Deb Linda says, “What, me worry?”

As usual, when stumped for a good take on the Deb topic of the week, I consulted my sweetie, TG.

“Sweetie,” said I, “what are some of my bad habits? I need to blog about them.”

TG, being a supremely smart individual (and knowing which way the bedsheets are folded, if you get my drift) answered without missing a beat. “All your bad habits are good.”

I knew immediately which habits he was referring to–the self-indulgent ones, like my fondness for martinis, Manhattans, chocolate, and the very occasional celebratory cigar. He likes those because he gets to indulge right along with me, guilt-free. (You can see we were meant for each other.)

But I needed more from him, so I was forced to make him a one-time offer of special dispensation for honesty.

“Come on, honey,” I said. “You can tell me what I do that bugs you. I promise you won’t have to break out the steel-clad underwear to protect the boys.”

He looked at me warily. Saw I wasn’t crossing my fingers, manned up, and told me: “Well … you tend to worry too much. Some might say to an annoying extent…”

Annoying?” I narrowed my eyes.

“You promised!” said TG, guarding his dangly bits.

Then a light bulb switched on over my head and I smiled. “Thanks, honey!”

Because he had reminded me of a blog post I wrote a couple of years ago, one I think it would be appropriate to recycle here today. (Recycling is good, right? Gotta think green!) So, here it is–the explanation behind what is apparently my most annoying bad habit:

Proactive Worrying, or How I Prevent the World From Collapsing Around Me

Ahem. *knocks on microphone* Is this thing on?

Hello. My name is Linda, and I am a worry-holic.

*sigh* My family tells me I have worrying down to a science. Sadly, they are right. I do worry. It’s almost a superstition with me–I’m afraid if I don’t worry, something bad will happen. It’s as if I can prevent whatever I’m worried about from happening by the sheer force of my worry.

(But I don’t worry compulsively. Honest. Once I’ve put in a little worry time about something, I let it go. I figure it’s covered then, and why belabor it?)

[Update from TG: “Oh, she labors it. Trust me.”]

[Update from Linda: “Do not!”]

[Update from TG: “Do too!”]

[Update from Linda: “Dispensation revoked!”]

[Update from TG: *crickets*]

See, I have come to a realization: it’s the stuff you don’t think to worry about that always sneaks up and bites you on the ass. Like when lightning struck our maple tree out front, for instance, and the resulting arc of electricity fried every plugged-in electrical appliance (i.e., all of them) we had. I had never worried about that happening.

And yet it did.

On the other hand, I have worried about a plane falling out of the sky on its way to or from a nearby airport, and landing on our house, possibly while we are all asleep on the top floor, crushing us to death beneath its flaming fuselage.

And this has never happened, not even once.

You see? My method of Proactive Worry must work. Anecdotal evidence supports it!

Other Things I Have Prevented through Proactive Worrying:

  • My nose falling off when I have a cold (due to having to blow it too much).
  • Bears eating my family while we stayed at a cabin in the woods in West Virginia.
  • Sharks eating my family while we were at the beach. (This one has worked multiple times.)
  • Horrendous car crashes every time someone I know gets in a vehicle.
  • Getting stuck in an ice cave in Switzerland, only to be found years later, frozen solid, by an unsuspecting group of Swiss schoolchildren.
  • Forgetting my lines onstage.

That last item is the clincher: the one time I didn’t worry about forgetting my lines–because I knew them so gosh-darn well–I got onstage and…blanked. It was a dress rehearsal, not an actual performance, but still mortifying. You can bet I never made the mistake of not worrying about forgetting my lines again after that.

So, how about you? Worrier or not?

I understand if you’re not. Worrying can be time-consuming (but not as time-consuming as if the things you’re proactively preventing by your worry were to happen, mind you), and not everyone is willing to make the mental investment.

Tell you what. Since I’ve become so adept at it myself–really, it’s second nature to me now–I’d be willing to take on some of your proactive worries for you, on a temporary basis, just until you can work it into your schedule.

So, what is it you’d like to prevent? Alien abduction? Adult onset acne? Hemorrhoids? Horrible confrontation with your in-laws over whether to have turkey or ham for a holiday dinner?

Just let me know in the comments, and I’ll be happy to work it into my worry schedule.

And then, whatever you do, try not to worry about what I’ll expect in return…


[Update from Linda: The offer holds. Tell me, what would you like me to worry about for you?]

32 Replies to “Deb Linda says, “What, me worry?””

  1. Ha! I’ve actually gotten BETTER in the worry department and don’t do it as much. Except when I’m on an airplane. I know the odds are slim of crashing, but… No one in my family likes to travel with me. πŸ™‚

    1. Oh, don’t even get me started on flying! The amount of proactive worrying I have to do before air travel is truly daunting.

  2. Oh boy–where to begin on this one? The joke in our house (though my husband is not amused) is that while he actually worries about the REAL stuff (you know, bills getting in on time, car repairs, house maintenance) I am kind enough to take on the REALLY important worries like:

    “Honey, I’m worried we’re running low on microwave popcorn.”
    “Honey, do you think we have enough wine for the weekend?”
    “Honey, are you sure you checked the oven to make sure I turned it off after that coffee cake I baked last night?”
    “Honey, did you hear that rustling in the closet? It could be a trapped palmetto bug.”
    “Honey, are you sure that spray can of sunscreen in the glove compartment won’t make the car blow up if it gets too hot?”

