I always find it so fascinating the memories we have from childhood that occasionally pop up like they just happened the other day. Back when I was around 7, my parents and I, as well as our next-door neighbors, a fun older couple (50’s is older when your 7), planned to go out on our boat into the Gulf of Mexico for a few hours one weekend afternoon. I loved to go out on the boat to feel the warm sun and watch the dolphins play in the wake.
We got everything loaded up, pulled into the marina with the boat launch, put the boat in the water, and got in all ready to go for our adventure. Except the starter did not turn the engine over. The battery was dead.
My parents took off to go find another battery and I remember talking to my neighbors being concerned about how long my parents were gone, what had happened to the boat, how we weren’t going to get out and enjoy the water, blah, blah, blah.
The wife said to me, wow, you are a worry wart. That really struck me at the tender age of 7. Me, a worry wart? No way! I mean, who worries at 7?
I guess I did.
Of course, my parents came back with the new battery; we hopped in the boat, and continued with our day on the water.
As a child, I truly had nothing to be worried about, but as adults, holy moly, do we have things to worry about. Mortgages, world hunger, terrorism, getting to work on time, saving enough money for retirement, the list is endless.
Yes, those are all parts of modern life right now, but you know what? Worrying about any of it is completely optional. I would even say it is completely unneeded, unwanted, and unhealthy.
The feeling of worry comes from a thought that says something along the lines of I’m not safe, the future is scary, or something bad is going to happen. Worry is future-oriented. It takes us completely out of the present. We don’t worry about what is happening right this moment. When something is happening right now we are busy dealing with that, not worrying about it.
Worry puts you in an internal state of stress. You do that to yourself. You can take worry off the table anytime you’d like.
You plan for the future, not worry about it. You make a plan to pay your mortgage, you plan to deal with terrorism, you plan to get to work on time, you plan to save money for retirement.
Our media is full of fear-based stories. They perpetuate worry.
How interesting that I don’t listen or pay much attention to the media and I live a peaceful life with very little worry.
Worry is optional and your choice.
So tell me, is there something you can drop your worry about today?
Give it a try and make a plan instead.
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