1. Begin dreading the start of debate season as soon as the previous season ends. Seriously, take one day to relish the end of the season and then begin realizing that in 8 months it will all begin again.
2. Plan what you will wear. Realize you don't have to plan what you will wear because you always wear the same things.
3. Mentally run through every possible interaction that could occur over the course of the tournament. Brace yourself for the reality that you will have to be "on" for literally days on end. Your public face may very well crack and fall off. Actually, that might be kind of fun. Indulge in this fantasy for awhile.
4. Try to remember why you *like* debate: you love the competition, you love the kill, you thrive on the adrenaline...oh, wait: that was when you were a kid and actually debating. Try to remember why you like debate now: you like coaching your daughter, you enjoy judging. You realize you don't get to judge this tournament. Cycle back to #3 on this list.
5. Worry about what will happen if you get the kind of migraine where you absolutely can't function. This is a very real worry. There is no solution. In theory, this should mean that you don't worry about it, as worrying will have no effect. Ha!
6. Begin counting down the weeks, days, and hours until the tournament begins.
7. Try to convince yourself that you really do like tournaments once you're there! That you're overly dramatic and you blow things way out of proportion. Almost convince yourself.
8. Console yourself with the incontrovertible fact that the minute you officially start this season, you are one step closer to finishing it.
9. Acknowledge that #8 is no way to live your life. That you should embrace every experience and relish every moment.
10. Grant #9...you do! At home! By yourself or with immediate family. The rest you endure...or tolerate...for the sake of your children.
Disclaimer: the above is a true and actual representation of what goes through my mind during tournament season. Surely I'm not alone in this...having said that, I do have an advantage over others who share my personality type, in that I actually *do* love debate, so it's not as if I had to spend three days at a wrestling meet or something (although, at a wrestling meet, couldn't I just sit and knit and pretend to watch?!).