I do well under pressure. Not much gets me out of sorts or frazzled. In the midst of a crisis I’ll be a calming influence and, if possible, interject a little humor along the way to lighten the mood.
In academic study, the ability to do much over a short period of time has served me well. In work situations, I can churn out a lot into the wee hours of the morning night after night if needed until the work is done. Granted, I can’t keep at a lightning pace indefinitely, but it is possible when I know there is an end in sight.
This past weekend was an example of a lot of pressure on me over a short period of 48 hours. It was all good pressure of places to be with other people, prepping for and officiating at a wedding, and prepping and teaching a class for a friend. Individually, any of them would have made for a pleasant, enjoyable weekend, but together they made for quite a challenge.
I don’t take public speaking lightly. I’m not about to wing it for a class I teach, much less a wedding I officiate. So especially for the wedding, I wanted everything said and done to be perfect for the couple’s sake. When it comes to my part, therefore, I script every word, rehearse it aloud dozens of times, and make constant edits up until the last possible moment to craft each word and be able to speak it as naturally as possible without relying heavily on notes. I want to look into the couple’s eyes as I speak and reassure them with a smile and a comforting word and voice.
There were moments in preparation for the weekend’s events when I wasn’t quite sure how it was all going to come together, but I have traveled this road too many times to doubt that it would.
And it did.
Depending on the source of the quote, today’s lesson title comes either from Scottish Victorian-era writer Thomas Carlyle or indie film screenwriter Mary Case, but whichever first wrote it, I can attest to it’s truth.
Leap year lesson #171 is No pressure, no diamonds.