Sunday, September 6, 2009

Worry Away

“Worry is interest paid on a loan we may never receive” ~ Author Unknown

Knowing the type of worry warts my parents are – and realizing that my voice sounded awful and stuffy from a virus – I almost hoped they wouldn’t call me yesterday. Instead, nine o’ clock sharp, shortly after I got out of bed, the phone rang. It was my mother. Immediately following my throaty and stuffy hello, I heard a small gasp, and then…"what’s the matter with your voice?"

I proceeded to explain that I had probably caught a virus, and that’s when the question came. “Have you been to the doctor?” to which I replied that I hadn’t even been sick 24 hours, and it seemed a little premature to go to the doctor. “Oh my goodness, child” my mother exclaimed, “do you follow the news? The swine flu is spreading everywhere. How do you know it’s not that?”

In fairness to her, I don’t know for sure, but I could bet that if I was infected with something serious I would probably feel a little sicker than I do; if, instead, I was indeed infected with the dreaded virus and my symptoms were this bearable, I wouldn’t see the point to go to the doctor to start with – let that bad boy run its course and be done with it.

Of course, the sermon wasn’t over until I learned that two of her clients were also very sick and concerned right now, and even young people are a likely target.

When I hung up the phone I drew a breath of relief. It’s nice to know your parents love you and are concerned about your safety and wellbeing, but in all honesty, all that worry seems misplaced. 90% of the things we worry about rarely ever happen; if we are unfortunate enough to run into the 10% that actually manifests, we have likely spent so much time and energy worrying about the problem ahead of time, that when we truly need to gather our strength and map a plan of action, we are spent and unable to think clearly.

Personally, I refuse to give in to worry. If – and I repeat if – something is due to happen, I will cross the bridge when I get there. Until then, I will live in peace, albeit a little sick. And if I get any worse, it’s not like the doctor is moving away and my time is running out; I’ll go in if the need seems real.

So, until I get better, I will continue to drink plenty of fluids and get extra rest, which for a parent of three kids always on the run is not a bad deal after all. And am I worried? As Arthur Somers Roche once said, “worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged it cuts a channel in which all thoughts are drained.”

Right now, as I watch my kids scramble around making me hot tea and toast, my thoughts are far too rewarding to let them drain away.

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