“Closing the Loop”

There’s a lot of loathsome corporate-isms that I’d be fine “taking offline” indefinitely and don’t ever want to “circle back” on. But there’s one that I think perfectly and unironically describes what drives me. Have you ever been on a long, meandering email chain (99% of them), and someone bravely jumps in to “close the loop” on the initial request? I realized recently that “closing the loop” is the primary driver in everything I do.

I hate leaving things open ended. I want to get an answer and when one isn’t readily available, I want to feel like things are moving forward. There was a start and now there is an end and it feels euphoric to cross that item off my list, thank you. Some people call this personality Type A – Ambitious or Anal, I’ll accept both.

So why am I like this? Well it goes back to my need for control. Everything does. I want to know what’s happening, before it’s happening. I want to be one step ahead of everyone else. Planning and preparation and nailing down a date on a calendar months in advance is what I am all about. Wow, that doesn’t sound fun, you might be saying to yourself. Fair! It is not all fun and restaurant reservation games. Sometimes it is extremely stressful to live in my head because if you self-appoint yourself to be in charge, and choose to put the collective responsibilities on your shoulders, who’s fault is it if it all goes to shit? Yours! Also how terrifying is it that you can do everything and things still don’t go to plan? Which brings me to my next point.

Lately I’ve been experimenting with relinquishing control. Letting go and believing that if it was meant to be, it will happen. No amount of following-up, and fixating and exclamation points and calling ahead, will change it. Fate! Maybe it’s not just an overused plot device in every John Cusack rom-com I used to own on DVD and now use as coasters. (RIP Serendipity.)

Here’s another embarrassing but 100% on brand revelation I had recently: That line in the graduation sunscreen class of ’99 song speaks to my soul, “Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing Bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4 PM on some idle Tuesday.” 

Believe me, I want to find some way to mock that, I have tried, but it’s very real to me. I don’t want to believe that things are out of my control but maybe that would relieve some of the burden I carry with me on a daily basis. I need to do what I can, but know there is a rhythm to the universe and if I put good energy out, then it will return to me. I am aware this is getting very new agey and don’t worry, I’ve already rolled my eyes at myself multiple times while writing this. But I have to let some of it go and probably start doing yoga again.

As always, I write to understand, both myself and others. I want to know what drives other people’s decisions and actions. Are you out to “close the loop” or are you more comfortable letting things unfold naturally? There is no gray area, you can only be one or the other. Just kidding.


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