Friday, 22 July 2011

I think, therefore I worry

I was chatting to a friend and two ladies (one mid fifties, one 65) yesterday. We spoke at length about 'worrying'.  I was the only one who openly admitted to worrying a lot. The other three claimed they 'take each day as it comes' and various other gems emerged, such as; "we could get cancer and be dead this time next year" (so - that's not something to worry about? I'm lost).

The conversation progressed onto topics such as plans for the summer holidays, going on holiday and comparing diaries to organise a date for our annual summer trip to the Museum of Welsh Life (worth a visit if you're ever unlucky enough to end up in South Wales) with our children/grandchildren. I seemed to be the only one who 'lives each day as it comes' - I had every day free for the foreseeable future, and didn't need to whip out a diary or consult my phone calendar.

More subjects came up which never fail  to divide the crowd - prison sentences and social workers. I was the odd one out again, I defended social workers and said I believe by the time someone gets to prison all the damage has been done and there's little to rejoice about (case in point was a woman they feel needs to be 'made an example of'). I also added that everyone I know who has been to prison came out and carried on with whatever they were doing to get them in trouble in the first place (I'd like to add I don't know any released rapists, paedophiles, or murderers).

The final straw came when they started to whinge about the recent opening of "yet another charity shop". I piped up "I'm more excited about that than I am about getting Tesco Express and WIlkinson's" (cheap and cheerful homeware, sweets, wet wipes, toothpaste, plastic toys).

As we parted company,  the worry set in, 'Oh dear' I thought  - I didn't agree with anything they said. I wondered if they found me deliberately obtuse. I worried that the dates I'd agreed to for our meet up clashed with plans to go to the caravan/hospital appointments. I worried they thought I didn't think the woman who may go to prison hadn't done anything wrong. I worried I hadn't asked enough questions about their families, did I seem self-absorbed?  I worried they thought I was happy with my choice of footwear (couldn't find the right pair).

I went to bed and worried about all the sugar I've been eating lately. I worried about what I'm going to wear to the wedding tomorrow, I'm bursting out of my usual size, like when you try to put a king size quilt in a double duvet cover.

I worried about the summer holidays; fighting boys, boredom, spending too much, eating too much.  I worried about getting a coldsore. I worried about what the teachers thought because I was one of the few who didn't buy end-of-term presents. I worried about my hair, it needs a good cut and will look awful if I try to style it tomorrow.

Just before I drifted off, I comforted myself with the realisation that if I'm thinking about these things, it shows I care.

I was thinking not worrying.


  1. New motto to say to youself "Dont worry be Happy" and "Always look on the bright side of life" Thanks Mr Monty Python xxx

  2. I worry that you think too much.

  3. I was going to say that I'm not a worrier but after reading this I think I might be.
    I regularly swim with a group of older people who are always ranting about politics, the state of the country and the youth of today. When I put my differing viewpoint across I spend the rest of the day worrying about having offended them or that they think I'm a complete anarchist.
    Charity shops are way better than Tescos and Wilkos. The Black Country is in such a bad state these days that even the chazzas are closing. x

  4. I bought a book once - years ago - called something like Women Who Think Too Much - which was mainly about how to stop worrying and thinking.

    It was so boring - so utterly mind-numbing - that I gave up and put it away and now I think it's on a charity shop shelf somewhere. Or in a landfill maybe. That's really where it should be. I preferred to think and worry than to read that book.

    And of course I love charity shops - we have about 20 in town and my husband freaks out every time a new one opens but I secretly get all excited.

    And I like that your days are sort of 'easy come easy go'. You are more of a free spirit than you realise Luce. Which is an excellent thing to be.

  5. I'm with Socrates - "The unexamined life is not worth living".

    I'm glad I'm not the only person who worries about getting cold sores. It reminds me of the old joke (which you probably already know):

    Q - What's the difference between love and herpes?

    A - Herpes lasts forever.

    I have fond memories of South Wales. My mum has lots of cousins there and we used to stay with one who was married to a retired docker in Barry. I think they were local celebrities once, as they adopted two boys who were badly injured during the Greek Civil War. Their story was turned into a radio play and a book.

    Re: end of term presents - they really annoy me. There have been times when we've been over our overdraft limit, emptying out jam jars to buy food, and suddenly we're supposed to buy a present for someone because they've done the job they're paid to do. I know a couple who are teachers and their household income is FOUR TIMES ours.

    They can buy their own bloody wine.

  6. Worrying is my breathing, I've discovered as I get older. Also, I so worry about coldsores too! x

  7. Hi Luce, what you'd call worrying I'd call reflection...hmm, doesn't everyone do it then? I never knew! I do! End of term presents???? Is that an americanism or is it the apple for teacher gone mad? Either way you should be applauded for not giving in to such nonsense x

  8. This subject keeps coming up - which is worrying in itself. It was on Radio 4’s ‘All in the Mind’ a couple of weeks ago where they called it ‘ruminating’ - you know, that thing we all do in the middle of the night for two hours and in the morning wonder what the heck it was all about. On the website they have some ploys to deal with it :)

    Can I just clarify this presents for teachers thing. As a teacher I sometimes got a box of chocs or a jar of bath salts, but this was the exception rather than the rule. It seems to be a recent thing and yes, there is an element of competition, so I wouldn’t worry about not giving - especially wine for goodness sake. On the other hand some children absolutely adore their teachers and want to bring them things every day: limp bunches of roadside flowers and hand-stitched pieces of cotton fabric. These were far more meaningful as they came from the child her/himself and were given with real affection, not because they felt compelled to. These were the gifts I treasured.

  9. i am a worrier/thinker... i like the term 'monkey mind' for when you can't switch your brain off at night...
    (also - i work in the museum you are planning your yearly trip to! i hope you have fun...)

  10. May I add that I am full of admiration for your ability to write in coherent sentences, using big words, when, by your own admission, you are under the influence (Age of Uncertainty comments). I sometimes have difficulty with this when sober, and attempting to write blog or Facebook comments after a couple of glasses of red often causes embarassment (to my husband). Thank you so much for your very kind words on my blog, and yes, I am fallible and there are many things I am rubbish at - my husband has volunteered to provide a list!

  11. Little Nell - I can't usually form a coherent sentence after a small glass of wine, spoken or typed! Something about drinking over a long period of time, interspersed with food helps me to appear seemingly sober. I have sent many a gobbledegook text, and messed up several comments. I try to stay away from technology when under the influence.
    I eagerly await the list of faults...


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