The Wide Angle: Oh, the stress of trying to relax

Published 7:36 am Saturday, July 7, 2018

It’s ironic that on the night before leaving for vacation, which is supposed to be stress-free, I was feeling a massive amount of stress.

I’ve never liked the night before leaving on vacation, because I’m always trying to get as much information to the people who need it as possible in the shortest amount of time.

It usually means I’m sitting in the office, late at night and alone, continually going over everything I’ve already gone over while trying to keep stomach acids from eating through my stomach.

Email newsletter signup

It’s just kind of the way I am. I’ve always been a worrier. Recently, I had to make a trip to the doctor to get something with a horrible sounding name lanced because apparently the medical profession can’t come up with names that are pleasant sounding.

They went through the whole routine of asking the routine questions until it came to the blood pressure check. The nurse told me the range they wanted to see it in and I nodded politely, knowing they weren’t going to get that. Lately, there has been a lot of stress in my life from a variety of directions and now I was in the doctors office with a mind that was doing its best to convince me they would find everything wrong with me. Not just a few things — all the things.

They were going to check me out and minutes later, I’m a petrie dish of disease.

Clearly, though, I’m writing this, so all of those things weren’t wrong with me. Just one thing that turned out to be 10 minutes of very unpleasant. If you hate yourself, ask me about it and I’ll explain it. Just … I warned you.

It was that kind of thinking, however, that had me thinking that I was missing something.

At about 10:15 p.m. on Friday, June 29, I sent the last page for Saturday’s edition and after convincing myself that I had everything, I jumped on my bike and went home.

All the while, something itched at the back of my mind that I forgot something. That something (Oh, come on, like you didn’t see that plot twist coming] was this column.

Ever try to write a column at the very last minute with a mind that was fixated on a small cabin by a lake? No, no you have not and yet here I was at 11:30 p.m. on that night, laptop on my lap trying to put this column together, all the while dealing with the new round of stress pulling at my lips.

At the same time, I was trying to do last minute laundry, keep two cats from fighting and still trying to convince myself that I was almost there.

I really was almost there, but as I feared, I ended up chasing two cats through the house, nearly breaking my ankle once and knocking a table over a couple times.

It’s all very Benny Hill without the music and more swearing.

“Eric” you might be asking. “How can your write so much about swearing?”

Really, that’s your question?

The only real non-stress aspect of all of this was watching “Ancient Aliens” on the History Channel. It’s like Bob Ross for flat-earthers.

Ultimately, we would get all this wrapped up and like so many times before the stress seemed to be a nothing more than a minor bump in the road. The column — this column — was written and you are now sitting there on a pleasant Saturday morning, drinking your coffee and reading this column. You’re thinking to yourself … “Self. How did this man get a column?”

Tell your self to mind it’s own business, but if it must know, it’s probably my roguish good looks and daring nature to say stupid things.

The stress to write something other than that is just too much.