Worrying About Worrying

ear worm

A missed call only minutes ago and now he won’t answer me? Ring. Where could he have gone? Ring. Ring.  And why doesn’t he have his phone? Ring.  He ALWAYS has his phone.  Ring. No voicemail? Ring. For crying out loud! Ring. Ring.  Why isn’t he answering me?  Ring. Ring. ANSWER. ME. Ring. Ring. Maybe he’s hurt. Ring.  What if he broke his leg? Ring. Ring. Or maybe he fell and hit his head. Ring. Ring. Ring. Maybe I should go look for him. Ring.  ANSWER THE &%#$ PHONE! Ring-a-ding-ding.

Without fail, for the past 20 years, that little exchange has always been with myself. This was painfully true once the state issued driver’s licenses to The Boys.  But I come from a long line of worriers, so it’s not surprising. My foremothers are naturally inclined to a doomsday view of the world.  As their default setting, worry is as natural to my tribe as breathing.

My mother doesn’t need a mere string of worry beads. She needs something the size of bowling balls because she worries about EVERYTHING. Big stuff.  Little stuff.  It’s all worry-worthy. When she leaves the house, Mom worries that she left the iron on.  She’s concerned that the Big One will hit California even though she doesn’t live there.  In reality, Mom’s probably worried there’s a chance that impending earthquake will knock over the iron she most certainly left on, even though she lives 2000 miles away.  Of course, there’s always the possibility of a band of marauding intruders, a rogue meteor careening toward earth, and identity theft by a Russian hacker.

As Mom is quick to remind me, “Something’s gonna get you.” [Read more…]

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