I don’t panic easily or I don’t get excited quickly; I’m a slow burn.

I’m always calm during a crisis but after the event, given time to think about it, I can go through the horror which is rather insane as, by then, it will all be over. On the other hand I’m the same with delight. I will, of course, register pleasure in the moment itself. However, the outward display of joy takes a little time to work its way to the surface but then lasts much longer. I was surprised with an engagement ring one evening in a restaurant. On reflection I wish I had jumped up and down, declared loudly to all present what had just happened or screamed with pleasure and flung my arms around the giver.

Instead I just said “Yes” and “thank you”, smiled politely, stared at the ring and then didn’t quite know what to do after that. I think I told the waiter quietly the next time he approached the table; just for the sake of telling someone really. Of course I was genuinely thrilled, but the outward reaction took a little time to catch up.

The following day I excitedly rang all and sundry with the news. Now if it’s someone else who gets engaged, is pregnant or has just given birth, I can gush instantly.

Maybe it’s because I know that living on that heart level is exhausting; exhilarating, yes, but very tiring also. As I once read, the mind just takes in and processes information. The heart lives in the far more bloody and magnificent realities of living and dying and loving and hating. Anyone who has woken up in the middle of the night when a loved one is out will understand. The mind processes the information that it’s 4am and so and so is not home. The heart rears its little head and tells you they’re lying in a ditch somewhere. It has to be the heart because that’s where we care from. If you wake up in the middle of the night and you notice that the neigbours’ car isn’t there, you don’t lie awake worrying about them. Your mind has processed the same information; 4am, car not in driveway. However if you add someone you love to the equation it’s a different story.

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