WOW Word-Of-the-Week #299: Anxious

May 17, 2010 by  

Anxious – what we feel when we are out of our comfort zone.

Do you remember the last time you felt anxious? Do you spend time worrying about future events? How do you feel when you do something you’ve never done before?

I don’t consider myself to be an anxious person. This week we got home from our 51 day “Asia Tour” and I have to admit I was a bit anxious before I left. I was feeling apprehensive. What if I didn’t pack enough clothes? Over half of the trip was unbearably hot and humid. The other cold, damp and wet. On top of that, we had the baggage weight restrictions to contend with. No more than 44 lbs. without getting charged. We were clearly over our weight!

Then there were all of the medications, lotions, cosmetics, prescriptions. What if I forgot something?

Then there was the feeling of leaving our home and making sure everything was taken care of. We had our very competent Amy staying here with a list of everyone she could call in the event of an emergency. Did I miss someone?

Then there was the thought of no travel insurance. What if something happens to my one of my friends or family while we’re gone? (We told everyone we weren’t coming home)

And once I got on the plane I went right into my “planned spontaneity.” If I forgot something I would just have to buy it. If something happened I would just deal with it.

Then there was the earthquake on April 4th. Did it do any damage to our home?

As it turned out, out of 19 flights we only got charged for excess baggage once.  We love the United Star Alliance and Delta Sky Team rewards. (Don’t leave home without those cards)
We had packed everything we needed. We had email and stayed in communication with everyone. When the sprinkler broke Amy handled it. As for the earthquake, no one was hurt (but definitely shaken up, no pun intended) and we only had one broken plate that was on the fireplace mantel.

This week think about what anxious means to you. Does it bring up dread? How do you feel when you are out of your comfort zone? How much time do you spend worrying about some future event?

Reader Responses

“I really enjoy your weekly word. I’m still using it in my monthly newsletter. Thanks.” – Debbie

“Do not try to compete with this one – its in a ‘class by itself’. I loved the “first person witness stuff” because I started out in broadcasting. The four-color print was a marvelous bonus. How in God’s name did you manage to get away for 51 days??? The chemistry of being gone so long combined with all the fresh ideas you came home with combined to give your column an extraordinary boost!! Congratulations on a great article and a successful trip.” – PC

“Dick and I enjoy the FUN-damentals of Work & on the Playground of Life!  I love the picture of the huge fish.  Hope you had a great time in China.” – Geri

We all feel anxiety. I don’t think any of us is immune to the feeling, mainly because there are so many things we are responsible for as we grow into our lives. Invariably, there will be things we get anxious about. I can relate to your trip anxiety. There are so many things to take care of ahead of time: tickets, hotels, ground transportation, packing, work and family obligations. Just remembering to do everything before we leave can cause a great deal of anxiety. Before we leave, Kristen likes to have me set up an additional litter box for our cat and make sure both are clean. So, taking care of that and cleaning the house  are two more things we have to remember before we leave. Then, we have to remember to take little Emma Phoebe’s car seat. Kristen gets a lot more anxious than I do, but that is really more her nature. I just try to remain the calm, cool and collected one. We have a routine down by now, but there will always be the anxious moments. I just try to remind Kristen when she begins to get anxious before a trip that all we have to do is take care of one thing at a time and it all gets done. She has a tendency to get way ahead of herself in terms of preparation. So, I ask her what it is I can do to help to reduce her anxiety. As long as I can stay cool, everything usually works out. There also is a lot of anxiety when we don’t have control over things. Trying to just take care of what I can control is the best, and I try to let everything else work out. And, it usually does. Thanks, Susan. Have a great week. We are in the midst of a nice spring.” – Joe