2020 can be summed up by its ‘High Anxiety’

Miriam Nelson
News Editor

“High Anxiety” was the name of a Mel Brooks movie and the title is probably what future historians will use to categorize the year known as 2020. Teachers and students head back to school this week, and I’m sure the words “unknown” and “new normal” will be describing every little hurdle that comes their way.

For many years, I’ve been contemplating about working as a substitute teacher one day a week, thinking the most asked for day off might be Fridays and that could fit into my schedule. I must confess, I have not even contemplated that this year.

I’m sure it’s hard enough to find suitable substitutes in any given year, but with the threat of an infectious disease lurking in every classroom, I’ve got to believe there aren’t a whole lot of people willing to take that risk if they don’t have to take it. I’m not sure what tomorrow will bring, but it will have to make do without my skill sets invading the teaching profession.
People don’t always give proper credit to the teachers or the farmers of the world, but they are truly the biggest gamblers in the day-to-day professions. I’ve always had a deep appreciation for their work. Whether it’s gazing at a nicely phrased sentence or looking into my freezer filled with beef from my cousin’s farm, I know the amount of work they do and how I’m a better person because of their efforts.

While there are many people wondering about the security of their jobs or the chance to find a job to replace the one they no longer have, there are still people dealing with physical issues tipping the anxiety scale upwards. I think a lot of this anxiety is creeping into our daily behaviors.

I’ve been noticing a lot of borderline road rage as I travel down the road these days. I’m not sure if people are so distracted by their daily lives that they don’t notice their aggressive driving habits or if they’re just mad at the world and want to take it out on me. It’s a little unnerving when you’re driving down the road and seemingly out of nowhere comes a car or truck on your back bumper.

I can tell myself I need to take life one day at a time, but I’m beginning to feel that life is going by faster than I can process it. It could be I am at that age where life tends to go by faster, but it’s a little unnerving all the same.

Fortunately, there is still a good deal of humor to be said and shared. I’m forever grateful for a friend who constantly posts amusing jokes and pictures on the internet. So many of them remind me of Dad’s sense of humor and that does a lot to calm my nerves when they’re getting the best of me.

I’m trying to do my best not to add to the anxiety levels in this world, but am fully aware there are days when I fail miserably. To those I annoy or disappoint, I hope they think kindly of me anyway.

It would be nice if someone would write instructions on how to survive this year. It would have to be an ever-changing format, with alerts for updates and it would help if it could produce calming smells and sounds and offer hugs to replace the ones we can no longer safely give or accept. It’s a nice thought but it’s never gonna happen.

Since I probably won’t get my wish to turn into an ostrich so I can hide my head in the sand, I might as well do what I can to make this year tolerable. I’m not sure what that is, but if I figure it out, you’ll be the first to know.