Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Nervous, Easily Agitated, Devastated, Just Plain Jumpy Good Morning

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Nervous, Easily Agitated, Devastated, Just Plain Jumpy Good Morning

Article excerpt

When I was a child, my brother and I loved to ask my father, "Are you nervous?" Dad would respond like a jittery Don Knotts on the old Steve Allen show with a high-pitched, "No!"

I come from a long line of nervous folks; people who are easily agitated, upset, devastated, reactive and just plain jumpy. Ask me if I'm nervous today, and I'll jump 40 feet in the air and say "No!"

Tuesday started with oversleeping, and much scurrying around because our main bathroom was out of order. We hired "Handyman Kevin" to remove the 1977-era teddy-bears-on-the-beach wallpaper that was outdated and sappy when we moved in years ago.

Repainting that room had taken a back seat to other priorities, like a new furnace or college tuition. After that late start, I went to learn about a new weight loss plan. Yes, you are correct, this is January. This is what I do every January. This is the year. No more excuses.

Won't I feel better when I've lost 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 pounds? Why, I'll be able to roller skate! (No, I'm confused with the film they show fourth-grade girls reaching a certain maturity, "Now, You Can Roller Skate!")

The woman at the weight loss clinic took my "before" picture.

I said, "Oh, heavens, I have on a sweatshirt." She said, "Fine, we want you to look as sloppy and fat as possible."

Guilty as charged. Getting my picture taken made me more nervous. Why did I think it was a good idea to get a double shot of espresso at the coffee shop on the way home? A double shot is not a relaxing antidote to an anxiety-laden morning.

I came home for two hours to put the finishing touches on the longest piece I've written since college. Thirty-five hundred words, plus a 600-word side bar. The story involved interviewing a dozen people and a great deal of research, writing and rewriting.

As I finished editing the final draft, the painter started putting up the molding with a nail gun.

The main bathroom is next to my office. Rat-tat-tat. Boom. Quiet. Rattat-tat. Boom. Quiet. Rat-tat-tat. Boom. Quiet.

I know he's just doing his job. Am I nervous? "No!"

I finished the story, despite the constant staccato blasts from the nail gun next door, and it was time to leave for my next appointment, my annual dental checkup. …

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