    You know, the REAL worries.

    A good marriage is, after all, a balance, right? πŸ˜‰

  3. i am a worrier. big time. for the record, i tend to worry about things i can’t control, like the weather, traffic, traveling, people’s opinions of me, etc. etc. but i never thought about it as proactive before. i kind of like that, although, hmm, maybe that’s just a way of enabling myself! naw, it’s the right thing to do.

  4. I’m a worrier for sure, but I’ve tried to lessen what I worry about over the years. Or I guess you could say I’ve gotten pickier? There will always be my kids to worry about, and that sucks up 99% of my worry time, but there’s all that other stuff, some big, some small that works it’s way in: the writing biz, finances, health, the to-do list. I will say the great thing about being busy is that sometimes I don’t have time to worry and that’s awesome.

    1. True, about staying busy. Of course, I’ve found I’m a great multitasker when it comes to worrying. I can keep my worry humming in the background while I work on other things.

  5. I’m not a natural worrier. I have some general worries: death, fire, bankruptsy, but these aren’t things I think about often. I’m more of an “I’m obsessed with knowing all the things” kind of person. That makes my husband crazy, but maybe because he worries about my sanity.

    1. Ha! I’m convinced every family needs at least one worrier. Maybe your husband worries so you won’t have to. πŸ˜‰

  6. LOL! I’m NOT a worrier. Live-In Handyman is a great worrier, though, and he worries enough for both of us. He gets it from his mother. She would worry if she had nothing to worry about.

  7. I’m not really a worrier, more a be-prepared boy scout type. I mean, I do worry from time to time, but it’s usually an isolated burst of concentrated worry that never goes longer than a day. Which is good, because my worries tend to be things like, “I will never, ever be a good enough writer.” And who wants to carry that around?

    1. Ugh. That’s a terrible worry for a writer to have. πŸ™

      The be-prepared boy scout thing is good, though. Kind of the practical twin to worry.

    1. Well, I figured if I couldn’t change my worrying habit, I could at least think of a way to make it more palatable. πŸ˜‰

  8. Man Linda,

    It sounds more like a compulsive disorder rather than worry, get with it women, chill out stop worrying so much live is to short.

    I for one am not a “worry Wart” but I do have a fear of flying (even though I do it, or I would never go anywhere in this wide open world).

    I can understand the worry that a writer goes through, (as you know we all just went through the emotions with Joanne, yep even Mom, her maj groups, her family, her Debs) now that I can understand it is emotional worrying).

    The only other worry that we go through is when we are raising our children, and then our grandchildren, but you know what live has its ways of helping us if we help ourselves.

    So Linda, get a stiff upper lip and stop the worrying and enjoy life. (airplanes are not going to crash into your house, and I don’t want you to get ulcers they are not fun trust me I know)

    You are funny lady. Have a good weekend (and go easy on that husband of yours)

    1. LOL! Aw, don’t worry about me, Marcia. It’s my proactive worrying that keeps me sane in an insane world. And if I feel myself start to worry too much, I just have a nice Manhattan and take the edge off. πŸ˜‰

      And I’ll try to ease up on TG. He’ll be happy you’re looking out for him. *grin*

  9. I prefer to call it advance planning. I’m a geek with an analytical mind… ever notice that “analytical” starts with “anal”? Sorry, I digress.

    Anyway, I figure out all the things that could possibly go wrong, come up with a plan about how to deal with each of them, and then let it go. I’m the one who always knows where all the exits and emergency stop buttons and fire alarm boxes are. I’m prepared for anything from a zombie apocolypse to a last-minute black-tie gala… though frankly, I’d prefer the zombies. Real zombies, I mean, not deadly boring folks in evening wear… um, never mind.

    1. LOL! (About the anal. Er, I mean…oh, heck, you know what I mean.) And I hear ya on the black-tie affairs. Give me zombies any day.

  10. I probably don’t worry ENOUGH. I mean, some things should definitely warrant some kind of concern, ya know? But I learned a long time ago that my worrying never changed a thing, except for maybe carving another wrinkle or two into my forehead. So me and Alfred E… don’t worry. Either something is gonna happen, or it isn’t. So I expect the best, and prepare for the worst. And have another glass of wine.

  11. I’m not a worrier and here’s why – when I was little my dad would always say – things happen when you least expect it. So, I would proactively expect bad things to happen so that they wouldn’t. It got so bad that I would scare myself too much to go outside and play.
    Anywho – I eventually rejected that idea and now I hardly ever worry.
    Would you worry about the presidential election going the wrong way for me? Cause I don’t want to think about that AT ALL.

  12. Ah, if only I’d known about your talent sooner, you could have prevented so many things for me. Maybe you could just worry about people hating my book when it comes out. That would save me a lot of worry time for other things. : ) Loved your post as always – tell TG we love him for his courage.

  13. I don’t worry much about realistic things. Now, when it comes to crazy things I’m told will never happen, I give a got amount of time to worrying and coming up with a game plan. Like, say, if the zombie apocalypse were to happen. I’ve worried about that enough to know where I’d go and who I’d go through the effort to get to. But, hey, thus far the zombie apocalypse hasn’t happened yet so maybe this whole proactive worrying thing really works?

    Great post. It was very amusing πŸ™‚

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