Earlier today, I was sitting at my desk and I could feel a wave of anxiety creeping up inside me. In order to get a sense of why, I sat with the feeling for a moment.
When I was a kid, my father expected that we would contribute around the house. Almost without fail, when he returned home from work, he’d ask, “What did you do today?”
He wasn’t asking about homework, bike rides or softball games. He was talking about things like raking the yard, weeding the garden and cleaning up after the dogs.
One time, I foolishly suggested, “Maybe you could write a list of things you want done.” He replied, “You need a list of things that obviously need to be done? Just look around. You should be smart enough to figure it out.”
‘What did you do today?’ began as a question I dreaded my father would ask at the dining room table and it became a question I’ve asked myself each day.
I’m certainly not alone in asking myself these questions and feeling this self-perpetrated anxiety. The question that fuels my anxiety has also driven me to a modicum of success. So it’s not about eliminating the anxiety. It’s about maintaining the balance between the negative and positive effects.