This week will be filled with playoff hockey, second on my list of annual awesome things only to opening night in October. The Nashville Predators drew the Detroit Red Wings for the third time, with the added twist of having home ice advantage. I will be at the first two games and propped in front of a television at a bar somewhere for the following away games. Game 5 will not be in the cards because the tickets for Aziz Ansari at TPAC are already purchased for that night.

"Frustration" is an ill-applied theme as of late. Barring the success of the hockey club, this spring isn't really going according to plan. But that might not be the right word for it. Perhaps it's just quarter-life angst driving me to restlessness, and those missing plans that nothing is following is really just all in my head. I mistreat people I care about dearly because I am too preoccupied with everything that is "wrong" rather than acknowledging how good things really are.

Some of the frustration is justified. I have failed three times to get up and run a 5K this year simply because I overslept, or made up some other excuse. That was not a problem last year. I put in volunteer hours last year planting trees; this year I shy away from just about any cause that could use a hand for weak excuses. There are dozens of other things that fall into this category.

Most of this won't be fixed by attacking the problem head on or any of that motivational lip service I hear a lot of. It will first be remedied by relaxing and to stop being wound up about it. Brace yourself, here comes a sports analogy.

Why does a golfer's swing go bad? Why can't a hockey player hit the net? Or a basketball player get a free throw to drop? Baseball pitcher. Kicker. Those clutch players suddenly cannot do what they have done thousands of times before.

Many reasons. But if they already had developed the skill, it's likely just because they are too rigid to make it happen. Gripping the stick too hard. Nerves. Fear of failure. All in the head.

Relaxing and trusting in one's own ability is nearly impossible when frustration sets in. Happens at work and in relationships too. I know that I have a hard time getting back to fundamentals after the swearing starts.

It's solvable. Just relax.