Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Repeat after me.

"Everything is going to be okay."

When I have particularly anxious students (or formerly, technical writers), I ask them to put their hands over their hearts and say this, or something like this. Sometimes I also tell them to close their eyes, or to take three deep breaths, but the magic words are the same. I can tell that this makes them feel silly and self-conscious, but they do it anyway. Mostly because they trust me, but also because they are the teensiest bit afraid of me.

Lately, I seem to be administering this exercise more and more, and not just for my students.

There are a lot of freaked-out people walking around these days. And I'm not except. Back during Christmas break, when I was wrestling my Christmas tree into submission, I noticed that I was way more anxious than could be accounted for by merely a morass of malfunctioning Christmas lights. That was when I realized that Katie Couric was on the television in the background, doing her damnedest to convince me that the sky was falling.

The news is no better four months later. For a lot of people, the handbasket is nearer its eventual destination now than it was back in December. A slide show on the NYT Web page on Sunday damn near put me into a funk.

So I have to keep reminding myself--at least for me and mine--the challenges thus far have been overcomeable. I'm focusing on that. You'll have to do what you have to do to make your peace with "these uncertain times."

But maybe if you start with, "everything is going to be okay."

Image, New York Public Library Digital Gallery.

1 comment:

heather jane said...

I know it's incredibly self centered of me to think it, but I do. I think you wrote this just for me.


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