THE MYSTERIES OF ANXIETY

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Today is May 4th. 8 days to the birthday (it will be a day of real “peace and quiet”) and 11 days until ‘take off’ — the true beginning of the Round The World 70th Birthday Tour’. It is really interesting how calm I am about both of these events. You would think that arriving at your 70th birthday (yes, the beginning of the 8th decade, for those of you who reminded me) would cause some anxiety. Nope. It just feels like a calm day of relaxation and celebration. And how about launching yourself on a 108 day, 10 country, 12 city, round the world tour with 39 days of teaching? Well, that should light a fire under the anxiety meter. But no. Not a ripple. So, what does it?

Here’s what did it today. I’m pre-recording a 90-minute webinar on this Sunday. 90 minutes of material that I’ve done hundreds of times. 90 minutes just sitting in front of my computer, looking at the Power Point on the screen, and talking .. easy. And it’s a pre-recording! If I make a mistake, I just go back, do it again and it’s all fixed in the editing. But the gut says, “not so easy, buster”. And then the anxiety kicks in. I have spent the entire day planning, outlining, and even rehearsing (with computer and power point), timing every section, even writing notes to myself, critiques on how I could do it better. It’s been a very long and lonely day. And I have not been brilliant – far from it. And no matter how much I rehearsed and honed and shaped those 90 minutes, I know that I’m going to be wound up tight as a drum (there’s gotta be a better metaphor but my brain is so fried …) come Sunday morning. I’m blithely looking at 39 days of teaching, 8 hours a day, 312 hours, thousands of students, all over the world … but I’m sweating 90 minutes in the peace and quiet of my home in front of my computer. What is up with that?

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