Anxiety Ratio

Fall Term ends December 11. Today is November 24. Today is Tuesday of this week, Thanksgiving is the day after tomorrow, and then there's next week, and the week after is the end of term. The sound you hear is my struggle to fight off hyperventilation. I have rather a lot of writing left to do before the end of the term.

This isn't performance anxiety. I know I can do all this writing. PLA (Prior Learning Assessment) holds no terrors for me - yet my breath comes faster and more shallow when I think about the volume left to do in the next two weeks. (New video up over at Prattlenog - another PLA student has completed her portfolio for the full 45 credits! She's got good tips too.) I've written for 19 credits so far. I do know how to do this. I've proven it to myself.I am also certain that there is - in reality - enough time to complete this work. Despite the fact that my autumn's healing of a broken/sprained foot sucked all my life's energy into some sort of chi black hole, and despite the fact that I got a suddenly demanding work schedule from the library as a sub during October... despite the fact that I have a soldier in Afghanistan who is never far from my thoughts ... despite the fact that the holidays are mounting their annual energy and attention onslaught ... I do know I can get this done. I have no leeway - no extra time - but I have enough time.

No, this is not anxiety about performance, and it is not anxiety about time crunch. This is the Desire Anxiety Ratio. During the course of the quarter, Jackie Fowler, my instructor in my Human Studies course, mentioned very casually during a discussion that she experiences an increase in resistance as she nears a genuine and deeply desired goal. The more right it is, the worse the resistance. That, I have decided, is the Desire Anxiety Ratio.

The DAR makes children hesitate to pick up and hold small furry animals - there's the "what will it do?" question, of course -- but look at the child's face. Sometimes it's more than that. Sometimes the anxiety means, "I want this so much it takes my breath away."

Desire Anxiety is making me crazy. The closer I get to my project's completion with each project, the closer I get to the quarter's end each quarter term, and the closer I get to a degree I can really own, the higher goes the internal resistance.I.
I am resistant to claiming it.

Today it ratchets up one more notch. Chest contracts. Breath shallows. Pulse speeds. A small anxiety attack ensues. And why? Desire. The Desire Anxiety Ratio. The oxygen thins as I ascend this Everest of mine, and apparently that's just the way it is. Today I know that I have to reach the next plateau before the sun goes down. My feet are sore, my legs feel like wood, and it's time to set out because the afternoon is closing in. I have time. And it's time to go.

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