Signing up for classes at BYU in the pre-computer, pre-internet days of the 60’s was a wild and crazy procedure. I’m not sure if I can convey adequately the despair and anxiety that accompanied the process, but here is an attempt:
I stand in the BYU Field House clutching a paper labored over for days. My blood is on this paper. It is imprinted with a perfect schedule to get me through one more semester toward the glory of graduation with a degree in Home Economics Education. I try to breathe deeply and calmly but I am ready to scream in hysterics because the cacophony in the Field House is blaring at my frazzled nerves. The hustle and agitation of the huge room make me feel that I will never be fast enough or wily enough to get in the right lines to secure the necessary classes. They are being taken up by others. I stand in a long and winding queue only to arrive at a specific class registration table with an insensitive undergrad telling me that the last spot was just filled. I frantically attempt to find another class for the right hour and the right days and wait with high apprehension in another long serpentine line. I groan deeply. I can’t breathe. The tears are coming. I am missing out. Things are happening without me. I’m not going to make it! All the classes will be gone and I will spend a semester just treading water. Help!
I am reminded of this feeling as I sit at the computer. An e-mail notification flashes across the top of the screen. I check my e-mail and find that 116 messages have gone unread. I try to catch up. One informs me that I have a new blog-follower. I check my blog. Someone has commented. I should answer. Facebook is calling. I check Facebook. I go through the long lines of communication. People are doing such exciting things. I am missing out. Things are happening without me. I should check Pinterest. I’ve forgotten how to get there. So many ideas, so little time. I am behind. Great recipes. Stunning fashions. Decorating projects. Great deals are screaming at me. I don’t want to miss out. A bulletin appears that I should update Pages, my i-Cloud is full, the iTunes icon is bouncing. I go to iTunes. I upload the inserted CD and check the books waiting to be listened to. So many books. So little time. My phone rings like a banjo. I grab too late. A text tiptoes in. I stop to answer. I check my words and hope my meaning is the meaning received. Voice mail tritones. I listen. I don’t respond. Instagram is neglected though that is where joy lies. Help! I am drowning!
Hmmm. In retrospect, I don’t think this essay is about computers or no computers or about everyone getting ahead of me or not getting ahead of me. I think this essay is about my tremendous ability to create anxiety in any situation. I’m rather a queen in that area. Just another dilemma I need to work on. (Sigh!)