Monday, January 4, 2016

worrying about the weather





It hasn't snowed at all yet this winter.  I live in Maryland and it's been unseasonably warm.  All of us who live here know it hasn't snowed. I don't have to inform anyone but I still keep bringing it up.  Yesterday I found myself talking about the lack of snow to the checkout lady in the grocery store.  I told her this mild weather makes me nervous and I hope we don't get crazy amounts of snow soon to make up for it.  It felt so unnecessary after I said it. Mainly because this has been my go-to small talk for the past couple weeks and I'm tired of hearing myself bring it up.  I never know what to say for small talk.

I do worry about the weather though.  I worry a lot, in general.  I'm worried right now as I type this.  I spend my life distracting myself from my worries, trying not to feed my fears.  Lately my anxieties have been at an all time high and I've been here and there talking about simplicity and slowing down and getting rid of distractions.  All of this because I need the soothing.  I need the space to breathe.  And I've questioned it because my faith hasn't wavered, it's stronger than ever, so why am I so anxious? How is my faith growing and I'm still worried all the time?

I'm starting to make some sense of it.


When you are constantly stepping out of your comfort zone, stretching yourself and expanding, it's natural to be worried and assured at the same time.  New sights.  New feels.  New challenges.  Carried away by imagination, anchored by faith.  I like to think that this is part of my becoming.  Another contradiction that balances out my emotional extremes.  Feeling the fear and being brave anyway.  Having worried thoughts but knowing how to redirect them.  Being uncomfortable but knowing it's necessary.

Worrying a lot as I do, I refuse to let my thoughts boss me.  I've been scared by shadows often enough to know that when you move the light, the shadow transforms into something else.

So the check out lady was worried about the weather too.  She hates snow.  She wants to move somewhere warm enough to have no winters at all but then she'd have to deal with more hurricanes and tornadoes and earthquakes, she says.  She's glad there's been no snow. It's one less thing to annoy her and make her late for work.  We laughed about that.  I left her lane with my groceries thinking about how I liked her energy and our exchange.  And this is where it gets weird, because in my mind, we were talking about something more than the weather.

What if what I was really saying was:

I'm happy.  Things are going well.  But I keep looking up at the sky, waiting for it to fall.  I'm nervous about being so content.  The world is way too uncertain.  If I let myself get too comfortable, surely I will be reminded of how fast the seasons change.

And maybe what she was really saying was:

Yeah.  I'll be happier when I'm in control with no surprises.   I'm just trying to figure where I can go to find that set up.  So far, I can only think of places where there are still unwanted situations and I'm still not in control. 

Or something like that.

Carried away by imagination, this is how I flip things sometimes, looking for meaning and truth beyond the surface.  If you really listen to the things people say, the chatter we distract ourselves with can be code for help me, see me, i'm scared too.  You can move the light, you know?  Shift the shadows and see things differently.

I'm wired this way, so this is what I do.  I'm preoccupied with noticing.  This is why I'm a writer and I guess maybe why I'm a worrier too.  Overthinking can make little things huge and great things horrible but it can also create quiet, strangely meaningful moments from everyday things like chatting about the weather with the lady at the grocery store.

What I wish for all of us is that we would worry less and imagine more.

Do you worry a lot?  How does it come out?















10 comments:

  1. Thank you for that wish, GG! I have been talking about the weather quite a bit these days.
    I have been researching where to move to escape this cold weather in the DMV, but I started to worry about natural disasters, apartment searching, jobs and $. I worry about EVERYTHING. My sisters tell me to just stop worrying like it's that easy.

    I have been worrying since I was a child...Feed the children commericals come on... I worried about those kids and asked my mom to adpot some of them. Growing up Jehovah's Witness and learning that those who did not believe will be destroyed when the new system of things returns...I cried and asked my Mom why would God destroy the people who didn't know about JW? Religion is at the forefront of my fears. The list goes on...
    My wish to is to just let go a little and listen and to trust myself alot more.

    Warmest Regards!
    K

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    1. Oh my gosh...meeeee toooooo. I've had all the same worries. I didn't grow up JW, but I grew up as a Christian Baptist taught that anyone who didn't accept Jesus Christ as their savior would go to hell and I worried about this and it troubled me through my whole childhood. LOL. I'm giggling about it now but it was seriously something that stressed me. Yes, we need reminders about letting go and having faith. We don't have to understand everything or have all the answers.

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  3. Happy New Year GG! I too worry more than others...and like you, get preoccupied with noticing. My worry turns into anxiety, misunderstanding and defensive reactions. Sometimes I spend so much time obsessing over what MIGHT be wrong...or waiting for an anvil to fall on my head, I miss the present. Gotta check myself!

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    1. Worry also shows up in my skin...ridiculous breakouts!

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    2. Yup! Me too. It's something I have to be mindful of everyday and sometimes I handle it well and others I don't! When I'm in a creative zone, I'm never worrying. So I try to go there as much as possible!

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  4. I use to worry about death a lot when my daughter was younger and being a had very little family ties I'd wonder who would care for her if something happened to me. Now that she is older and I have learned to use my worry as a tool to stay focused on the moment when I find myself worrying way too much I Meditate.

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    1. Yes, I don't remember being anxious at all before I had kids. Not like this. Meditating has helped me so much. I need to be more consistent about it though!

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  5. Thank you thank you thank you!
    I worry if I'm good enough for this new life I'm creating without poor taste in men, ignoring my desire to create great journalism, and unconscious sabotage.
    I'm no longer contemplating my death or settling for unhappy. Meditation and family has helped. Helped is an understatement because they've saved me from myself

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  6. Thank you thank you thank you!
    I worry if I'm good enough for this new life I'm creating without poor taste in men, ignoring my desire to create great journalism, and unconscious sabotage.
    I'm no longer contemplating my death or settling for unhappy. Meditation and family has helped. Helped is an understatement because they've saved me from myself

    ReplyDelete