I’m in Canada!
And thank you for asking, I am not suffering from gut-wrenching anxiety.
Now I am anxious, but I think that is rational. I am in a strange place and I have three talks to give in the next four days: two seminars (at Canada’s NRC and Dalhousie University) and a public lecture!
I have brought demonstration equipment with me and there are quite a few things that can go wrong. So I think a certain level of anxiety is appropriate.
However, I feel determined not to let anxiety spoil the sheer enjoyment of being in this new place.
Today (Sunday) a colleague from NRC called and we went for a walk near a lake. The scene was like a picture postcard caricature of Canada: It was breathtakingly beautiful and -11 °C (I brought a thermometer: obviously) .
We saw a council worker on a snow mobile creating ski tracks; I wore snow shoes (!); and there were families who had cleared the snow from an area of lake to play ice hockey!
It would be insane to spoil the pleasure and surprise of such experiences as wearing snow shoes by being overly anxious.
As I have been writing this, an analogy has dawned on me:
I feel as if I live in an ocean of anxiety and I need remind myself to swim in it. Occasionally I will go under and swallow a mouthful, but if I don’t panic, I won’t drown! And if I can relax a bit, it might even support me.