I realize that about all I can plan anymore, is that over the course of a given day, you're gonna eat, you're gonna go to bed, and you're gonna—hopefully--wake up. But sometimes in the given 16 hours we're actually up and doing things, the list of tasks we found ourselves tasked with, can get a little overwhelming. I dislike feeling overwhelmed. I've been known to have panic attacks now and then, and sometimes that feeling of being overwhelmed is the first step to what eventually results in myself breathing into a paper bag behind the Piggly Wiggly, and screaming “I'm perfectly fine! Don't look at me! Never look at me!” Next thing you know, TMZ runs around saying I'm dating Lindsay Lohan. It's not a great cycle.
But it happens, and I'm alright with that, most of time. Sometimes I wake up and it seems like it's a never ending flow of phone calls and text messages from people needing something, or some new task to do. Pick up my grandmother's medication. Pick up the cat from the vet. Go to the grocery, get that baby shower gift at Baby's R Us, and get ready to babysit the nine year old cousin for a few hours. That's just the list people GAVE me, not to add my own tasks for a day. Simple things like writing, proofing, the occasional meeting, and hopefully pausing for food at some point.
Yesterday is a prime example of how things can suddenly pop up in my daily to do list. I was scheduled to give a TED talk at ETSU about the importance of the cocktail frankfurter in modern day society. About an hour before my talk, I received a phone call from my friend, Casey. Casey is something of a modern day, urban adventurer, and was about to embark on an attempt to scale the sides of the First Tennessee building in the heart of Johnson City. Casey had all the permits he needed, but he wanted a spotter to hold the old timey fireman's net he was using in case he fell.
I was crestfallen at the idea of having to disappoint the tens of thousands waiting to hear my TED talk, but it turns out no one was in line (it seems I'm the only person who cares about the importance of the cocktail weenie to modern day America), and let's face it—a human life is more important. Off I went to Casey's event, which ironically was being sponsored by Hillshire Farms, and began to hold the old fashioned fireman's safety net.
A crowd gathered, and we all watched Casey Spider-Man his way up the side of the building, right as he was about to make it to the top, a freak wind blast knocked him off. I scurried around like mad, in a slight panic, and caught Casey in the retro fireman net. All were shocked at what took place, and concerned. Casey gave the thumbs up that all stunt junkies do. Afterwards, the good folk from Hillshire Farms handed out free cocktail weenies to the crowd to calm them down. It was good fortune that someone then was overheard saying “Oh, if only someone would give an engaging speech on the importance of this food stuffs in modern day America!? Oh, Agony!”
I gave my talk, and the day was saved. Life went on as usual, till the next day came when I had to drive a kiddie birthday party group to Chuck E. Cheese. But that, is for another time.