A: I still have some mild headache symptoms, and today some indigestion

B: If I don’t continue to wash my hands a lot in between everything, even when I’m home all day, I will be guilty of being insufficiently careful and a bad person.

D: It’s so clear that you’re having your normal indigestion + your normal allergies. It would be better if you didn’t wash your hands so much, in fact; your hands wouldn’t be as dry, you would be more efficient with your time. you would be tackling your OCD.

E: I am going to go back to my pre-freak-out routines.

A: Both The Nation and Jarrett refused my story. At the least, it can be published by The Haitian Times.

B: if I can’t get this into a good outlet, I will disappoint the sources who have given me their valuable time. Especially Harper, who has given me so much time. And I won’t make the difference that I wish I could make. And if it doesn’t get accepted by The City, now I will have to offend Garry if I keep seeking other outlets.

C: Checking my e-mail obsessively. All scrunched up at my desk. Heart beating, uncomfortably fast.

D: If I can’t get this into any outlet except Garry’s, I will feel frustrated by the limits of my power. And my interviewees will likely be a little disappointed, but won’t blame me entirely, because they’ll know I tried my best and still did a good job, better than writing nothing at all.  If it doesn’t get accepted by The City, I still do have other options, such as asking Gotham Gazette, or City and State, or NextCity, or UrbanOmnibus, or Jarrett if he’ll take it for free, and telling Garry that I hadn’t realized but Jarrett had already forwarded it to this outlet and I felt obligated to work with them, but super appreciate his willingness to publish the story. Or something polite and to that affect. I can choose to possibly offend him instead of choosing a lesser-read outlet.

E:  What I need to do is:

Lower my anxiety. Take a break from work and go for a run. Remember that one way or the other, things are going to work out. Share the story with Mom and Dad.  Postpone more interviews until you have an outlet. Tomorrow morning (or tonight) pitch to all four of those outlets and see who bites back. Work on incorporating the other research. Don’t check your e-mail obsessively.

Why did I do this? Because I wanted to develop the story without deadline pressure.

Lesson learned; don’t do it that way.

In the future, just say you’ll need a couple weeks to get it done.

Forgive yourself: it’s understandable that you were trying to create LESS anxiety for yourself through a different process, but instead ended up creating more. Oh well.

Feelings: frustration, sadness, rejection, shame, embarrassment, fear.  Shock;grief; I don’t have a source of income any more????

Gratitude: for my parents for their support; for Garry for his support; for my sources for their time; for my friends for keeping me sane. For banana smoothies.

Visualization: I take a run, and feel calmer. I remember nothing is as bad as I imagine it to be. I forgive myself and I have mercy on myself. I continue to flesh out the article with research. Mom and Dad offer some advice at some point. I enjoy some time with Natalie. I sleep deeply, wake up, and, given there’s no offers from The City, send her a quick follow-up note and then go forward. If I don’t hear from her, I go ahead and pitch a bunch of other outlets.  I accept my inability to control what happens. I tell myself that I will do a good job on this piece and then I will move forward and work on my own novels. I am fluid and flexible.

A: Someone on his delivery bike might have coughed (when he was at a distance) and then came near me so that he was less than six feet away, though we were both face-covered. When I got home, I washed my hands, then took off my mask (by the string, though it’s hard to be perfect; and clothes to shower, but I didn’t wash my hands a second time before touching a bunch of towels (because I wanted a new towel and they were all falling down).

B: the towels are all contaminated with coronavirus.

C: asked mom for assurance twice, want to wash all the towels really badly, no longer worrying about my article but instead worried about coronavirus again.

D: coronavirus doesn’t transmit well from object to object; it’s more likely to transmit from person to person. So the idea that coronavirus was on my mask or clothes and then got on the towels (and that if this were true, it would last on the towels for more than a few hours) seems kind of absurd. You can’t live your life this way.

E: going to use the blue towel and the purple towels; going to assume there’s no Covid in the house except in the laundry and on my mask. Going to do a load of laundry tomorrow.


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