Stressed out

For the first, oh, 10 minutes of each and every morning - save for weekends and vacation days - I dry heave as I think of all the things I need to accomplish the rest of the day.
Now that’s stress.
It’s going to kill me, I know. Unless I get a handle on it. I’ve been trying for the last 14 years or so.
Not that it’s so hard being me, I mean, I pretty much get to screw off at work - yet still, I’m responsible for three completely open newspaper pages a day. Each page can hold 1271/2 inches of copy. And I have to fill them all.
And be fun and creative and tell a story. That’s pressure.
Then there’s all this pressure to be a great step-father and a great husband. Be a role model, but be a friend, lover and confidant. Run a tidy, loving home; cook delicious and nutritious and creative meals; check homework, deal with teen and pre-teen drama.
Ack, Pffffblt. Urk. Every single morning.
I searched the Web to look at stress-relieving remedies. Mostly, I laugh. Here’s one:
“Eliminate meaningless deadlines: Our life is full of them. Arbitrary and unrealistic time constraints imposed by ourselves and others that serve only to make us more pressured, anxious, stressed out. For no worthwhile reason. Avoid the trap of assigning time frames to everything you do, especially if you have little idea how long it will take. Instead, make your goal one of completing a project in a careful, professional, satisfying manner. In other words, as long as it takes to do it right. Save your nerves, and your energy, for the few real deadlines we face . . . like April 15th.”
I’m a journalist; my life is one big deadline (and I’m one of those who does better work the closer the deadline gets).
The site also lists breathing and meditation techniques I’m supposed to engage in to relieve the stress. Who has that kind of time?
Yeah, I’m supposed to make time for the things that will help me in life. But you try, and before you know it, the wife has to work late, which totally throws off the pork chops you’ve got on the grill and the roasted red potatoes in the oven, the dog just had diarrhea in her kennel, your daughter has a 102-degree fever and your son just brought home a progress report with five Fs - and you can hear the cat coughing up a hairball in your bathroom.
I could drink, I suppose. Drown the drone in endless bottle of bourbon. But that just makes you a loser - and zaps your chance at the six hour of fitful sleep you were getting.
I really don’t have an answer for this one. There’s no ending here, no nuggets of wisdom.
My life is stressful. It will continue to be for the foreseeable future. The best I can do is to not think about it, push myself physically on the mountain bike or in the kayak (or just lace up the boots and hit a trail) and tell myself everything is going to be OK.
Ernest Hemingway defined guts as “Grace under pressure.” Then my life is pretty gutsy.

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