Life is a Revelation…be encouraged

What Me Worry?

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I’ve got a confession and from the title of this post you are probably well on your way to guessing what it is. Yes, I worry. It all started back when I was about three years old. I was born and raised in small farming community in central Illinois. I believe my hometown’s total population at the time was 630 people, it is even less now. My hometown’s claim to fame was from being at the crossroads of Rt 136 and US 66. Before the invention of the interstate this was a very big deal. Truckers traveled both roads extensively and we were the home of Dixie Trucker’s Home.

It started out as this..

But by the time I came it looked more like this… 

Image from

 It is hard to imagine, but behind the photographer is US 66, on the other side of the restaurant is Rt. 136 and the road you see connects the two. Beyond Rt 136 and two houses up on the right would be the home my Dad brought Mom and I to, after my birth. The house was nothing fancy (not much in hometown is), but it was a great place to grow up. Not shown in this photograph is the huge semi-truck parking lot directly to the right.  Hundreds of semis parked there and depending on their destinations they would pull out on the road you see in the photograph and either head to the left for US 66 or to the right for Rt 136.

For me those turning right to proceed to Rt 136 were the problem. Somehow in my young mind the concept of brakes and their function hadn’t taken root yet. So for my little three old mind when I would be playing in the front yard and the these huge semi trucks pulling 48 foot long trailers would come roaring down to the intersection, I was never completely convinced they wouldn’t keep on coming up my street veer to their right and run me over. Why I thought this I don’t have a clue. I never worried when I was in the car with my Dad that he couldn’t stop at each stop sign, nor did any truck driver ever give any indication at all that he might barrel on through the intersection and head my way. Nonetheless, each time a semi came toward Rt 136, I would run over and hide behind the front porch, watching carefully, completely convinced of the inevitability of my imminent demise.

That was the first worry I can remember and I was greatly relieved when we moved from that home at the age of five to a home that contained no death threats. Since then I have had more worries than I can count. Some have been warranted, such as when our youngest was deployed during two tours of duty, one to Iraq and the other to Afghanistan. Others, I am ashamed to admit, have been just as irrational as the first.

As I’ve gotten older and more in tune with how I function in life, I have tried to weed out those irrational worries. Sometimes I’ve been successful and other times, well let’s just say, occasionally my worries seem to have long talons. I’ve listed some ideas below that experts recommend:

  1. Address the worry. Put a name to it and know why you are worried about it.
  2. Indulge the worry. The idea being if you analyze it enough the worry loses its powerful grip.
  3. Get uncomfortable. Do the uncomfortable thing that is making you worry.
  4. Make a decision. Is it a good worry, like you need to get something done or is it a bad worry you can’t do anything about.
  5. Don’t rush it. Many times you feel you need to do something, don’t make a rash decision, take your time.
  6. It is never as bad as you think it is. This is a big one, our minds can reach for some far out ideas when we are worried.
  7. Talk about it. Sharing your worries tends to lessen their impact.

Think about what has you worried in life. Talk about it to someone you trust. I know everyone reading this knows that life is too short to lose precious time to worrying, yet we do. All of us do, but join with me, and let’s try to do it less and stop frittering away anymore of the time we have left.

Be encouraged!

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40 thoughts on “What Me Worry?

  1. Great post. Breathing deeply helps for me–weird I know. But all points are correct! And worry really serves know purpose!

  2. Thanks for sharing. I can really relate to this at the moment as I have an issue I am in constant worry over. And I thought sometimes there should be a number 8 on your list. Some times there is nothing you can do to rationalise the problem, to make it smaller, or to make it go away and talking about it doesn’t help. So my advice for number 8 would be to try and distract yourself and keep busy on other matters.

    • #8 sounds good…thanks for taking the time to read and comment…and I hope what ever it is you are in “constant worry over” gets resolved and you can get back to running through fields of clover with your shoes off.

      Be encouraged!

