As much as I would like to eliminate worry from my life—and by that I mean cut out sweat-inducing worry from my daily schedule—the best I can seem to manage is to keep it at a low simmer.
As a journalist, I sometimes write about health issues, which is the equivalent of me turning up the burner.
Some months back, I put together a piece on Lyme disease. Now, I’m in the midst of a story on drug-resistant tuberculosis.
Neither of these stories was one I had to pick up, but I felt they were both important to tell.
So I’ve learned that Lyme disease presents in so many different ways, it can be incredibly difficult to diagnose.
And I’ve learned that tuberculosis can infect far more than just lungs: joints, the brain, even intestines. Yes, intestinal tuberculosis is a thing. An explosive thing.
Knowledge may be power, but power corrupts, right? And I feel like there’s a place somewhere here for an extension of the simmering water metaphor—a watched pot never boils, or something. Except I’m always watching that pot, and it’s boiling away despite the constant scrutiny.
There’s an awkward work-home balance I haven’t yet mastered. Unless I decide to focus, professionally, on nothing but fun features, I’m going to be staring sickness in the face. And not just sickness, but murder and fraud and rape and all the dirty stuff that proliferates if no one’s there to shine a light on it. And even then. There’s no avoiding it in my line of work, and so, for me, there’s no avoiding the fuel constantly getting thrown on the fire.
Or I should say the knob constantly getting turned up.
This helps: the writing. It keeps me from watching the pot, directly, so I can’t see whether it’s boiling or not.
But I would like to figure out a way to get it off the stove completely someday. Or at least move it to a smaller burner.