Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Worry-Willies

A dear friend just got some amazing news. Good news. Call it great news.

It didn’t take long to start worrying about everything that could go wrong. I told her she had just let the Worry-Willies in.

I know them well, those pesky worries. I think they are built into our DNA, and my ancestors got a double dose. 

It doesn't help that most of us misinterpret Murphy’s Law (“anything that can go wrong, eventually will”) as a law of physics that will apply to our personal journeys.
FYI- Murphy’s law is not a law, it’s an adage. It’s a cliché. We writers know better than to let clichés in, or do we?

So how to deal with the Worry-Willies? It’s not enough to “just say NO. “ Heavens, that’s another cliché.

In the past I have tackled those with reason. The odds are well in our favor, at least for most positive developments. But if reason were enough, we wouldn't be overwhelmed with worries to begin with, because worrying doesn't usually help matters.

I am open and eager for any and all personal insight, strategies, and wisdom. Goodness, I’ll even take recipes. Call it the Wash Away Worries Forum, and come-on down.

15 comments:

  1. I've always been a worrier, but I handle it better now. For one thing, if I start to worry at night when I'm trying to get to sleep I remind myself that I can't do anything about the issue at that moment!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, dear, I do think it's natural to worry that Murphy's law will kick into action, but I learned something wonderful from an old landlord of mine during our stay in Belgium. Every time I called him to fix something, he'd say "demain," which means "tomorrow." I find myself saying demain whenever I don't want to deal with something, including a worry.

    Go celebrate with your friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It'll have to be "demain," because she lives half-way round the world...
      But I like the coping strategy. Very not puritanical.

      Delete
  3. I am a worrier and have been my entire life. I love the phrase "Worry-Willies"--that puts a funny face on a sometimes (very) scary adversary! One of my best coping mechanisms is this: I ask myself, if ____ happens, will it really matter this time next week, next year, etc. This really helps me put things in perspective. = )

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like the term 'Worry-Willies'! I go for a walk when they knock on my door...exercise helps! And I only allot a few minutes for my brain to dwell upon them...enough time to acknowledge that they exist and to remind myself of what I can control and what is beyond my control. I used to call them 'brain worms' but worry-willies is so much nicer!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yes, it's only natural to worry. But we might as well enjoy the good stuff because it's sure to be balanced by uh, not-good stuff. So, congrats to your friend! Celebrate!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I can certainly relate! One thing that's helped me worry less is making priority lists. I list the most important things at the top and the less important ones at the bottom. Otherwise, I'll find myself stressing equally about everything!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm not sure how to keep from worrying, and I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Yes, that was yet another cliche. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  8. So hard to control the Worry-Willies--especially in the middle of the night!

    ReplyDelete
  9. How to deal? I think you gave great advice with "Murphy's Law is not a law -- it's an adage." :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm definitely a worry-wart! (which sounds disgusting) I usually have to firmly remind myself that I can only control my actions and feelings, and 'borrowing trouble' so to speak, doesn't do me any good. And if that doesn't work- there's always chocolate! =)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I totally have the worrier gene. Been working for AGES to get rid of it, or cover it in a cheerful confidence blanket. I've come to the conclusion that the future is as bright as your hope. If you are enthusiastic and optimistic, life will be amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have often let worries of future problems eclipse the triumphs of the day, but I'm learning lately to live in the moment. The problems may still come, but at least I've enjoyed the triumph while I could.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I often get overcome by worry but such good news has managed to overcome even a professsional worrywart like myself. It helps to have a good friend holding my hand, even if it is from afar.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sometimes my worries creep up when I wake in the middle of the night (to go to the bathroom, yes ... maybe my solution is real easy: cut down on liquids before bedtime). I've always been the worrier ~ worry about school, about homework, about being liked, about not being liked, about choosing a writing career, about appearing vain enough to think I could be a writer, about being an indie-published writer, about not being good enough blah blah blah. These days, I handle my worries by heading to the library, and/or having lessons with my students. Somehow they always make me feel I'm not too bad.

    ReplyDelete