Next crisis

I would dearly love to know if there is a term for that type of book title that comes with an ‘or’. You know the type – “The Solipsism of Man or Where Did Henry Lose His Trousers?” – but do you know a term for it? If there’s also any chance you can think of an example that isn’t rubbish, that would be good too.

Nonetheless, I’m going for it. This week’s Self Distract is Next Crisis – Or For God’s Sake Shut Up a Minute, William.

There. That feels better. Listen, this is why this is on my mind: I’m writing to you from home after a couple of weeks with a lot of travelling, doing projects and workshops that I was daunted about but which went between well and very well.

Yesterday, for instance, I was in a primary school with about 30 kids and at the end they were high-fiving me, asking me back, and plotting to continue the many, many scripts, stories, news articles and poems we’d done. Of course I loved all that, but then I also had a really good time talking with the staff. And on my way out to the car park, I kept passing cars with all these little, excited hands waving at me.

Yet I got to my car, checked that I had all the gear that I have to carry around –– I don’t need anything but paper for the schools but I have to write in the evenings and do some project management –– and as soon as I put that seatbelt on, I was worried about the next project. The next deadline. I worried about the (metaphorical) stone in my stomach about another thing and I fretted a bit about something else.

I know I’m just reaching the same conclusion that Ferris Bueller did nearly thirty years ago and possibly what Frozen said three years ago. But you need to stop for a minute, take a look around and let it go.

I say you and I mean you. Look me in the eye and tell me you don’t spend more time worrying about what’s next instead of enjoying what you’re doing now. Put that right, okay? It’s too late for me, you go on. Save yourself. I worry about you.