You had almost forgotten how a day like today feels. The nervousness. The doubt. The utterly terrible nagging that permeates deep in your gut from the moment that you wake up. Upon noticing it while yawning after your alarm goes off, you already know that it won’t subside at any point during the day. Sure, you rise out of bed, grab a cup of water and three Advil to dust out the cloudiness of a six beer night. You think about turning on the TV, but hesitate slightly, because at this time of year you usually turn on SportsCenter with coffee and breakfast in the morning. Instead, you turn on Morning Joe trying to use election coverage as a way to distract yourself. You grab a yogurt for your breakfast. You start a pot of coffee, shower, get dressed for work and quickly shift to focusing on going about your business.
The drive to the office is a tough one, though. Do you listen to the radio and embrace the angst? Or do you drive quietly thinking of anything but; trying to fool yourself into pretending it didn’t happen or better yet, that you just don’t care. You choose the latter. Once you arrive at the office, you concentrate on the tasks in front of you, sipping your coffee quickly in an attempt to blanket your blues in a solid caffeine rush of bliss. You let your new-found alertness swindle you into properly focusing on the things that you’re being paid to focus on right now. You crush your morning, squeezing every drop of productivity out of your time at the office; shielding yourself from the undercurrent of anxiety that you can’t allow yourself to acknowledge.
You leave the office. You have a three hour window out in the field that will take you from late morning to mid-afternoon. You need to be on your game when you arrive at your destination but at this point in the morning, deciding not to turn on the radio during your drive is no longer an option. You need to know how the rest of the world is analyzing the events that transpired last night. The national perspective is as expected. A counter punch. A resurgence. A momentum changing statement. The national pundits tease your anxiety and mesmerize your paranoia. There is no time to dwell on your expanding doubt; you have arrived at your destination. Game face. Three hours of interacting with your business associates allows you to push the trepidation back to the corner of your mind. By the end of your time in the field, it is hunger, not anxiety, that dominates your attention. No radio, just back to the office.
Starving, you grab your lunch out of the fridge and pop it into the microwave. Usually when you eat your lunch at the office, you take a break from work while you eat to surf the web or listen to a podcast. Today, you start by checking The Huffington Post and your Twitter feed, but you already know that this attempt to insulate yourself will be short lived. You’re a glutton for punishment. You grab your lunch out of the microwave and take it back to your desk. Once you begin eating, the hunger which had been consuming your focus subsides and there is nothing left to shield your attention from that which has been nagging you since the moment you woke up. There is no more holding back. You feel ready to embrace your anxiety, so you log on to Spurs Nation to get the local perspective. After reading the analysis of what happened last night, you begin to feel a bit emboldened. You reflect on the other days like today. May 12, 1999. April 20, 2003. April 25, 2005. April 23, 2007. You begin to embrace the fear. You start to find the doubt soothing. You smirk as you realize that as terrible as you feel, part of you has missed this feeling. After all, the routine of enjoying jubilation 20 straight times was becoming unsettling in its own right. You finish your lunch and get back to work.
You put in three more solid hours of work at the office, with hardly a passing thought about the uneasiness that hovers overhead. Upon completing everything on your to-do list, you leave the office and turn on the local radio coverage during your drive home. You float between jittery distress and stoic confidence as you listen to local commentators dissect the implications of last night’s events. Your mind is comforted by the 94 percent chance that the set back will not ultimately result in disaster. But you also can’t get it out of your mind that one time it did. Since your revelation at lunch to not only accept but embrace your fear, you are much more determined to face your uneasiness head on. The nagging in your gut is still there, but you are beginning to relish it as you are driving home. Without adversity there cannot be perseverance. It is the struggle that keeps you captivated by the journey. You know that had things gone your way last night, the triumph would pale in comparison to what the triumph might feel like if it comes after getting knocked down. As you pull up to your house you begin to remember how you cherish this anxiety. Tomorrow is not captivating without it. This is the good part. You know that the nagging will not subside, but you no longer want it to. You shut off your car. You have a nice evening planned to grill steaks with your wife and play with your newly adopted kitten. Heck, maybe even get some writing done. You walk to the house ready to start your weekend. You are exhausted from a long day, but the anticipation is beginning to build for tomorrow evening. You know that in every moment leading up to it, your exhilaration will be amplified. And you know that the catalyst for this is that good ole, dreadful feeling.