I woke this morning with a splitting headache and a craving for coffee. Coffee will help with this headache and that will reinforce my current feeling that I need coffee. But I am pretty certain that if I didn’t drink so much coffee I wouldn’t even have this headache in the morning. Remind you of any other substance which makes you think it’s resolving the very problems it creates?

Anyway it’s Wednesday! I usually run Wednesday afternoon but I think I’m going to cry off today. I think it might be good for me to take a break physically and mentally and anyway I need the time to run a few small errands. And my anxiety is rising about this robotics challenge on Friday. The first two classes this morning are our last robotics classes before the competition and while the robot is responding to some basic commands it’s not doing much more than that.

I’m just a knot of unreasonable worry about it. I can accept that but three more days of worrying like this is not particularly good for anyone. I know it’s making me more snappish. I know it’s taking over my present life and driving out everything else. Right now I’m willing to just pass time away ’til it’s done.

But I think I should probably get better at this. After all it’s part of my job and it’s going to come up again in the future! Maybe not Robotics specifically, but there are definitely going to be other projects and events that I’ll be solely in charge of … gulp, Computer Science.

I’m going to be teaching a whole new course next year and I will be responsible for its delivery all by myself and next year just cannot be lived in this same constant ball of stress over unknowns surrounding stuff that isn’t even my responsibility.

I know, I know, I said it yesterday – this anxiety is just parts of me firing up trying to ensure I won’t drop the ball. I won’t drop the ball! Well, I might drop a few small unimportant balls. Everything is not going to be perfect. Maybe things won’t even be as good as they might necessarily have been, but they will be okay. Things will be good enough, and that’s fine because even though I am the main point of responsibility, I’m not the only path through it. I’m not the only person with duties surrounding this. The work has to be done by the students, and the same thing is true when it comes to the new course next year.

You know it’s really no different to the case with my current exam classes; it’s just that I’ve gotten used to stepping back emotionally around the maths classes and the other stuff is new. So maybe the learning can happen a bit quicker around those subjects now though because I’ve done it once already.

This is tough though because I know how to externally calm myself and act like I’m not freaking out, but inside the tension is still there and I don’t know how to do anything other than wait it out. And waiting it out might be fine for the sake of three days but I’m concerned about the bigger picture. This year feels a little like I’ve been skipping from anxious whirl to anxious whirl, between new courses, class mixings and stress with colleagues, whole school inspections, early pre-s and students who insist on attempting levels for which they’re not capable, it feels like I can never relax my mind.

But you know what all this stuff has in common? It’s mainly not my business! I mean, the most stressful parts of it are not my business. I don’t actually think this year has all that much more stuff to plague me with anxiety than usual, but for the first time I’m having to deal with it in the raw, without the numbing effects of alcohol, and I’m just not used to that. It’s like I’ve to learn to cope with emotions for the first time. I’m no longer feeling the stress through the thick rubber sheet of being either drunk or hungover.

It’s funny, but horrible and all as being mildly (or even badly) hungover feels, it does offer a sort of protection from emotions too because it pushes itself to the front of your thoughts and everything else gets a little bit muted.

Nothing is muted anymore and things that maybe shouldn’t be such a strong presence in my mind are pushing themselves forward as a priority.

Well listen up brain-weasels, I am the one in charge around here and I am going to be the one to decide what I’ll worry about.

I’ll try anyway.

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