I was having a perfectly amiable day until I got home and the worrying set in. I hate when this happens. Everything’s ticking along just fine and I’m feeling reasonably happy, and then from nowhere my brain seems to insist that I’m just too damn calm and that it’s time to worry about ALL the things.
I worry about everything, from the biggest, most troubling world issues to the humdrum minutiae of my everyday life. On today’s menu: my finances in the lead up to Christmas, the state of my health, the uncertainty of the future.
Worrying seems to invade any aspect of my life, any time. Worries keep me awake at night and interrupt many a quiet moment. If I make a slight mistake or social faux pas, I’ll replay it over and over in my mind, and my imagination runs away with me as I think about what the potential repercussions may be, or how this will make me look.
I overthink everything. Did I leave the heater on when I left the house? If I leave now, will I be too early? Is my outfit too casual? Too dressy? Have I forgotten something? Did I just say the wrong thing? What did that smile mean? That shrug? That laugh? There are just endless thoughts and thought and thoughts getting in the way.
Worrying gets me nowhere. It is almost always pointless. Sure, some of the things I worry about matter a great deal – they are issues that need to be dealt with and fixed. But mulling them over endlessly doesn’t do me any good and it seldom helps to solve anything.
I try to quell the worrying whenever possible. If I’m lying awake at 3am worrying about something that happened yesterday, or something I’m dreading the next day, I ask myself if there is anything I can do to solve the problem in that very moment. The answer is almost always no, and sometimes I manage to distract myself with more pleasant thoughts (and this is where dream travel plans come in very handy). But that certainly doesn’t always work and it’s so damn frustrating.
Luckily, I’m not like this all the time. Most of the time I’m an optimist, and I spend a great deal of time daydreaming about future happiness. Having a vivid imagination has its benefits, after all. I’m also getting a little better at letting minor worries go and looking on the bright side. But every now and then, during a calm moment, I remember that there was something I was worried about a little while ago, and I’ll wrack my brain trying to remember exactly what it was just so I can worry about it some more. It’s exasperating and exhausting.
The act of writing this has oddly driven away the multitude of worries that were tormenting me when I started. I don’t want my weekend to start on a low note, so I’m going to switch off from my thoughts, put my feet up and watch Bridget Jones’s Diary for the hundredth time. There’s nothing like the comforting familiarity of a film I can almost quote word for word to ease my mind and cast the worries aside. For now, at least.