I sent this photo of Marilyn Monroe, blowing a pink bubble, to a friend the other day, for a laugh. The expression on the photo is not really true for me, but it’s definitely a goal of mine. To defeat the tendency to worry.
When I was 23 and pregnant with my first child, I worried about everything. I tried to become informed about the whole adventure but eventually had to trash the books, turn off TLC (The Learning Channel) and just waddle out the 40 weeks. When I reached week 42 and the boy showed no signs of making an appearance that waddle got real old.
The docs wanted me in to come into the office everyday and get my amniotic fluid tested, along with checking for a heartbeat. I was so scared for my baby’s life I wanted to stay hooked up to a fetal monitor 24/7. We gave up the wait and instead I had my labor induced. I will spare you the horrid details, but after a day of pain and worry I had a surprise Caesarean section. I remember seeing his blue, screaming face for a second in the operating room, but didn’t really gain lucidity until after he had been alive and kicking for 12 hours at least. I learned what, to me, was a very valuable lesson and have tried to live under it. Here it is, out of all the crazy scenarios and pregnancy risks and infant diseases I had fretted over for the previous nine months, not once had I pictured myself being rolled into that operating room, not caring if they split me from navel to neck. Nevermore, at no time, nein, did I worry about a C-Section!
It made me think of how foolish I had been to worry at all! It defined worrying to me as a type of god-complex. A false belief that I could know the future. A mind-game to try to prevent bad stuff, by imagining it first. Insanity. Like I said, I try not to do that but obviously still have to catch myself in the act. Apparently it’s a default position for me.
There is another type of worry that I am actually pretty successful at avoiding. For instance, I am on a limited budget but worry about whether I will have funds to cover all my necessary payments. My mantra may be that worry is a waste of time, but if I find myself indulging in retail therapy every time I leave the house… Girlfriend, that’s not useless worry about money, that’s wisdom. It’s my conscience telling me to put on the brakes! Hello, reality discipline. Those thoughts I need to listen to or I will pay the piper.
Another type of worry that I detest is the worry about how another person will react to me, or view me under certain circumstances. My best girl gave me the funniest piece of advice one time when I was stuck in this line of thinking. She said, “What are they gonna do Jill, cancel your birthday?” LOL, love that wisdom! She never planned to impart to me that I should pick up, F-Off as my go-to phrase, but whatever.
“The Lord is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me?”