Trouble in Paradise or just another day therein? | ALL ABOARD

A couple of weeks ago during morning coffee with the boys, I noticed after a few lukewarm sips that I was the only one at the table not complaining.

Lately I have had other unusual symptoms which do not seem to be discussed in my network of senior citizen cliques, a throwback to our high school versions, but without the whispering.

None of us can hear well enough to whisper.

These non-aforementioned symptoms of which no one speaks are pretty rampant in my mind and body.

Maybe you have the same issues.

Are you suffering from excessive amounts of joyousness?

Is your peace of mind often interrupted by segments of intense appreciation and gratitude?

Is boredom absent in your day-to-day world?

Are you easily tolerating the idiosyncratic eccentricities of others, finding yourself unable to gossip or judge?

Have you experienced unexpected and unanticipated acts of deep mental clarity?

Welcome to the club.

These are just a few of the classic symptoms of the little- known and little-appreciated curse of ATD, also known as A Tension Deficit.

Not to be confused with ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder, ATD or A Tension Deficit is often found in small animals, particularly domesticated felines and canines.

After I checked my symptoms on Web MD, I realized that none of these were recognized as problematic. Many cultures, particularly European, are apparently often seen laughing, celebrating and supporting one another.

The common thread in all the symptoms I have been experiencing is a total lack of stress.

To rid myself of these peaceful and comfortable experiences of joy, laughter and hope, I was advised in a chat room at to volunteer for a position of extreme stress.

The top three time-released stressful activities, according to, include repossession of a car, foreclosure of a home or being named executor in the probate matter of someone unknown to you.

Knowing that I was too busy being joyous, and feeling too blessed to share my joy with others, I did a search on Google for a volunteer position as personal representative in an estate which would involve both a vehicle repossession and a home foreclosure.

In a milli-second, there appeared several super-stressful estate opportunities throughout Arizona.

Having always enjoyed the lore of the Wild West, I settled on an estate in Prescott, knowing that I would be able to be just like Hopalong Cassidy, stressed out from travel, slamming down sarsaparillas at the Palace Saloon on Whiskey Row. Maybe even sitting in a chair occupied in a poker game by Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday or his cowgirl squeeze, Big Nose Kate.

Upon landing in Phoenix in 95-degree heat, I was overcome by the extreme comfort and warmth of walking into a wood-stove climate, not unlike being in my Freeland caboose.

Like Professor Irwin Corey says, “Wherever you go, there you are.”

No matter the stress I try to create, suffering from ATD, there just isn’t anything I can do about it.

In fact, our whole family has it.

It is not easy in today’s world living without medication, but we shall not complain.

We’re all ATD here.

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