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Stress case



About a dozen years ago in high school I had to write a book report on Catcher in the Rye.

Haven’t we all had to write a book report on Catcher in the Rye at one time?

Anyway, the day before this report was due, I rushed home from school in a panic. I still had a good 50 or so pages to read and then I had to come up with an eloquent book report somewhere in the range of 750-1,000 words. How was I ever going to get all this work done I thought to myself.

By dinnertime, as the panic was starting to bubble near the surface, I declared to my family that I was so "stressed out" I just didn’t know what to do with myself. I couldn’t eat, which was a sure sign there was something wrong. I couldn’t sit down and think. And I was getting more and more upset by the minute.

Immediately my dad asked me why I had left things until the last minute, which is always something you want to hear.

Then he asked what could possibly be so stressful in my life that it was ruining my appetite and sending me into near hysteria?

Truthfully, he said, he’d never heard of this word "stressed-out" before. It simply didn’t exist when he was my age.

I think it’s certainly fair to say that he knows about the word now after his heart surgeon warned him that job stress and other life stresses are a major contributor to heart disease.

I figure at the rate I’m going these days, I’m definitely due for some heart palpitations in the next year or two.

Though I eventually managed to sit down and write that book report on Catcher in the Rye that night, I have yet to learn how to manage my stress.

I’ve always wanted to be one of those blasé people that meandered through life with nary a concern in the world. You know the type.

As it turns out though, I’m very highly strung, which gets compounded by the fact that I’m somewhat disorganized and fairly emotional.

Let me give you a little slice of my life these days.

Office desk:

Last week I decided to change my office space around so that I could look out the window and be inspired to write great things or daydream, whatever the case may be.

The little switcheroo drew a few of comments about my new Feng Shui workspace and I agreed with my colleagues, as though I knew what that really meant.