I’ve always been a worrier. I think it runs in my family. During my camp counselor years I drove down to North Carolina each summer by myself. My mom, the never-ending worrier, made me call her every hour. My dad, he calls himself a Jewish mother. Jewish mothers stereotypically worry. A lot.
Worrying can vary. It can be picturing the worst thing that could happen. The dog unexpectedly jumping into the road and getting hit by a car. The house catching on fire. Planes with loved ones aboard crashing. (When Michael went to Sweden in June I stayed up all night following his plane on my Kayak flight tracker app. The plane stopped moving around Greenland. Let’s not talk about what went through my brain. Turns out Kayak won’t track planes in international waters.)
Worrying can also manifest itself in anxiety, in panic attacks. These can pop up at any time. Small and insignificant things can turn into huge chest-tightening, breath-shortening, mind-overtaking worries. They whirl around in your head until you are convinced they will cause the destruction of the world, until you are worked up into such a state that it takes a miracle to bring you down.
Notice something? These worries, they’re not real. I mean, they’re real, but not to the monumental state I make them. I’m really good at making my worries into mountains. You know what made me realize this? A silly sign on Pinterest.
I don’t want the things that I worry about to come true. I don’t want to worry. So why do I? No one in their right mind would pray for something they don’t want. So why do I blow my worries out of proportion? Next time I start to worry I’m going to remind myself of this poster, and I’m going to pray for something I do want instead of worrying for something I hope to never happen.