Wednesday, 15 August 2012


A useful word, but one very varied in meaning.

My Aspergerness wanted to know (as it often does) where the word came from and what it really meant, so as to be able to use it correctly and well.
What are coping stones anyway, and what do they have to cope with?

"Cope" comes from the Dutch for "cape", and proper coping stones at the top of a wall are wider, allowing rain falling on them to drop to the ground rather than simply run down the wall.

So if I'm coping, I'm using a cape.  Protection, shelter, or shrugging off the rain and storm.  But I've detected two versions of modern usage.

"How are you managing with the Christmas rush?"
"Coping quite nicely."
(resources are holding out... there are no nasty surprises, the system is not under stress: it's doing it's job and coping)

"How are you managing with the Christmas rush?"
"I'll cope."
(resources are barely holding out...   tricks or shortcuts or short-term effort beyond the sustainable are being employed to get by, the system is under stress, and there are some things wriggling under the cape that are best not looked at, now.)
But they had better be, later, or coping gradually becomes more and more messy.

Where am I?  Bits of both, I think.
I've definitely acquired some positive, sound, coping strategies and attitudes over the last two years.
But I'm not sure where I am now is truly sustainable.  There's still some make do and mend, some "for now" in my getting through the day which I don't think I can keep up for ever.

Which requires me to get somewhat better (in due course) or learn even better coping with the way I am now.

Neither of those is exactly assured.

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