My son and his wife were going away so I packed my bags and traveled to New Jersey to help Aicha, the sitter, mind the children. Aicha and I created all sorts of activities to do and after a while, I took a short break from the noise and craziness. I sat outside on a rocking chair just rocking, well actually I was “multi-tasking”, specifically, rocking and worrying.
“Gramma, where did you go? What are you doing out here?”, asked Mae.
“I’m just rocking.” I responded.
“So you are not going anywhere, you’re just rocking?”, she persisted.
Boy, she got that right! Her observation of my rocking back and forth was that I was doing nothing, going nowhere. Funny thing about a rocking chair, you can rock all day long and never gain any ground, ending exactly in the place where you started, and more important, never having moved from there.
“Can I rock with you?” Mae asked. I didn’t want to spend any more time getting no where, so I stood up immediately. “How about if we go on a treasure hunt? We can make of list of things to look for, and check them off as we find them. Sound like a good idea?”, I asked.
“Yeah”, she explained. “Then we will be doing something and going somewhere, too.” I see a lot of me in Mae—We both need to be going somewhere, doing something, and today was no exception. It will not surprise you to learn that my worry ended as soon as the mindless rocking stopped.
For a person like me who is always headed somewhere, sitting in a rocking chair is useless. Frankly, worrying isn’t of much value either as like the rocking chair, worry doesn’t gain me any ground. Worrying doesn’t bring clarity nor does it fix anything.
I am not a “worry wort”, but I do find myself occasionally worrying, even though I know the last thing I worried about never happened! Like the time I had all those kidney stones and worried that I would lose my kidney. I didn’t. Or the time I worried about stopping the progression of my former spouse’s PD. It advanced, so my worry was zero effective. My time would have been better spent observing other PD patients and learning how their caregivers helped them adapt.
So what about the women with high SUCCESSTROGEN I am always talking about? What do they do about worry? Well for starters, I don’t think they spend much time in a “worry mode.” I think they are aware of what’s happening with an eye on what’s is coming. These women prepare for the possible arrival of a new challenge, gathering as much information as they can. They do not simply rock back and forth. They first gain ground in their understanding and then further in the decision of what to do if something occurs. They do not worry about things they cannot change nor things that could possibly happen.
This is an area of opportunity for me. When engaging in worrying, I need to identify it as such immediately by asking if it is likely to occur, or just a remote possibility. If it is likely to occur, I need to do whatever I need to do to be prepared. If it is a remote possibility, well then, neither worry or the finest rocking chair will be helpful.
And how about you? Do much worrying?