Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A time to worry

I’m not traditionally a big worrier, but lately everything I read about global warming makes me sick to my stomach. And the political…um, landscape (to put it more politely than the word that’s in my head) has been making it much worse. I find that if I wake up in the middle of the night for any reason, my mind goes straight to the landscape we’ve all got ourselves in, and I may well worry straight through till morning.

Not that these aren’t truly excellent things to worry about, but as one person with two compost bins in a state with three electoral votes, there’s really not a heck of a lot I can realistically do about anything.

So I was really glad to hear Gretchen Rubin’s “Happier” podcast this morning while I was making the bed—and, by the way, she’s also the reason I tend to make the bed every day. (Told you she was my spirit animal. Although The Minimalists are lately making a run for the title.) Anyway, the podcast suggested an interesting tip: Schedule a time to worry. In other words, go ahead and worry if you’re going to anyway, but try to set an appropriate time—and time limit—for it.

Frankly, I don’t know if I will be able to “worry on demand” like that, but I think the idea is worth trying, if only so I can tell my 3 a.m. self that I don’t need to worry now because I’m scheduling it for later. (I’m thinking 3 a.m. self is probably groggy enough to fall for it.) Election Day is November 8, so I think I’ll plan to worry starting at 11:08 every day. I can write down a couple of things I’m particularly troubled about, stew over them for a few minutes, and get on with my life. Sounds great in theory.

Wanna worry with me?

1 comment:

  1. You know, my husband is very wise, and one thing he says that comforts me is that a political implosion like this may be just what we need to really shake up the political system in our country, which is in desperate need of overhaul. And, he also reminded me today that this is a reason why we have checks and balances. So, I am not rooting for disaster with a capital T by any means, but that made me feel a lot calmer. And global warming ... well, who knows what will finally have to happen for people to take it seriously. Probably the same type of implosion, frankly. I don't know about scheduling a time to worry, though. The Bible is pretty clear that we're not supposed to worry at all. I'm bad at that, but that is what I tell my middle of the night self (though for me that's 11:04 pm, so really it's my start of the night self).