This morning I was asking myself a very effective real question. It was during my morning run to drop the kids off at their schools. By this point I have been racing around quite a while, getting everyone ready to go off for the day, and I’m often quite anxious. (Nicola leaves for her teaching job pretty early, so it’s up to me to get the kids to school.) A lot of it is that I don’t want to get back home a minute later than I have to, because I want to get down to work as soon as possible.
So what I kept asking myself was some variation on, “What will happen if I’m not anxious?” There were lots of variations: Would it be so bad if I just left out being anxious? What harm will come of it? Will the world end? Do I really have to do this? What actual good is it doing me?
There were lots of opportunities: waiting to make a difficult turn, waiting for the school office to open, going back to the car to get Michael’s “hunter” (plastic safari guide), etc. I didn’t use all the opportunities, but I did use enough of them to get the clear sense that no harm whatsoever would come from me being totally free of anxiety. I could still be alert enough for gaps in the traffic so I could make the difficult turn. I could still do everything just fine. The anxiety, I plainly saw, was totally needless. It actually served no useful purpose, except stressing the hell out of me.
Anyway, I didn’t have any earth-shattering realization. But I did arrive home way more relaxed and stress-free than usual. And I thought it would be good to pass those questions on in case you might get something out of them.