Tuesday, December 11, 2012

If You are a Worrier, Don't Read This Entry

Dear Diary,

Lately I have been inundated with "Don't be afraid" messages from blogs, books and Bible studies.  Don't let fear keep you from saying "yes" to God.  Don't let fear keep you from following your dreams.  Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.  Don't be afraid to try something new.  Etcetera, etcetera. 

These are certainly worthwhile messages, which are usually either preceded or followed by several chapters of reasoning, rationalizing, or how-to-ing.  Doctors, psycho-analysts, and the spiritually gifted are available to offer life-changing solutions for our life-changing fears.

Except the message I need to hear is "Don't be afraid of the little things."  The little worries that keep me up at night, or steal away productive time during the day.  Petty, sometimes irrational things that are not in my control -- which is obviously the reason I worry about them.

Here are some useless worries I have: 
Did the dog take full advantage of his "outside time" before bedtime?  What if he needs to pee in the night?  How will he sleep if he's uncomfortable?  He may suffer in silence and not get any sleep at all.  Or he will whine and then I'll have to get up and take him outside.  Ugh, I'd hate that.

One may insert a child's name in place of the dog.  jk!
Or this one:

What time is it?  10:06?  Isn't the host of WXYZ radio station supposed to stop for traffic and weather on the fives?  But it's 06....nope, now its 07.  They are really running behind this time.  They need to get that caller to stop yapping and cut to the traffic girl.  Why don't they interrupt?  Can't they see the time?  I don't even need to know the traffic and weather since I heard it 10 minutes ago, but their programming will be all messed up if they don't wrap this up.  What will their boss think? Oh, finally.  Two minutes late by my clock.

Yeah.  I get bothered if the schedule is not followed.  I blame this on my paternal genes and not on any character trait unique to me.

Oh, great, here I am revealing to all who read this diary what my petty little worries are.  I am really setting myself up for some ridicule now.  They are going to think I'm an idiot.  Or a control freak.  I don't want them to think that.  I want my vulnerability to be unifying, or at least somewhat entertaining. Or worse, what if my worries make someone else start to worry about my worries.  First they'll think I'm an idiot control freak, and then they'll worry that I worry too much. Or maybe naming my worries will just be a trigger for their own worries to surface.  I don't want them to become even more worried worriers.  But if I go back and erase those worries I won't have much of a post today. Oh bother.

Now I have revealed a sampling of the little worry wars that rage inside my head. 

And here's where my readers can help me.  Feel free to post uplifting comments about how I'm not alone, that you fret about the radio station's timely newscasts too, and that it's normal to worry about night-time potty breaks and other meaningless things that are out of my control.

Cuz if you don't, I'll worry.


  1. I know a perpetual worrier...who has the "what ifs" in her head all the time. I always tell her the four words from my youth.

    In the late 70s, my parents were going to take separate planes to a medical convention because Dad was concerned of a possible plane crash (there had just been one at O'Hare). My wise and grace-filled Grandma Boerger simply said "Worrying is a sin." After that conversation, my dad put them both on the same plane.

    Plain and simple, our lack of trust in God causes our worry. Some days it's so hard to remember. I, too, lie awake many hours thinking of stupid, simple and mundane things that are not helping my sleep, sanity or spiritual health. You are not alone.

    Heck, I worried that someone took the key to my front door from under the mat before I could get to it...(nice keychain -- thanks ;))

    P.S. The radio people know they're behind and it'll be on their performance reviews.

  2. Grandmas as so wise, aren't they? And to be cliche, I heard today, "Don't sweat the small stuff."
    Once I am deliberate in giving it to God, the worry does disappear. It's a very tried and true formula!

  3. This is late, but I'm just now reading your Dec. entries. My good friend Dee DeMoch told me when I couldn't sleep at night because of worrying to ask God to take over my worrying for the night, and I'd take it back during the day. Somehow during the day, the worry became mundane, and I'd get a good night's sleep.