Pressure does interesting things to a person.
In most cases, I think I handle pressure well. I’m usually able to think clearly, make a quick analysis and determine what should be done next. An example: During a weekend visit by my parents a few years ago, my father had an “episode,” which means he fainted. He had been doing this frequently enough at that point that his doctor had fitted him with a tiny EKG monitor and a little clicker that activated it; it was to be used the next time Dad had an “episode.” When he had his “episode,” we were unprepared. He didn’t have the clicker; none of the four of us brought a cell phone along to dinner. But something in my brain told me to do this:
- His doctor thinks the “episodes” could be related to a heart problem; he needs to go to the hospital.
- Borrow a cell phone and call 911.
- Send The Wife to their hotel to get the clicker. Tell her to come back to the restaurant to pick me up.
- Remember, out of the blue, Dad’s age and medical history. Relay that information to the paramedic and EMT who arrived with the ambulance.
- Have Mom ride in the ambulance along with Dad to the emergency room.
- Ride up to the hospital, get the clicker to the right person in the ER and make sure it’s activated.
- Go outside and have a cigarette. Have trouble lighting it because hands are shaking.
Dad was fine by the way, and the information from his little EKG helped his doctor determine that Dad needed a pacemaker.
Writing under pressure isn’t a big deal for me either. I do it all the time at work. It’s actually one of the things I enjoy most about working in the newspaper business — finding the information I need, boiling it down to an understandable form and getting it written while a grumpy night managing editor is bitching at me about not writing my fool head off. I’m one of those freaks that finds that experience to be fun.
Given those two instances, I’m wondering why a seemingly innocuous thing like writing one little blog post a day for thirty days is apparently a COMPLETELY FREAKING INTIMIDATING PROSPECT.
But. There. I made it through the first day.