“Worry is like a rocking chair. It will give you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” - Proverb
There seems to be a lot to worry about these days: global warming, internet trolls, politicians, terrorism, racism, sexism, all types of -isms, GMO’s, guns and more guns, violence, ignorance, incompetence, insincerity, insanity, insensitivity, and almost any other -in word . Worry could become all consuming, if we let it cleave onto our psyche. But what does worrying solve? Does it change the situation? Does it alter the circumstances? Does it give solutions?
All worrying does is make us worry more. Medical professionals hypothesize constant worry and anxiety may lead to other more serious ailments such as severe headaches, sleep disorders, chronic pain, and dementia. Medications are prescribed, therapists are contacted, and the anxiety is acknowledged, but do they get to the root of the issue?
I come from a long line of worriers. My father was consumed with anxiety. He agonized over bills, his children’s safety, and the family’s general well-being. He struggled with high blood pressure, had an extreme phobia of heights, and had bouts of insomnia. All of these have haunted his children and grandchildren who have suffered through similar symptoms. We have coped in various ways from sleeping pills to anti-depressants to copious amounts of wine, but we all accept that worry is ingrained in our DNA.
Life is hard. I know that. It is full of danger and unexpected news. I worry every day about the safety of our children and grandchildren. I worry about our future. I worry about financial stability. I worry about bed bugs and food poisoning and Donald Trump. (Wait…Aren’t those three the same things? But I digress…)
How do I stop worry from consuming my daily existence? I don’t want to live trapped in a fog of fear. I think the best solution is to acknowledge the worry. Say good morning to it, and then place it on a shelf. I may come back to it during the day, but I am not going to live with it choking my every breath. I know you are there, Worry. You will not lead me down a frightful road today.
Because today I will laugh out loud. I will hug old friends. I will write what is in my heart. I will kiss my husband. I will dance in the car to a familiar tune. I will read a glorious novel. I will breath in and I will breathe out. Today I will leave worry on the shelf. Today I will embrace joy.
“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” - Leo Buscaglia