Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What, me worry?

We were just leaving my sister's house on Easter Sunday, after a lovely family gathering, and Peggy and I were taking Mom back to the retirement palace when Mom said, "Watch out for deer running out of the woods! That's all I worry about."

OK.  A, that's not ALL she worries about by a country mile.  As a child of the Great Depression in this country, Mom can take a forecast of "20% chance of showers on Sunday evening" and turn that into "They said it's going to rain all weekend."  And as someone who was around as I roared through adolescence, she never knew which teacher or school administrator was going to be on the phone next, complaining of some transgression that was totally not my fault, if you'd just stop and look at the whole picture.

And B, I learned something a long time ago. (Not in school.)  It was from that Dr Wayne Dyer guy, who wrote a book called, as I recall, "Don't Worry About It" (or something close to that) and has since shuffled the words of that first best-seller a couple of dozen times to produce other books, called, it seems to me, "I Wouldn't Worry About It If I Were You," "Don't Even Worry About It At All," and "About It, Don't Worry."  Dr Dyer has this one message that he brings home every time he rewrites his book or appears on public tv during beg-a-thons, wearing beach apparel and sandals:  Worry changes nothing, does no good, and is worthless.

He asks one simple question, and here it is:  Can you name a time that sitting around fretting about something actually helped?

Of course not. If you know it's going to rain, why sit and worry about the rain getting in the windows? Just get up and close the windows! Instead of worrying about running out of gas on the way home, stop and get some gas.  Do what you can do about things, and then, don't worry.

I found out all about this just over a year ago.  On my way home from the x-ray place, I was sitting in my truck, stopped at a red light.  My seat belt was on. I was not on the cell phone. I was paying full attention to the task of driving.  And then a guy with low blood sugar ran smack dab into a woman sitting in a Honda, who ran into a woman ahead of her, also waiting for the light to change in a Toyota.  Who rammed into me, totaling my truck and ruining my day.

So all the worrying in the world would not have prevented this happening.  My advice would be, if you're driving, always do your best, keep an eye out for deer, and still expect to be crashulated by a fool. There is nothing you can do about it, and only a fool would  worry about it in advance.

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