Keeping Busy

The worst times are those

When I’m caught off guard

As I’m drifting into sleep

Or the first moments upon waking

When my primitive brain latches onto

An ugly hunger that needs slaking,

Baking ideas like malformed cookies

Question mark-shaped dough

And I force myself to move

In action there is solace;

If I’m busy, I don’t think

The Worrying Gene

If there’s one thing I’m really good at, it’s worrying. I come by the skill honestly, having inherited it from my mother who was a world class worrier.

She was full of “what ifs” and “might could happens” and she handed them down to me in a messy little package made up of sleepless nights and tied up with great big bows constructed from fatalistic flights of fancy.

Studly Doright, on the other hand, never worries, or if he does he never mentions it. Oh, he ponders deep stuff, like how to rig his bicycle with a battery and a throttle and a golf bag holder so he can use it on the golf course instead of a golf cart.

He might obsess a bit, but he never worries that he won’t get the bike to work or that he’ll crash and break a leg on the hole farthest from the clubhouse and have to crawl to safety. No, he leaves those worries to me.

His mom, Saint Helen, is not a worrier either. Even when she was on her own, raising five kids, she didn’t expend any energy worrying. She knew worrying wouldn’t solve a thing.

So, is this a nature versus nurture issue? Did my mom pass the worrying gene down to me, or did I learn from observing her that one should fret over situations one cannot control? Did Studly choose to emulate his mother, or is there a single speck on a gene that prevents him from worrying?

It’s probably a bit of both. We may never know. What I do know is that the old saying that opposites attract rings true in this case. Thank goodness.

Peace, people!

Sleep Don’t Come

While my sleepless nights are much more rare these days, occasionally they still plague me. Friday night was a plague night.

A couple of events contributed to the sleeplessness and even my Calm app couldn’t overcome it. One was a totally random, yet bizarre occurrence that I really wish I could write about but can’t because I don’t want anyone I know to read it and realize I’m talking about them. Tallahassee is a small town and one never knows what might come back to bite one in the butt.

The other event was something that I can’t discuss because it affects someone I love. I worried over this person literally all night long. Send some good vibes her way if you’re so inclined.

Bottom line–this post is a whole lot of “I can’t tell you anything.” Weird, because I usually spill all the beans and then some. Maybe later.

In the meantime, here’s a song that always makes me think of sleepless nights. Don’t worry, no one’s cheating on anyone.

Thank you, Hank Willians.

What? Me Worry?

This morning I read a post from IM Fletcher on his blog The Jane Doe Byline, that started my mind down the Worry Path.

I pretty much live just off of the Worry Path on the corner of Anxiety Avenue and Worst Case Scenario Lane in a two-story house made of faux adobe. The house itself is a cause for concern.

Last week I worried about my adult children and their children traveling by car and/or plane to our family reunion in Texas. I worried about Studly Doright riding the backroads on his motorcycle across multiple states to join us at the reunion. I worried about my cats who’d stayed behind under the care of a competent pet sitter.

Oddly enough, I never worried about my own safety as I hurtled across the skies inside machines that seem to defy gravity and logic. That kind of worry would just be stupid.

Thanks to my diligent worrying, every one of us made it safely to and from the reunion. Once again, my efforts paid off. I’m exhausted. Now, what should I worry about this week? Unfortunately, the possibilities are endless.

Here’s a poem I posted a while back, in case you think I’m a novice worrier:

Peace, people!

When I Get it Wrong

I’m not going to write much today. It seems that I worked myself up over something I manufactured in my head. I didn’t sleep at all last night wondering what I’d done wrong, who I’d ticked off, and how I should make amends, only to discover that I’d misread the communications that precipitated my presumptions. I jumped to some wrong conclusions and landed ungracefully on my face.

Sometimes I forget that I’m not the center of the universe, you see. I’m not responsible for all of the good in the world, nor am I the cause of all that is foul. I’m just an almost 62 year old woman who is blundering along in this life. Usually I can avoid unnecessary drama, but occasionally I’m a veritable factory of the same.

The sad thing is, jumping to conclusions doesn’t burn any calories. If it did I’d be able to fit into my size 7 wedding dress with room to spare. Here’s to trying to do better.

Peace, people.

The Queen of Worry

Throw a sash around my neck,

I’ll parade across the stage

As the crowd cheers frantically

I’ll smile brilliantly and wave

My speech will thank the people

Who’ve made me who I am today

All the ones within my care

Who’ve caused my hair to gray

I know I’m not the fun one

Keeping order is my chore

The Queen of Worry ‘til my death

And then I’ll worry no more

Because I Can’t Scream in Public

There is a gargoyle living in my gut. His gruesome stone snarl scraping against my colon. The heartburn never ends.

He must have moved in as a pebble, a tiny worry about what could be, and every minute since that shitty November day he’s

Grown more abrasive, more corrosive, taking up too many centimeters of my being. He spits acid from a contorted tongue,

Searing the lining of my duodenum, creating blisters that won’t soon heal. Resistance hurts, but acquiescence kills.

Something of Substance

The name meant nothing to her. She’d heard it murmured by others 

once or twice, and whispered it to herself in the grayed shadows of night. But still, 

the word was just a pair of syllables, having no weight or depth of their own. 

Why then did she find her fingertips bruised, nails chipped and bloodied from

repeated attempts to scratch the letters into the stone she’d tucked inside her 

pocket? Surreptitious strokes, thumb circling, reassuring.


Sweating the Small Stuff

In a perfect world we’d all be as chill as this cat. 

Instead, I seem to follow the scenario below:

Like my mother before me, if I don’t have something to worry about I get worried. I heard recently in an interview on NPR that humans developed the ability to worry as a survival skill. At least I think that’s what the expert said. If so, I’m well equipped to survive. Unless of course I’m not. I guess I should worry about that, as well.

Peace, people!

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