My perspective #43: “Attachment anxiety.” Let me explain.

Hello, everyone, I have an announcement to make. 

Ahem. Sniff.

I have attachment anxiety. (This is where you politely clap).

Okay, okay, I admit it, I’m being a little hyperbolic and ridiculous in the title. However, I do have a certain ownership-attachment to whatever thing I say yes to or with whomever I make arrangements or whatever task I tap into my calendar.

(A far cry from “event anxiety” which you can read My Perspective on here, but I digress…)

My “ownership-attachment” isn’t quite as bad as an actual attachment anxiety disorder, but it’s a close second.  Although, I have zero qualms saying no to different things, people or meetings, I have an equally strong lean to ensuring the things that I do agree to actually happen. 

Because I try to make everything a priority, everything has to get done – timely. So, from important things like paying my mortgage, meeting an employee face-to-face, getting an oil change, meeting a buddy for dinner or journaling to the basic things like taking the trash out or folding towels, all of these obligations aren’t less significant than any other to me. They all carry a weight of importance. (Clearly, a family matter or an unusual emergency would trump any schedule-related thing.) 

Mostly, I strive to live by a certain “life” ethose, which I invite you to read here.

Now, I’m not sO obsessed about it that I can’t shift something to another time slot or another day entirely, but the notion of not doing something at all or putting it off to some nebulous, nondescript time like “later” or “tomorrow,” doesn’t really make the cut in my head. I develop a weird torment if I put off a task or commitment when I don’t do something that I say I’ll do or don’t assign an actual time to do it. 

Please understand, I’m not perfect and I don’t follow my own rules and standards perfectly, but I do have a prescription for what I expect of myself. So, to admit that I’m not perfect isn’t a cop out for when I drop the ball, I just don’t beat myself up over it (and try darn hard not to drop the ball).

For example: if I have a meeting at 8 in the morning (which is infrequent, but it does happen), journaling, getting coffee for my wife, exercising or having a quiet time doesn’t make those things any less important because of some meeting all of a sudden. I just simply have to get up earlier if the things I say I’ll do are actually that important to me. BUT, if for some reason, one of those things doesn’t happen, it’s not end of the world, by any stretch, but I will assess & realign. 

(However, if I value my life, the coffee is a non-negotiable.)

Now, none of this approach is about “productivity” or “efficiency” (although those qualities are inherent byproducts), but rather for me it’s about following through, being dependable, being reliable and having credibility. Those things are hugely important to me and qualities I hope and pray I can exemplify to my child.

So, I’m not saying anyone should adopt this approach of making everything a priority by attaching an ownership to it, but rest assured, if I say I’ll help you move your couch, that agreement ranks right up there with folding my socks.

Referenced links: “Event Anxiety” here, Arena Disciplina ethos here. 

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