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?]