Thursday, June 21, 2007

Stop worrying!

You know what my problem is? I worry too much.

How many times have you heard someone say that? Not many...
Think I'm wrong? Read it again...

People don't say, "You know what my problem is? I worry too much."
Yeah, now you're with me. They usually say, "You know what your problem is? You worry too much."

Where am I going with this? Back to the original statement:
You know what my problem is? I worry too much.

I do worry too much. And it's not usually about anything worth worrying about. It's odd. Oftentimes, when I find myself in a situation that would be worth worrying about, I feel calm and act on the mindset that things will turn out the way they turn out and there's no sense in worrying about it.

That said, I worry about the silliest things. Whether I'm thinking too much about something I can't control. Whether I should be stepping a certain way when I'm dancing. What will happen if I don't get my laundry done on the night I originally planned to do it on. When's the bus coming?--When's the bus coming?--When's the bus coming?

I say "the silliest things" because they are, when you really think about it.

Am I thinking too much about this?
Yes. You are. Stop thinking about how much you're thinking about it. Move on. If you're gonna think about it, you're gonna think about it. If you're not, you're not. No point in worrying about the time spent thinking (or not) about it.

Should I be stepping that way when I do a swing-out?
On the surface of things, that's a valid question. But context is key here. I generally ask myself that question while social dancing - exactly when I shouldn't be thinking about it. Save it for the practice session later in the week! For now, just enjoy a night of dancing!

What will happen if I don't get my laundry done tonight?
Um, it'll get done another night. So what if you planned to do it tonight? Things change, evenings fill up, rework the schedule. It's not the end of the world.

When's the bus coming?
When it comes. MBTA buses - not the most reliable timetable. If you're worried about being late (a somewhat more valid thing to worry about, to be sure), there's a very simple solution: LEAVE EARLIER.

It's so funny, because the problem is not that I don't know the obvious answers to my 'worrywart' questions. The problem is that I can't stop them from bubbling up. The nervous stomachache comes and I can't think straight and I'm off in worry-land again without really knowing how I got there. It always takes me a minute to get my bearings and understand what it is I'm worrying over.

It's something I'd really like to cut out of my life. Maybe it's impossible to cut out completely. We do have the word worry in our language for a reason. It's an emotional response just like anger and happiness and surprise. But the silly worrying over things I can't control needs to stop. I just don't know how to stop the cycle of worrying before I realize I'm worrying.

The worst of it is, sometimes when I get my bearings in worry-land, I figure out that I'm worrying about worrying too much, and find that I'm actually not really all that worried about anything in particular besides whether I'm worrying too much.

It's like an addiction, in a way. It's so ingrained in my system, that I find I don't know what I'd do if I wasn't worrying about something. And I don't like that at all. I'd so much prefer to be focused on something more worthwhile.

So, I'm outside the norm when I say:
You know what my problem is? I worry too much.

But, hey, it's true. Now I just need to figure out how to falsify that statement in my life and get on with other things.

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