Homeostasis: a relatively stable state of equilibrium or a tendency toward such a state between the different but interdependent elements or groups of elements of an organism, population, or group (as defined by Webster’s dictionary).

It’s also one of the few words I remember from grad school. Did you know I trained as a marriage and family therapist? One of the hundred reasons I’m not married. I know too much.

Anyhoo… Homeostasis is what makes your thermostat work. When the temp gets too high or too low, the thermostat kicks on or turns off to maintain an even temperature. We humans like those even temperatures.

Homeostasis operates more than household appliances. It runs live, too.

Those who grow up in homes with a lot of chaos consider that normal and comforting. For them, homeostasis is keeping everything chaotic. Those who grow up in quiet and orderly homes find that normal and comforting and seek to maintain that even keel.

TT: The great irony is most married couples come from different backgrounds and then work to establish their homeostasis in direct opposition to their mate’s. Humans are funny like that. Reason 65 I’m not married.

I suspect half the world runs on change. The other half, of course, runs on stability. I am of the half that runs on stability. In therapy-talk, I am a gate-keeper.

TT: Yes, yes, half of you just quoted Ghostbusters at your computer screens. I don’t know the ratio of nerd-to-normal in the general population but I’m sure it’s higher than normal among NAF readers.

As often as I’ve complained about change, my gate-keeper status should be no shock to any of you. I don’t mind it. Someone has to hold back the change-agents or the world would drown in chaos.

However, as my publication date looms larger and larger on my horizon, and my world prepares to change temperature (likely not as drastically as I fear but then I fear all change), my thermostat kicks in and I find myself pulling away from all things writing-related to compensate. I am slightly self-aware so I have at least noticed, but as the tension builds and the mercury switch tips farther and farther out of my comfort zone, I begin to wonder what will win out – my desire for stability or my determination to proceed. Perhaps I’ll lose my sanity and stop worrying about it.

I can only hope.

About Robynn Tolbert

Born in Kansas and born again at age six, Robynn has published two novels and started her third. Robynn, aka Ranunculus Turtle, lives in Kansas with a clowder of cats, a patient dog and a garden.

17 comments on “Homeostasis

  1. Lose the sanity! Lose the sanity!

    Just kidding. I am not big on change either (says the Army wife who moves every couple of years), but God is there in every change I have to endure. He is my strength.

  2. Oh wow, sounds like what happens to my brain as my due date looms. That’s when nesting hits hard, and I run around cooking and cleaning and doing everything I can to keep from thinking about labor. At least writing a book, you don’t have physical pain to look forward to!

  3. Have a Hershey’s bar and breathe deep, Turtle. All is going to be just fine. I happen to know your book is awesomeness…I am your #2 fan…Momma Turtle ranks #1. You have a shell, for goodness sake. Take it off for a bit and stroll around in your birthday suit until the heat subsides. 😛

  4. Later, you will probably look back on this and laugh. Life after publication is really NOT as different as we all hope and dream it will be. At least it hasn’t been for me. Your mileage may vary, but if it *is* the same, you will probably like it that way, instead of feeling let-down. See? All things work together for good.

  5. I am…an agent for change. We are coming. In fact we just finished training an new group of recruits.
    Gary Busey, considered to be one of the oddest characters in Hollywood, said
    “The only thing that changes, are the changes.” This actually makes some sense.

    Stability. vs. Progress. It’s a tough choice, indeed. Is there a middle ground?

  6. My Dearest Turtle,

    Hang in there sweety you’ll be okay, God is watching you.

  7. Thank you, m’dear. Been missing your sweet thoughts around here. Good to hear you again.

  8. Caprice is spot on. Looking back, you’ll wonder what you were so worried about. And since Worry is my middle name, you can trust me on this. It’ll be fine. You’ll be fine. Enjoy the moment :-).

  9. I clicked on this post because, biologically, homeostasis is the coolest thing in the world. Studying to become a medical technologist, I was entranced be how the body keeps itself stabilized. I had not thought of it in psychological terms.
    Congratulations on being published. You will cope.

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