Monday, July 17, 2006

A Dose of Panic, Anyone?

It is only eight days until the Playfriends leave for Nationals. Eight days. EIGHT DAYS!!!! I'm embarrassed to admit that something fluttery has taken up permanent residence in my stomach and I'm on the verge of hyperventilating. Over and over I repeat some of the suggestions that Counselor Shelley recently gave us on remaining calm and not catastrophizing. Believe me, my thoughts lend toward catastrophe more often than any human being's should.

The lists keep getting longer and more elaborate. There's the packing list that I keep adding to. The list of papers I need to remember to take with me. The babysitting schedule I'm forcing my husband to create when he'd rather put it off to the last minute. Directions on how to feed and take care of my kids (they're still SMALL, so I think it's ok for me to be this detailed). And let's not forget my schedule, the one that tells me where I have to be each day that I'm gone—travel, checking in, volunteer time, editor appointment, classes… And yes, Mavens, I've even scheduled in some down time (and party time!).

I've obsessed about what I'll wear. I've obsessed about what I'll do. I've obsessed about what I'll say, where I'll sit, what I'll take, where I'll go, how I'll pitch… what I'll pitch. And each time I have to stop and breathe, because nothing will be gained by these whirling thoughts other than more nerves.

I wish I was an extrovert, that I could take new situations and people in stride, be energized by the excitement of it all. Instead I've mentally set aside three days to crash once I get home. Oh, I'll have to move around. Cook. Clean. Take care of my sorely-missed children. But I know I'll be brain-dead for at least that long. Probably longer.

But despite all the panic-and the ruthless struggle to control it—I wouldn't miss this for the world. Not the endless shopping trips and pitch meetings with the Playfriends (or at least we were supposed to be discussing our pitches). :) Not the lists or last minute rush or even the week away from my family. Because it is the experiences that make our lives what they are. And I have a feeling these will be memories I'll cherish for a long time.

Now, I know I'm not the only one obsessing around here. What's on your mind? How do you deal with it?


Challenge Meter:

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42,125 / 50,000

The writing has been slow this week, with numerous life interruptions. I was supposed to finish my first draft by yesterday, but as you can see, I haven't. My new goal is to finish by this Friday. If next Monday's post isn't 100%, feel free to give me h*ll over it. :)


Linda Winstead Jones said...

I wish I could offer some good advice, but I'm so much the same way I'm afraid any advice I give wouldn't be any good. All I can say is wear comfortable shoes and make time to rest now and then, and you're doing that.

I always come home and crash for a week or so. A work week. Five days. Since I'm an introvert, large gatherings drain me. Nationals? Uh, this is a large gathering. :-)

At the same time, I have learned how much I can handle and what I can't. I've learned to enjoy most of the conference, to release a lot of the stress. This time I'm taking Counselor Shelley's meeting handout (don't you just love her?)with the relaxation exercises and I'm going to use them regularly.


Problem Child said...

In defense of ain't all sunshine and rainbows over here, either.

I didn't get one of Counselor Shelley's handouts last week (what's that saying about the cobbler's children and no shoes?), so someone will have to walk me through some relaxation techniques.

Just don't let me go and go and go until I get overloaded and frazzled...

Linda Winstead Jones said...

PC, I'll have my handout with me and I'm happy to share.

This is why it's good to travel in packs -- I mean, with friends. You need someone around who will tell you it's time to take a break. Good friends will do that. Strangers will just shake their heads and whispr, "Poor girl," or in the case of we Southerners, "Bless her heart." :-)


Smarty Pants said...

I feel fine until I start listening to you all get excited, then I start getting all nauseated too. I'm sitting in Houston learning Oracle and my stomach is all knotted and I'm stressing out about Atlanta. Ugh.


Instigator said...

Oh yeah, I'm an extrovert, but I still manage to panic :-)

Of course, the fact that today went to h@ll in a handbasket first thing this morning isn't helping calm those edges :-) I have a to do list a mile long and none of them included putting out multiple fires at work.

Oh well, I'll find the time to get everything accomplished by next Tuesday. At least my Mom agreed to watch the girls at my house that morning so I don't have to get them up at 5 AM.


Maven Linda Howard said...

Because I'm an introvert too, I tend to try to plan these trips down to the last detail, and make contigency plans for every possible situation and/or disaster. I'm prepared for blisters, insomnia, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, nuclear war, hotel fire, and stalkers, I guess on the theory that if I prepare for all these things ahead of times my stress will lessen. BUT -- the real cause of the stress is just being in a huge gathering, away from home and my routine, my comfort zone, and no amount of preparation will handle that so I guess I'm just fooling myself. But I feel as if I should be prepared for any emergency, so I will be.

To really comfort myself, I need down time while I'm at the conference. I may also indulge in some retail therapy. Shoes, anyone :-)?

Y'all can all come to my room and we'll do some meditation, relax, laugh, and have a shoe parade.


Smarty Pants said...

I need a new pair of strappy black shoes with something sparkly and a low heel to go with my kick @ss halter top and pants I got nationals. Shoe therapy, most definitely.


Problem Child said...

Linda said : "I'm prepared for blisters, insomnia, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, nuclear war, hotel fire, and stalkers"

In case of emergency, go immediately to Linda's room.

Playground Monitor said...

I went off alone for the weekend to clear my mind and get myself positioned for this week, which will most likely end up being the week from hell. I know I should just wear the sparkly dress I already have but keep thinking I should get something new even though I'd be spending money on a limited-wear item.

I have a partial list made and have already started dumping things to be packed into the spare bedroom. It's "packing central" now.

I'm all for the meditation, relaxation and the shoe parade. :-)

Note to self: talk with DH tonight about taking me to Angel's house at o'dark thirty next Tuesday.

Angel said...

Well, I'm feeling better now that I have a new party dress. And totally impractical shoes. I know, I know... but I couldn't resist the sparkly stuff, especially reduced from $80 to $26 at Parisians. :)

Yes, meditation would be good for me. I'm trying to remember to do the breathing exercises now, so they'll be more of a habit while I'm gone.

Now if I could just get this darn book finished.