Monday, June 6, 2011

On Worrying

Teamwork II is still a work in progress. Patience.

I used to be a championship worrier. I worried loyally, with dedication and diligence. I’d worry about bills that were a little late right up to the day I was able to pay them. In the early years following my divorce, there was plenty to worry about, and I excelled at it.

I think we somehow get the idea that worrying is a virtue, that we’re being true to our friends, relatives, and society if we worry when and how we’re supposed to worry. Rubbish.

So here’s the thing:

Worrying Doesn’t Change the Outcome.

It just makes the journey needlessly stressful. As time passed, I gradually realized that worrying didn’t help. The key is to turn worry into problem solving. I went from feeling helpless to feeling like I had the tools and means to work things out. I learned some coping strategies along the way.

Some things haven’t changed all that much. There are still too many bills and too little money. There are still hurdles presenting themselves every day. But I no longer worry about them. Bills that are due are listed in a spreadsheet then left alone until payday. I let them out of my mind until I can address them constructively.

What’s really better now is my attitude. The things that overwhelmed me in my 20’s no longer crush me. Even if I have less spending power than I did a few years ago, I’m much better at managing it now, and it feels like I’m a whole lot better off.

All of this took time and experience. Only a few people are so lucky as to have it all at a young age. The rest of us have to come to it the hard way.

Getting older has its perks.

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