  3. Stephen,
    I used to worry a lot mostly about money, I don’t have enough, I need more, yadda yadda.
    When I stopped worrying about money all the time, is when I started to have some.
    Its the whole law of attraction, negativity breeds negativity and positive actions brings positive results.
    Great post I really enjoyed it

  4. My “worry therapy” is: Pray, Breathe, Repeat! Also, please thank your son for his service 🙂

  5. I certainly would worry if I had a son in Afghanistan or Iraq. I’m sorry that you had such worry. On the bright side, sounds like you can be really proud, too.
    I am worrying a bit less these days because I am getting better at accepting the things that I cannot change. It is always wonderful to be pleasantly surprised if perchance they miraculously do. Happy weekend to you, Susie, and JtheWD! ~ Lily

    • You know when you are becoming wise in life when you can tell the difference between what is important and what is not.

      Thanks Lily for taking the time to read and send me a few gracious words…Happy Mother’s Day and all the best to you and yours.

      Be encouraged!

  6. It’s not that I would ever THINK of minimizing your worrying; I would like to point out that as much as the males supporters in a family worry, the mothers do not sit twiddling their thumbs. They can’t sleep at night either when they have something on their minds. They are the REAL quiet worriers. Not just about the kids but about the provider and how they can make him feel good about himself, which he ends up making her feel guilty of.

  7. I must add, because the comment box got weird: making her feel guilty because he is unhappy and taking out this anger and unhappiness on his innocent family.

  8. Somewhere along the line I have employed all of those tactics to ease my worries. I have seen the most success with taking action – doing something about it. My mantra is “action dissolves fear.” I also get a lot of comfort from sharing my worries with trusted friends. Thanks for reminding me that worries are universal and not all-controlling.

    • Thank you for writing…It is amazing to me as you go around the world and throughout all cultures how similar our emotions are. When I write I try to tap into those universal feelings that remind us we are not alone and a lot closer to one another than we might think.

      Be encouraged!

  9. Unaddressed worries develop depression….

  10. free penny press on said:

    I can tell I’m getting older because I certainly woryy less and less as the years go by. Used to be I worried about every little thing. If I can not control it, I doo not worry. Now, I can be concerned but that does not consume me with fear. make sense? Very insightful post!

    • What do you mean you don’t worry about every little thing…have you read your post about buying the sunglasses…LOL. You are right we are getting older…and hopefully with that age comes at least a modicum of wisdom…at least I am not still worried about the same concerns I had when I was younger.

      BTW…the sunglasses did look REALLY good… 🙂

      Be encouraged!

      • Crap…you didn’t write the post about buying the sunglasses…and I can’t remember who did…although I thought it was a great post…so much for wisdom as I get older…OMG… 🙂

        Be encouraged!

  11. Dave on said:

    I admit to worrying, sometimes but, moments after the rash rationalizations, settle down, I can bring it to ‘concern’ status.

    Once…..what can & am I going to do about it, clicks in…I’m free to take positive thought, and action as necessary.

    Worry can keep me from prompt, positive action. A ‘concern’ is categorizing correctly for me to inspire thought, action to resolution.

  12. Dave on said:

    P. S. Encouraged!

  13. What a great post! My sister worried about tornadoes for many years. If the skies grew dark, she would hide and sometimes vomit. The catch is, we live in New England. The most tornado-less part of our country. This whole tornado fear, I believe, was started when she watched The Wizard of Oz at a tender age. Gosh, it’s a horrid thing to be a fearful child!

  14. Pingback: The Wizard of Oz-Classic Terror | Sillyfrog's Blog

  15. I placed a link to this post in the new post it inspired me to write.

  16. Your route 66 story reminds me of kid’s “Cars” movie(the original)…lol. Its amazing how much stress and worry you start accruing after getting married. If I chart my Worry(y-axis) against Time(x-axis) in a graph, it would be a flat plateau leading up to marriage, then a gradual linear increase leading up to my first kid, and an exponential increase after 😦

    • Yes, I remember those years, when just the simple act of getting out of the car in the parking lot can trigger all sorts of Bizarre possibilities, from toddler kidnappers to run away car chases…lol…I could write a novel just about my out-of-this-world scenarios created in my mind as I was raising our children.

      Be encouraged!

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