Hanging by a Thread

by Elizabeth deGraw Renna

It was one of those moments in which an experience in the “right here and now” triggers a thought (in this case an idiom), followed by a sparking of ideas and a cascade of connections which unfold so quickly you almost can’t keep up. I made a connection between the tangible situation and a saying that could have multiple meanings and suddenly did, all applying to this moment.

The button on my pants was loose, dangerously so. It was almost literally hanging by a thread. I had left the house that morning knowing that this button needed some attention, but I didn’t take the time to fix it right then. It was mid afternoon when I realized it felt even looser, less secure, hanging by just a few strands of thread.

That’s when my mind made the connection to the idiom, “hanging by a thread”. This moment occurred at the end of a second week of pushing too hard to “get work done” at the expense of pacing myself and at the expense of breathing well, regularly. So what a great way to describe, perhaps, being or feeling so stressed that you perceive that you’re barely holding on, barely holding things together.

Even after writing about losing my balance a couple weeks ago, which increased my awareness of the state of my mind and life and out-of-whack priorities, I still haven’t regained the balance I’m seeking. I’ve been exploring words like “responsibility” and “obligation” in my journal and realizing that I tend to experience a strong sense of both of those states of mind. Feeling responsible and/or feeling obligated comes naturally to an oldest child with people-pleasing tendencies.

But to get the to the point where the phrase “hanging by a thread” has deeper meaning beyond a loose button… well, it’s time to become more intentional in my quest for a different balance.

I am regularly inspired by moments in nature, by observations that I make when I have paused long enough to notice, and there are so many clues and cues to guide me in my plan to regain or recreate a sense of balance that feels right.

The moment I experienced with my button unfolded like this, fairly quickly:
– “Oh my gosh, this button is looser than it was this morning!”
– “It’s hanging by a thread.”
– “Hmm, that could describe how I feel, rushing to accomplish so many things this week and now feeling stressed and barely holding on.”
– “Thread….spiders. Of course! The lessons that spiders have taught me.”

By the end of this quick series of thoughts, I was smiling.

I’m going to keep you in suspense, leave you hanging, so to speak, until my next Blog, when I will begin to describe some of my moments with spiders that have taught me about balance and pausing and becoming more centered. In the meantime, maybe you will make your own connections, which is much more meaningful anyway.

Many thanks and warm thoughts of appreciation to everyone who takes some of their own precious time out of daily life to read my Blog posts and to “Like” my Blogs on the occasions when you feel so inclined!