Tuesday, September 4, 2007

An end of worrying

I had some major, looming things to worry about last week and today they are all gone, because everything turned out to be fine. Since I spend a fair amount of my life worrying, I also like to worry about worrying, and never is this more true than when something I was worried about is suddenly shown to be no worry at all. Then I reflect on how much time I spent worrying needlessly, in the hope that the next time I get worried about something, I can remember the times I worried needlessly.

And isn't all worrying ultimately needless, anyway? Even if what one fears comes to pass, how exactly does it help to have worried about it? I'm not talking about *thinking* about what one fears -- it can be useful to think about the worst that could happen and devise strategies in case such a thing did happen. I'm talking about worrying, obsessing really, over something that is completely out of your control (while ignoring other matters, such as work, that are in your control, as one of my friends likes to point out to me, for which I'm grateful).

After all, the bad thing either will or will not happen. Instead of being so vague, let me just say that in this case I was awaiting the outcome of some medical tests, which turned out to be negative (in that good way that is only true of medical tests). I kept trying to diagnose myself over the internet, which should probably be outlawed, or perhaps some kind of filter akin to parental filters could be devised for the semi-hypochondriacal. I worried and worried and cried and couldn't sleep, and everything turned out to be fine.

Of course I'm happy, but I want that time back.

At the very least, I want to not spend any more time like that in the future. I don't know how to accomplish this, exactly. One of my favorite bosses once said to me "good people worry" -- I'm not sure what I think of that now. Some things I think it's right to worry about, such as other people's feelings -- that's a worry that can influence one's behavior toward others.

It's possible that useless fretting has its roots in a lack of one's ability to handle whatever happens, so I could work on bolstering that confidence -- after all, I've handled everything that's come my way so far.

In the interest of worrying less, I share this image of someone who clearly never worries at all:


Melissa Kirsch said...

HOOORAYYYYYY!!!!! An End to Worry!!! Yay!!

Catherine said...

Thank you dahlink!