#ememberreminder: Try Not to Worry So Much
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a worrier.
When I was younger, I worried about getting good grades even though I studied hard. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to make new friends every time we moved. I worried that no matter how hard I tried at anything, I wouldn’t be good enough. I worried that my stuffed animals might come alive at night (silly, I know, but there was this one creepy bear…).
Becoming an adult and then a parent have really taken those worrying skills up a notch: I worry about money, my career, making ends meet, being able to provide for me and my daughter, Zoey… I worry about my friends, my family, my loved ones… I worry about my future and my happiness… I worry about Zoey’s happiness, her future, her… well, everything.
I think it would be safe to say that the root of all my worries—both then and now—have always been the same:
What if things don’t work out the way I want them to?
What if something bad happens that I have absolutely NO control over?
* * *
It’s late, and I’m laying in bed, awake. Outside my window, I hear a steady stream of rain and the gentle, low rumble of thunder. Their little nighttime dance has been going on for over an hour, and I can tell the center of the storm is almost overhead.
My room lights up as a streak of lightning flashes, and less than a second later, a clap of thunder booms so loudly the walls around me shake. I sit up in bed quickly, startled by the sound, and—even though the thunder already boomed—I quietly begin to count as I did as a child when lightning would strike. One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi…
Before I get to the fourth magnolia state, I hear something, but this time the sound is far from loud: it’s the quick, quiet footfall of my daughter as she runs across our hardwood floor and into my room. Zoey climbs into bed with me and fumbles in the dark, trying to find a hand of mine to hold. She burrows under the blanket and slides over as close to me as possible.
“There’s nothing to worry about,” I whisper to her. “It’s okay.”
“But the whole apartment shook,” Zoey whispers back, concern lacing her voice. “Did it hit us? Is this the safest place we can be? Will it happen again?”
“Don’t worry, peanut,” I say as I pull her into a hug. “We are safe here.”
Comforted by our closeness and the safety of my arms, Zoey quickly falls back asleep as the storm slowly rolls away. But I am left in the dark, still awake, thinking of the words I’ve just whispered to my daughter:
Don’t worry. We are safe here…
* * *
Our worries manifest themselves from that future place called the unknown, a scary little place that holds tight to our fears. It’s a place that I’ve always lived in, in some way or another, and to be perfectly honest, I don’t want to live there anymore.
Don’t worry. We are safe here…
I think of those words and then of the little girl in my arms, the one who felt safe enough in this very moment that her fears were put to rest, and I have a moment of clarity. Though Zoey is asleep, the lessons she imparts speak loudly in the dark:
When we worry about our future, we steal from the peace of our present.
Just like I’d rather sleep peacefully than toss and turn all night, I’d much rather focus my energy on my perfectly imperfect, safe now than spend my time worrying about a potentially imperfect, scary future. I’d much rather add joy to my life than subtract joy from it.
Because in the end—in some way or another—everything works itself out, just like it did in my childhood:
I made those good grades I worried about getting. I found those new friends I worried about making. I was good enough, even though I worried I wasn’t. The stuffed animals never came to life even though I worried they would (thank goodness).
As Zoey happily sighs in her sleep, I decide that I will try to put aside my fear of the unknown. I will trust that everything will work out. I will choose to believe that my future holds nothing but peace, abundance, and an endless amount of joy.
Don’t you think you should do the same?
So today, remember to try not to worry so much.
Tuck those worries in tight, wish them the sweetest of dreams,
and give them a kiss good night.
* * *
Let me know: Are you a worrier? What can you do to not let your worries get the best of you? What will you stop worrying about today?
We post our Remember Reminder series on the blog here every Friday morning, as well as on our Instagram and Facebook accounts. Just search the hashtag #rememberreminder to find us! And if you have any of your own post-it note Remember Reminders that we should know about, make your own and use the hashtag so we can share the love!
At The Nostalgia Diaries, our goal is to help you simplify, enhance, and engage your lives by focusing on the most important things: remembering, appreciating, believing, and becoming. It’s all about celebrating the past to create better days today.