Don't Sweat The Small Stuff?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Easier said than done, right? This is pretty much the case for me. I am a worrier. An obsessive, can't sleep, ALL thoughts consumed worrier. It doesn't matter if the issue is big or small (or even really really small). No matter, I will worry. Along with the worry, I also have a lot of guilt. Guilt about my worrying. I feel guilty that there are people who have life so much harder, so many more things to worry about and I feel that it is wrong for me to worry about such little things, like it makes me a bad person. Then I begin to worry about my guilt. As you can see this is a vicious cycle. I just wish I could have a crystal ball and see how things are going to turn out, then I wouldn't have to worry so much. Clearly, this is not going to happen and short of meds (I know it's not that bad) I'm not quite sure what to do. 

Take today as an example. Today the little man and I had aquarium class. Something that should be really fun, and it was. The problem? I spent most of the night, and a good part of this morning worrying about the fact that the class was dead smack in the middle of the little man's morning nap. I kept thinking, what if he melts down? What if it screws up his whole day? What is going to happen to his afternoon nap? I began to obsess. You know what? We went, he was great, we got home at noon and slept an hour and was ready to go back down exactly on time at 3pm. So all that worrying was for absolutely nothing and I'm left feeling like an ass. Why did I spend so much time worrying when I could have just rolled with it. Who am I to make such trivial things so important? What about those who have real problems? I feel like me being so consumed with my own life is somehow putting my problems on the same scale as theirs, even if I don't even know them.

It's not just the small stuff. Ever since I have been married I constantly worry that something is going to happen to my spouse. Now that we have the little man the same goes for him. I lay in bed at night and I have to count how many people I know with husbands who are still alive. How many married parents I know who haven't lost a child. Usually this gets me through. Then I hear of a tragedy of someone I know, or I watch a fictional TV show where something disastrous happens and for me it is just proof that bad things happen out of nowhere. Life sometimes just sucks. It doesn't help that we are now applying for life insurance and it just makes it all the more real.

There is just so much to worry about; life, death, will I ever get pregnant again, will that baby be healthy, money, the economy, the war, global warming, the finishing on my dream home, poverty around the world, AIDS, is my little man happy and healthy, am I a good mom, am I a good wife, am I a good friend? There is just so much unknown. So much we can never know the answer to until it is too late. 

So what am I left with? Lots of worry and lots of guilt. I told you, it's a vicious cycle. I know there isn't anything that can be done and worry is really just a mind over matter thing. I know all these things in my head, the old "don't sweat the small stuff." As I said sometimes this is easier said than done, at least for me.


Sarah G. said...

Wow, it is great to hear that I am not the only functionally normal (I think!) person who is like this. I am a worrier to the point that I haven't decided yet whether to have kids because I am afraid that I will be too worried to let them live a normal life. Do you ever feel like that??

Yummy Mummy said...

Sarah...all the time. The good thing is that the reverse actually happens, they actually chill you out a bit. They help you see you can't control everything and everyday they show you your worrying is for nothing. I am always thinking is he eating enough, sleeping enough, did I do this right?? And you know what? Everyday he wakes up (thank god) and is healthy and happy and it helps to put it in perspective. Clearly I still worry (enough to write about it) but i would never say it is a reason not to have kids. When it comes to kids the positives really really really outweigh any fears you could ever have.


Anonymous said...

i totally understand about the worrying. 1 1/2 years of p.i. work made me worry about fire escape ladders dropping, man hole covers exploding and taxis. criminal defense makes me worry that everyone is going to get arrested. currently i am worrying about my destination wedding (which is such a superficial thing to worry about, but i'm just being honest!) what are you going to do though? get up and live life, right? i have a feeling we'll make it fine!

Anonymous said...

I am the Queen of worry. It's really exhausting.
Can I change the subject? What's aquarium class? Sounds fun. A future post maybe?

The Missus said...

Okay.. Yum... Whatever you do... DO NOT SEE "THE CHANGELING"!!!!

It's that new Angelina Jolie movie. For the love of Sweet Baby Jesus on Christmas Morning... Do not see this movie.

Katee "e-polishblog" said...

Obsessive worrying is VERY unhealthy. Saying this as a concerned blogger friend, if worrying truly keeps you awake at night, you should talk to someone. Especially when you start worrying about things that you have no control over.

Which brings up another good point I'd like to make - Don't worry about things you cannot control!! This is something that I tell my boyfriend all of the time, who is also a bit of a worrier. It is useless and a waste of your energy to worry about things you cannot control. Why? Because you can't control them! You cannot do anything about these things!! Instead, put your time and energy into thinking (not worrying) about things you CAN control.

That is all of the free therapy and unsolicited advice I have for you on this topic.


Yummy Mummy said...

Katee- I really appreciate your comment. You should consider becoming a shrink!!!

Missus- OK now you have me intrigued, but considering your urgency I will make sure to avoid it!

Thanks to everyone for letting me know I am not alone in this!