Worry-free

[N.B.: I discovered this leaf in an odd corner of my cellphone, dried out and a little dusty. It’s from my week at the Glen Workshop; the person I refer to here I later found was quite ill — she had to go home early — but I somehow don’t think her illness spawned this quality to her. I’m pretty sure she was inherently like this. Originally written July 31, 2017.]

There’s a person here who worries. Her whole-self reminds me of Wemberly Worried, a great book by Kevin Henkes. Watching her, I’m bemused—why? How? And I think if I were to speak to her about it (so presumptuous!), she would respond, “Well, it’s easy for you.”

Hm. Yeah, at this point it is. But mostly because I turned away from worrying years ago.

It’s like this:

First, my therapists pointed out how, of the wide array of scenarios my fertile brain imagined and then prepared for, the most frequent actuality was small, simple, and low-impact. Occam’s Razor demonstrated-! Not only that, but I had in consequence burned a dramatically greater amount of energy than was needed. Scotswomen hate waste; I listened, observed, and began to pare down my scenario-building.

Next, I married a worrier. An efficient worrier! My Sweetie always holds a worry, you see. It’s how he’s wired. But since he’s efficient, he doesn’t worry about those things that others are worrying about. So if I were to, say, worry that B seemed to be coming home very late at night, and perhaps she had a flat tire, he would take on a worry about B being delayed due to a fatal wreck. Or violence. It doesn’t matter that I wouldn’t have thought to worry about whatever-it-is; what seems to matter to him is that it’s not yet worried about.

This dynamic played out in particular anecdotes that I could tell accurately during our first decade together, but no longer. What I remember clearly is thinking, “You’re worried about what? Oh, goodness. That’s about as likely as a meteor striking at our feet.” And adding to myself, “I guess I need to leave off worrying about the ordinary things, and leave those to him.”

And I have. I am now preternaturally carefree. I handle those things that crop up in front of me as they come, and that’s about it!

(Except when I fly by myself, when I constantly pat myself down in case I’ve misplaced my travel documents, water bottle, or anything else. If My Sweetie’s not with me, someone‘s got to cover the bases-!)

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