Thursday, December 01, 2011


My morning went something like this yesterday...

I woke up obscenely late for an adult with a job and had to call and cancel two meetings. Then I picked up my mail for the first time in a week and found not one, but two notices of overdue bills, a sign that those times I sat in the team processing office at midnight trying to remember what to pay may not have been the most coherent moments of my life. A couple of embarrassing "can I pay this over the phone?" calls later I finally got on the road to put in a half day at the office after being out for five days.

That is until I heard this terrible sound as I was getting off the freeway and discovered once I was sort of safely on the shoulder of the exit that I had a flat tire. Since I do not know how to change a tire (sorry feminism, I just can't seem to care enough about this one), I joined AAA from the side of the road. After the nice man with really astonishingly great eyes put on a spare, I got the lovely news from the guys at the garage that hey, you need to rotate your tires lady because this other front one is about to blow too. Since I'm driving to Breckenridge just about every Saturday until Christmas and then to and from Utah for the holidays I decided you know, why not spend all my money this morning on things that are not fun and I replaced not one, but two tires.

So that was my day.  And there were years and years of my life where I think I would have dissolved into tears on that freeway shoulder wondering why on earth all this had to happen to me? And I would have been overly stressed out about how I was going to pay for everything and it would have just seemed like the worst.  But I think you have two choices as you get older-you can climb deeper into your own faults and fears and get more and more set in your ways or you can really try to identify the things you struggle against and work your tail off to get over them. I have mentioned often and recently that worry is one of those things for me. I had a roommate several years ago who even bought me a book about managing worry-a gesture that was both sweet and embarrassing. If the person who lives with you feels compelled to buy you a self-help book, you might have a bigger problem than being an endearing little worrywart.

The truth about worry is this-nothing you are laying in bed freaking out about ever happens. Weird stuff that isn't even on your radar screen does, your parents get divorced when you are 24 or your dad's kidneys shut down 4 weeks before you leave on your mission or you end up in a city you hate with a job that is eating you alive. You didn't worry about those things ever happening but then they do and you get through it because that's what you do. Meanwhile you stay up half the night thinking about whether you ordered enough backpacks for the Parapan Am Games and of course you did. Or you read an article about the likelihood of a woman over 35 getting married and you get stuck on it for a week even though you are a person who can see the hand of God all over her damn life and you know He's not really a numbers game kind of guy.

So I'm working on worry. And it's getting better. Today was annoying, and it killed the better part of my work day and it was expensive at a time of year I would prefer to be buying nephew presents to AAA memberships. But it wasn't the worst. It was actually far from the worst. Because today I also got to see coworkers who have been gone for a month and who I missed. And because we made firm ski plans for the weekend. And yesterday I had lunch in SoHo at a restaurant I'd been dying to try. There are just better things to have in my head than getting stuck on things that are just life. Tires go flat. Sleepy bodies turn the alarm off. Bill due dates can slip by in busy times. And sometimes that all hits at once and it feels like a personal attack from the universe.  But then last week I got a whole bunch of these moments.

I was probably due for a flat tire or two. Good trade in my book. 


jess said...

I think we are quite alike in this area of worry. But it is nice to grow up and get some of it under control, some of the time! Sounds like you are conquering it just fine. This quote is up on one of my walls: 'worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of it's empties today of it's strength. '

H. Brown said...

nailed it. i had that same quote up for a time. thanks for the inspiration, katie. gonna be working my tail off as well. can't wait to see you soon.