Angela Otts

I’m a worrier. My daughter says I’m also an over-thinker.

I worry so that nothing bad will happen to whatever I’m worrying about. It’s usually a person or situation. Actually, I’ve always considered my worrying to be a hopeful prayer.

My worrying has kept me from sleeping, has frazzled my nerves, has made me cry and most certainly has added flab to my body. For comfort, opening the refrigerator door or the cupboard door does help out.

I am now working on not worrying. It’s a whole new change to my psyche.

“What are you going to accomplish by worrying, Mom?” my daughter says with some authority. “It’s a useless activity. Just stop worrying.”

If you are a worrier, you know that to stop worrying isn’t an easy thing. For me, it’s a part of who I am, and I have been doing it all of my life.

I remember worrying in kindergarten that I wouldn’t remember the words to the songs the class was singing.

By first grade, I worried about making all the letters correctly so that I could create stories. By junior high, I worried that I’d never have a date. In high school, my worry centered on not flunking physics.

By time I got married, I was a professional worrier. When the kids came along, I worried about every inch of their lives. I felt so relieved when whatever I worried about didn’t occur. It was a personal triumph that I kept bad things from happening. It was a mother’s duty.

Now in my elder years, I’ve been encouraged to stop worrying. Live life footloose and fancy free. Wash that worry away and live longer. That’s not a solution for me. I don’t want to worry about how long I will continue to live.

I’m usually a happy person but worrying has kept me in good stead in my life. It’s like an invisible shield (like in Star Trek) that protects those I love and like from impending doom.

I will continue to worry, but I might be able to curtail the amount of time I devote to the activity. To stop worrying completely, I would have to get some counseling and then my kids would take up worrying.

I saw an article once about writing down your worries on small strips of paper and putting them in a jar each day. In the jar, they would be taken care and I could forget about them.

For me, I’d have jars and jars filled with strips of worry paper. I’d worry about the jars accumulating. I’d worry how the strips of worries would be taken care…..I’d worry if……..

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