Self-help maybe means things get worse before they get better. I want to be the kind of person who stands in the nook of his kitchen, makes his morning coffee, and reads the following message framed on his wall:
RELAXATION AND RECREATION
The most relaxing recreating forces are a healthy religion, sleep, music, and laughter. Have faith in God--learn to sleep well--love good music--see the funny side of life-- And health and happiness will be yours.
Instead, my day started at noon, because I couldn't get to sleep last night, worried as I was about a paper I couldn't finish. I eventually took melatonin and woke groggy, struggling to pour water into the back of my coffeemaker.
For three days, I've read self-help advice from Rick Warren and Dale Carnegie. Old Carnegie advises live day-to-day, learn to accept the worst when it comes and improve for the better, and remember the toll that too much stress takes. In dealing with other people, learn not to criticize, sincerely appreciate people, and appeal to their wants. Warren's spiritual guidance is simple enough to sum up: remember life's not about you, but also know you're not an accident, you're here for a reason, and part of being here is about finding your purpose in life.
I could read all this until Gabriel blows a trumpet and still not have a paper written. The trouble today has been that I was supposed to complete an essay and haven't yet, because I've been at a loss for what to write, and the anxiety about not having written it is only compounding the problem. It's gotten me into a sort of paralysis. But given how late it is already, I've got to just get it done. I was not only supposed to have written this essay but also I should have read a story and written part of a story for an hour. Just overwhelmed.