worry wart

I try not to worry, really I do. It seems like a colossal waste of time.

But sometimes, it all comes creeping in on me…the little niggling fears, the stress, the doubts, the thunder.

And then I am there, in the Land of Worry, and just like Oz, I can’t find my way out. The what-ifs become strong possibilities, the might-nevers become probabilities. It keeps me up at night, if I let it. And I try not to let it, but there are moments of weakness, we all have them, and then I am there, eyes open, wondering, pondering, wasting good sleep.

I worry about my health and money and my husband and my kids and my parents and my future and my past and what I ate for dinner (potato chips, so?) and my knees and my garden and that thing I said to so and so for which they will never forgive me…

I never meant to be a worry wart. And most of the time, I’m not.
I look on the bright side, I strive to be happy, to let things go, to know, in my heart, that the only person whose behavior I can really control is my own.

And yet, here I am. Both my sons smoke cigarettes. I worry. My parents are getting older, I worry. Things are slow with my graphics business. I worry. I’m feeling nauseous a lot lately. I worry. My husband seems distant. I worry. My basements floods. I worry. What if I’m really just wasting my time? I worry. You probably
don’t want to hear about this. I worry.

Each worry works its way into my mind and takes up residence, even though I have made it perfectly clear that no invitation was extended. I ask them to leave, and they smile, saying, “Yes, perhaps tomorrow.” I beg, I plead, “I need sleep,” I say, and they pat me on the head, “There, there.”

And don’t even get me started on the big things, the things that you can worry yourself sick about, the government, the environment, health care, retirement, natural disasters, Lindsay Lohan. (Okay, just kidding about that one.) I can’t even go there, to the big worry room, because I just know I will never get out.

Oh hello, Mr. Worry. Won’t you come and sit on my lap for a bit?
I’m going to give you a little hug and maybe even a kiss.

And then I’m going to squash you like a bug.

Oops, sorry. That was downright mean.

I’ll have to worry about that, later.

17 Responses to “worry wart”

  • Antoinette Vogt Says:

    I worry that you wrote this about me! It could easily be.

  • Skye Says:

    When I was a little kid (?! What does a little kid have to think about that would keep them up at night?! Goodness!) I developed this method of getting to sleep:
    I would recreate the experience of being in a shallow creek, with fast moving water, when I would grab some weeds on the bottom so I could lie flat & watch the water carrying sticks away on the surface…And I would do that with my thoughts. I “got underneath” them; I noticed, even then, that if I didn’t ENGAGE with my thoughts they were just background traffic noise…And I’d go back to sleep!
    Wise little 8 or 9 year old: I still use her technique successfully decades later!!

  • Julie Mangano Says:

    Oh my gosh — were we separated at birth? I worry about the same things, the same ways. Drives my husband crazy, since he’s worried about things, oh, maybe twice in his life and not once during our marriage. Seriously, we need to talk.

  • Kathryn Says:

    He, he, he, it’s good to know that I’m not the only Worry Wart about the place. Love the technique that Skye describes, might just have to try that. Here’s wishing you a ‘worry free’ remainder of the week and a good nights sleep.

  • Debi Says:

    From a fellow worrier/warrior. You forgot did I turn off the iron? for which I have turned around and retraced 30 miles of backroad to check, which led to buying an auto-off iron. Telling that to a friend, a fellow worrier, he said “And you trust that?”. You forgot has this sandwich which has mayonnaise in it been out of the fridge too long? LOL! We could be worse. Another friend worries about Ebola striking her in upstate Michigan, another won’t go on the ocean in a boat because sharks eat boats.

    I only worry about the small things. Like whether eating this 3rd donut will be a bad decision.


  • Kate Says:

    I like how Skye gets around it. I may try that next time. I have a friend who would just take a tylenol pm and close her eyes . . .

  • Nana Says:

    I worry that you’re such a worry wart 🙂 But then so am I a worry wart. You poor child, you probably inherited it from me . Now I have that to worry about, LOL.

  • jillsy Says:

    I think Debi and I could be related!! Hubby gets so irritated with me about that darn iron!! 🙂 And if I smell the slightest trace of gas in the house…yikes!! Not to mention when hubby gets up on the roof or tries to fix an electrical problem!

  • jillsy Says:

    btw…brilliant photo!!

  • Jennie Says:

    That really is a brilliant photo, I agree with the previous commenter. I am practicing the art of letting go. More than once a day now, I tell myself to let go. And I try. And it helps 🙂 It feels really good to do so.

  • lisaschaos Says:

    Oh I worry way too much too. I have tried to let it go, and for the most part I’m doing better, but I have so many worries they totally mess me up. Maybe we need to sit down with some coffee and chat them out.

  • Jo Says:

    Both worry and anxiety leave me in tangled knots time and time again. Chatting them through with someone else invariably helps though – giving things perspective and sometimes even uncovering the underlying cause. Its helped too focusing my energy and attention on the things I CAN change (ie my responses), rather than on those that are completely outside my control. But what I’m slowly realising is that we can waste so much precious time and energy (let alone sleep) by being concerned about things that may never actually happen, rather than enjoying our lives and loved ones as much as we possibly can. Life is simply too short!
    Much love to you.
    hugs xxx

  • whollyjeanne Says:

    i despise the ones that say “there, there.” i try to squash them flat without so much as offering a lure, a come hither. but hey, on the bright side (and i’m told there is one), i read this twice and didn’t see George’s name mentioned once.

  • Linda Wolf (Insanely Serene) Says:

    First of all, I agree, the photo is fabulous – and what a nice contrast – have you ever seen a worried cat? Ha!

    Next, from a fellow worrier to another: you can beat it! It’s a nasty habit. I’ve had to replace it with something more positive – getting present in the moment is really the only antidote I’ve ever found to worry. Worry is a coping mechanism I developed as a kid, when I had no control over anything in my environment – it was all I “could” do. And guess, what? It didn’t help. Things still happened, bad and good, whether I worried or not.

    Ever hear this, “Your best hope is as likely as your worst fear”? That helps me let things go.

    Another good “get-to-sleep” practice is to run through the alphabet, naming something you’re grateful that begins with each letter. I rarely get to Z before falling asleep.

    Love the post, made me laugh, thanks!


  • elk Says:

    i completely understand … it can be overwhelming at times…i think the image you paired with this is perfect…the cat knows!

  • susanlorelei Says:

    Oh what a wonderful post! You are not alone there woman! And after all the stress and worry then we have the oil spill to gnaw over.

    That’s why I started riding my bike so I could take a break briefly of the worry and stress. But then sometimes I worry I’ve been gone to long, what if it gets dark … etc.. LOL

    Geez we need to stop this!

  • beth Says:

    my hubby worries….and i tell him it’s a wasted emotion.

    he tells me to shut up….in the nicest way of course.

    ps….my son smokes, too and i just hate it so much.

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