I made a cup of coffee shortly before a meeting. Minutes later, before I even felt the warmth of the mug soak into my hands, my Traveling Partner was finally getting it through to me that the electrician who had just arrived would be cutting the power while he worked. Well, shit. I mean… I knew he was coming. It was on the calendar. I chose to work from home anyway (really needed the bigger dual monitors for the project I was seeking to complete), because the last time the electrician came around, or so it seemed to me, the power was only very briefly disrupted. Maybe I wasn’t home for that? Something had gone wrong with my planning, for sure. My partner finally succeeded in communicating through my “focus fog” that I wasn’t going to be able to work much longer in my office at home… so, I packed my things “right quick” and headed to the nearby cowork space…

My anxiety flared up hard-core. Did I have everything? Would traffic be bad? Would I hit all red lights? Would I get to my meeting on time? Would there be a nearby parking spot? Would I get my equipment set up fast enough? Would there be an open workstation for me? I hammered my brain with what-if scenarios all the way to the office. It’s only a 2.5 mile drive… but it was also midday. Lunch time “downtown”. I fussed the whole way there, but…

A. I hit all the traffic lights green.

B. Traffic wasn’t bad.

C. There was an open parking spot right by the front door.

D. My usual workstation was available for me.

E. I got my equipment set up quite quickly – with minutes to spare.

Oh, but that streak of luck ended when I logged in and went to my calendar; I forgot my headset. Wtf?!? Damn it. I asked the receptionist if she had a spare laying about…but no. The facility manager overheard me, and offered me a pair of wired earbuds of unknown origin, that she quickly wiped down with a disinfecting wipe. Fine. That works. I was most appreciative – and I made it to my meeting precisely on time. 😀

I got the work done I needed to. The electrical work got done, too. My Traveling Partner let me know once all that was finished. I wrapped up the work in front of me, and the day seems to finish on a good note. I sit for a minute with a warm mug of herb tea – it’s a bit too late for coffee at this point.

What I’m saying, I guess, is that my anxiety may have flared up, but it wasn’t any more real than any other imaginings of whatever sort. It had no particular bearing on the actual outcomes. No relationship to real life at all. A lot more small bullshit could have gone wrong. I’d have handled it if it had. Anxiety is unpleasant to experience, sometimes difficult to manage, but it lacks substance. It’s “not real” – or, to be more clear, it’s no more real than I make it.

The day winds down. I’m tired. It’s time to begin again.