9/24/11: the uselessness of worry

Often, I don’t sleep for worry. Last night I worried myself sleepless over three things: having returned 5 books on CD to the wrong library and now what?; news that I have another job I could start as soon as next week and how will I manage two jobs?; and concern that my trusty Subaru is having a problem starting and how will I get to work if it fails me? I worried about various other things too, all in the context of feeling like it’s not going to be possible for me to work and 1) take care of myself; 2) write; and 3) maintain a reasonably tranquil inner state. In other words, about 1/3 of my worrying is about worrying itself.

I have had so many emotional problems associated with jobs (and intimate relationships–but I’ve given up on those, so that is a problem solved). It’s not surprising that these anxieties arise after several almost blissful months of joblessness and daily writing, much silence, and limited interaction with others. I think more than anything, I hate finding myself in this anxious state, because I know from years of experience that most things work themselves out without my worrying about them; worrying doesn’t fix anything; and (again) about 1/3 of worrying is about worrying.

So I called the Pierce County library, and was told that they will return the books to Tacoma library for me. No problem!

The delightful technician at Subaru, who came to the phone after the tiniest possible wait on hold, listened carefully as we made noises at each other that we both totally understood (now that’s communication), told me not to worry, the sounds Ms. Subi is making are not unusual and do not indicate a problem. No problem again!

About working, I had an awful day Wednesday, but a better day yesterday. My motto is to stay cheerful no matter what happens. The staff I’ve worked with at Planned Parenthood in Tacoma in the past are for the most part delightful people; even after I left, I’ve enjoyed some socializing with them as they get married or have a house-warming party. Me socializing, imagine that! 

I prefer to think of myself, probably foolishly, as someone who doesn’t scare easily, nor worry needlessly. I didn’t think about the satellite junk falling on my home last night, but I suppose it could have. I live near the McChord Air Force Base, and sometimes their jets fly in so low and loud over this house that it does scare me. There is so much to worry about really—the daily monstrous misery and suffering and violence in the world—and I suppose my little worries are mostly a stand-in for the real things that are worth not worrying about, but doing something about.


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2 Responses to 9/24/11: the uselessness of worry

  1. Robin says:

    You sound like Hilda, Ede and Charlotte (and I suppose Esther, though I don’t remember her as a worrier) rolled into one :-) The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. (Being from the same tree, yoga and meditation seem to work for me.) Really, worrying doesn’t help. If the books had to be dealt with, the car had a serious problem, and work gets difficult, you will solve it the same way if you ignore it till it’s real as you will if you worry all night — well, maybe the job could be helped by some productive worrying, but only if your worrying is productive.

    • Robin, perhaps I do sound like the women in my family, I certainly have begun to look like the women in my family (more on my dad’s side than our shared side, though). But I don’t write with a sense of faithfulness to truth, I write to describe what happens to be on my mind at a very particular moment. Actually, I probably worry less than anyone I know.

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