I don’t know why, call it the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon if you will, but I keep on seeing quotes about worry these days.
It’s quite apt really, as several things have happened which merit a good deal of anxiety. I would describe myself as a worrier even at the best of times, but it’s when the unexpected badness happens that the negativity really kicks in. I hate that type, you know it – an accident, an unexpected illness, an out-of-the-blue redundancy…Fill in yours.
When things like that happen, I have to fight the urge to think, ‘this time yesterday things were fine’. We are so good at either hankering after yesterday or fretting about tomorrow. What about the todays? Right now, I’m warm, well-fed, surrounded by good music and safe from the bad weather and yet…And yet, I’m not free from worry. Do you think that one day we’ll learn how to stop worrying and just relax? Doubtful.
I remember telling myself ‘my skin will be free from spots in my twenties’ and ‘I’ll have more confidence when I hit thirty.’ Neither has turned out to be true. I’m at the end of my thirties now, and nothing has got any easier.
It is so hard to live in the moment, when the present you’re enduring is taking place on a chair in the a&e of a chemical filled hospital where the number you have is 300 places higher than everyone else’s, or when you are stuck in a traffic-jam you can’t see the end of, or when you are experiencing pain that no pills seem to be able to take away. At those times, maybe it’s ok to live for tomorrow. Maybe telling yourself ‘it’ll be over soon’ is ok. Maybe thoughts of the future can help with the impossible present.
When I think about it, I draw either from the past or the future to help me cope with the present. Memories of happier times and hope for things to get better are my ways to deal with the here and now. Although a good friend and a bit of faith are the best help when times are tough.
I have to apologise for not having an easy fix or neat conclusion for this one. As it turns out, some things in life are far too messy for that.