From the moment I walked into my kindergarten class, I was a studious overachiever. Mrs. Lockhart, my very first teacher, chose me to help the other children with their letters. Yes, I was that kid - the kid that teachers adored and peers quietly mocked over milk and graham crackers. I was quiet, focused and very serious about my work. I still remember a comment on one of my very early report cards suggesting that I needed to learn to write the number 8 with a fluid movement rather than using two circles on top of each other. I was devastated but vowed that I would address the 8 situation immediately. I wrote Very Proper Eights for many years...until I realized that I was old enough to make my own decision about my numbers and reverted to the two circle 8 which is more aesthetically pleasing because it is tidy and symmetrical. I've digressed again, haven't I? My point is that I have always taken academia seriously whether it was writing in cursive for the first time or writing my Master's thesis. To this day, my anxiety dreams are about academic failure. I am the person most likely to wake up and say, "Oh my god! I had the scariest dream! You see...I had to write a paper comparing the Bible to Green Eggs and Ham but forgot to do it until the very last minute!"
This week, I've been feeling a bit anxious but was unable to identify the cause of that anxiety until this morning. I am scheduled for a physical tomorrow and realized that I have been thinking about my health a lot. Without any conscious thought on my part, the past few weeks, I have exercised regularly, avoided alcohol, eaten moderately and have tried to get adequate sleep. I realized today that this new focus on health is not really about health at all. I realized in horror that I have been cramming for my physical.
How did I come to this revelation? Well, at lunchtime, I asked a co-worker if I ate a Vito sandwich from Jimmy John's if it would affect my cholesterol immediately or would take time to show in my test results.
They don't call it a physical exam for nothing.