire cutters to cut the ring off.” (“Where are they? I can’t find them!”) “They’re in the utility drawer in the other room. It’ll be alright, but please hurry.” He was successful in cutting the ring off and we went to the ER to see if anything was broken. Thankfully nothing was, although my hand was swollen for a while and black & blue.
This isn’t to illustrate that Hubs is a panicky type. He’s definitely not. We were on the highway one time and came upon a car that was on fire with people still in it. He jumped out and was getting them out along with some other folks who’d stopped as well. There were enough guys doing the rescuing that I didn’t go. I knew I’d just be in the way.
I don’t know what makes a person calm in a stressful situation. I tell myself to stay calm and don’t freak out. I have trouble with it during tornado season though. Last year there was one headed right for us. It was the first time we went to the safe room. I always prepare beforehand with a bug-out bag for us and the dogs, so there’s not much to do in case one is headed our way. But I did feel a bit panicky and scatter-brained then. So I can’t guarantee myself that I’ll be sangfroid every time something happens. I’d be happy with most of the time.
I think it helps keep the panic down if I’m prepared. With this virus thing, it was kind of hard to prepare. Mostly all we did was get some more non-perishable food several weeks ago. We didn’t get any masks, didn’t load up on toilet paper, or get more food than we needed. I think the fear of the unknown makes people panic in these types of situations. I mean, if it had been contained in China and we knew that, people here in the States would’ve been fine. Or if it had gotten here and was barely spreading=fine. But, we don’t know how much worse it’s going to get, and how bad is much worse? So that causes fear. My thought is to be cautious, follow the guidelines of the health experts (it’s not their first rodeo), be sensible and don’t freak out. Even if you get it, it doesn’t mean you’re going to die. The big thing is to stop the spread. Here in Oklahoma we jumped from 17 cases to 29 in a day, so being cavalier about it isn’t the way to go either. That’s just my take on the thing. And on that note, here’s a little levity:
(PS: For some reason, this post isn’t updating/saving the draft. Or publishing. “Unknown error.” Yay. Irritated? Check. Trying to stay cool about it though.)