They are replacing all the storm drains on my street. It's a short street with about 50 houses on it, small lots. Maybe it's a half mile long, but I think there are at least a dozen drains. It got me thinking about what's underground and the importance of maintenance in both the actual sense of city water systems but also the metaphorical sense of emotions.
Then, last Friday, we had a heck of a rainstorm. In a matter of 40 minutes, from the time I left my house to run two quick errands, a light rain had turned into a booming thunderstorm with lightning cracking over my head so loudly it felt like it was 10 feet away. As I rounded a corner and approached the last traffic light before my neighborhood, I saw a torrent of water coming from the right, crossing the street in front of me, tumbling, rushing, pushing its way over and under storm drains and curbs and crashing on down to my left into the front doors of the nail salon and cleaners.
And that really drove the point home.
Stuff happens in life. Messy, uncomfortable, unpleasant stuff. Sometimes you can handle it easily; it's very obvious -- on the surface, so to speak. It's clear to you and to others that you have cleaned up that mess. But sometimes messes happen and you don't attend to them, or you sweep it aside and just act as if it's all fine. Your follow-up may appear satisfactory but it really isn't. And, so, it goes underground ... so to speak. When you stuff your feelings underground, or bury them, or hide them from yourself and others, you are not doing the very important maintenance. You are letting detritus and debris accumulate. You are ignoring the build-up of a potential problem. And when a torrent of stuff falls on you, seemingly out of nowhere -- and it will -- if you haven't be diligent with the maintenance work you might be surprised at what comes crashing into your front door.
So, keep your metaphorical storm drains clear. Resist the temptation to let things sit, fester or accumulate. Like I said, stuff happens. Working to manage stuff in smaller more immediate chunks makes it a whole lot easier to manage yourself when the big storm hits.