Next week I am escorting my 90-year in-laws from their home in Florida to their daughter’s home up North. This is the permanent move, the letting go of one phase of their lives for the next, which I have written about before.
Much of the preparation work is done now. The house is mostly packed, the minor touch-ups necessary to put it on the market are in progress, the reservations for the auto-train have been made, and I’m flying down on Saturday to supervise the movers and accompany the parents on their journey.
My adorable father-in-law keeps sending me emails where he expresses his worry about my travel plans (all safely in the bag for several weeks) and apologizing in advance for all the questions he’s been saving up for me, for the reliance he will have to place on me when I arrive, and for not being able to be the manager of this move. He sounds pretty anxious, but it’s an anxiety I recognize, the anxiety of having taken all the steps you can take, and of reaching the stage where you are forced to rely on others to do what they need to do. You’ve been pushing things forward, taking action, for so long that you can’t stop taking action, even when there is no action to take. So your brain keeps looking for more to do, and you start overthinking things, and boom – anxiety!
So what do you do when this happens? How do you get rid of this nervous energy? It’s a useful skill to have.
One person I know expends the energy by exercising. That’s a good technique and good for you, too!
My team used to manage me by giving me a project, something detailed that I could focus on that would keep me away from them while they completed their work. That worked, too: kept me busy.
If you’re really self-aware, you could meditate. Many of us are not self-aware enough to recognize this or to take action on it in the moment.
Although next week promises to be stressful and demanding, with a lot of challenges, I am not anxious about it because my job is simple: reassure the VIPs, keep them calm, and deliver the precious cargo to the destination.
And help them manage their anxiety.