It's a New Year, sports fans! The Panthers are in the playoffs (well, at least until the fourth quarter). Sorry - I know we're favored to win tonight, but I've seen a lot of these games just - sort of - trickle away - somehow . . . where was I? Oh, yes. So we'll have to see how that plays out.
School's started back and things are just terribly interesting at the Casa de Cleveland. Unemployment in my community has (very unfortunately) cracked into the double digits, which means an awful lot of people say, "Hey, I better go back to school!" Good idea, but I'm sorry for the reason. My area has been hurting for the last - oh, let's say at least six years. Since at least the Second World War, the main industry around here has been textile manufacturing. Go to your closet and see how many of your clothes, towels, sheets, etc. now bear a tag reading "Made in China." Those are jobs my neighbors don't have anymore and not a whole lot has come into the area to make up for the shortfall. For myself, my job is secure but my students are far more nervous than usual - even given the fact that I teach public speaking, a required course that very few people actually want to take - at least for the first few weeks.
So - to the title. I've been a whirlwind of stress lately. Far too much to do, far too little time and money. So I resolved this year to try mightily to slow things down a bit. I probably will never be one of the "smell the roses" people - as much as I often envy those folks, my approach tends far more to the, "Yeah, yeah. Flowers. Gotcha." But a group of friends and I recently went to an exhibit of artifacts from Pompeii and I had an epiphany of sorts.
You remember Pompeii, right? Bustling, prosperous town that was blithely minding its own business when WHAMMO! That innocent looking mountain that people used to climb in order to picnic turned mean. Vesusvius literally blew its top and more than 20,000 people were wiped out. I'm pretty sure their last thoughts were not, "If only I'd sent that memo to Rome."
I may never get away from being "Type A," but this year, I'm going to shoot to downshift at least to a "Type A Minus."
I think it's a good goal.