Monday, December 15, 2008

Worry Night

I am not, by nature, a worrier. I have been blessed by the temperament which allows me to work on fixing problems which are within my control and letting go of all the other problems. I don't carry burdens around. I don't fret. I'm not one for floor pacing or nail biting.

I have a couple of friends and a mother who are worriers. They'll worry about most anything. If they speak with a stranger in a store check-out line and the stranger mentions she is having difficulty finding affordable trousers to fit her teen son, they'll worry about the stranger and her son. If they hear a news story about a child born on the other side of the world with a rare disease, they'll worry about the child, his parents, siblings, doctors and community. They carry burdens for family, friends, people they went to Elementary school with. They'll worry about things that other people insist are not problems. They'll worry about things that may someday become problems. They'll worry that they worry too much. They'll worry that other people don't worry enough.

As I said, I'm not like that. I own what is in my control and I am able to set down what is not. Except...about one night every six months or so: I call them worry nights. I have no prior indication when a worry night will come on; nothing presages a worry night and no particular thing seems to cause one, they just happen, like the weather (and another thing to not worry about: It's beyond my control so I don't worry). Last night was a worry night. I began by worrying about a potentially hurtful situation I may have inadvertently caused a loved one, which I can't mitigate. But the worry grew like fungus on a cold, damp wall. I worried about my job and my children. I worried about the old, junker car Hammy's parents have loaned me. I worried about the Nashville school system. I worried about the fact that I'd like to go to a fund-raiser at a school a friend teaches at but that I'll be too busy and tired to be able to go. I worried about having to work the day after Christmas and missing my in-laws' gathering and that they'll feel like I'm avoiding them. And then I moved on to the bigger world. I worried about pollution, about pedophiles, about genocide in Rwanda. I worried about things so far beyond my control as to almost, if they weren't so real and so horrifying, be laughable.

And now, on the sunrise of a new day, the worries have been worried and I can let go of them. The worry night is over and gone and I certainly won't worry about when the next one will visit me.

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