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When anticipation gives way to panic

As I write, the Opening Ceremonies are happening, twelve hours ahead of me in Beijing. Three days from now I’ll be on a plane.

I’ve been trying to keep a lid on it, but I’ve been anticipating this trip since the prospect arose last fall. Until a few weeks ago, it had the feeling of a long drive: as long as the destination is over the horizon, eight months and two months are pretty much the same. I accumulated some unread guidebooks, a fresh passport, and a trickle of organizational paperwork.

Now things seem to be approaching at a terrifying rate. I’m looking at my to-do list and wondering how much of it will actually get done, and getting a little stressed out about making sure all my ducks are in a metaphorical row by the end of the day Sunday.

Last night this was reaching the point of a tension headache as I peered at the command line of a new server. Then the house went dark. A downed tree somewhere in town had cut power to our neighborhood. My laptop would still run on batteries, but the network was down, so what was the point?

I used a flashlight to dig a few candles out of a box in the basement, and went to bed early, reading by candlelight for an hour or so. I woke up in the middle of the night—probably hearing the buzz and whir of powering-up printers in the office—to discover a light on in the dining room, and the power back on. But I slept better than I had in days.

Update: …and the Onion is not helping.

Now Playing: King’s Crossing from From A Basement On The Hill by Elliott Smith

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bon chance— and enjoy those paperbacks! ;)

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