Keep Calm & I Don’t Remember the Rest

The same friend who used to reply to my complaints about old pains and new aches with a cheerful, “But you’ve never been 48 (or whatever) before,” also used to say, “Remember, it’s just Tuesday” (or whatever day) when a person would confess to feeling anxious about an upcoming big event or holiday. (Lie, say, tomorrow’s much-anticipated T-Day.)

“It’s only a Saturday. Same as all the other ones. Sunday will come next. Same as all the other ones.”

Yes, yes, it is the same, definitely the same as all the other Saturdays, indeed, but it is a Saturday with the addition of my wedding or taking the GRE or the LSAT or … . An event-focused Saturday is an impersonation of all the other Saturdays. An awards ceremony is not just another setting for a mediocre hotel meal, even though it is that, too. So thanks for not helping us out there, not even one little bit, Mister Calm Guy.
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Panic Room

Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
—T. S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

* * * *
Any room with me in it is a panic room.

“Take my advice—I’m not using it.” I can tell you to keep calm. At my worst, I might insist that you keep calm. But as someone who can introduce stress into the least stressful, sweetly innocuous, and even some of the more pleasant experiences in life, when I am confronted with the parts of life that others find truly stressful, I hunker down and find the effort deep inside myself to make them yet more stressful.

In one of my lesser achievements in the field of stress management, I gave myself a black eye while tying my shoes. These were boots with leather laces (I am not a cowboy) and such laces can take a little effort to yank into position. While securing my “half-knot” on my right shoe, the length of lace in my left hand broke and I clocked myself in the right eye. At the time, I was 34 years old, not 11.
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Crisis Mismanagement

Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
—T. S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

* * * *
“Take my advice—I’m not using it.” I can tell you to keep calm. At my worst, I might insist that you keep calm. But as someone who can introduce stress into the least stressful, sweetly innocuous, and even some of the more pleasant experiences in life, when I am confronted with the parts of life that others find truly stressful, I hunker down and find the effort deep inside myself to make them yet more stressful.

In one of my lesser achievements in the field of stress management, I gave myself a black eye while tying my shoes. These were boots with leather laces (I am not a cowboy) and such laces can take a little effort to yank into position. While securing my “half-knot” on my right shoe, the length of lace in my left hand broke and I clocked myself in the right eye. At the time, I was 34 years old, not 11.
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