How Do You Rise Above the Worries?
Driving to school yesterday was business as usual. I was paying attention to the traffic, trying to decide if the guy next to me was really smoking a cigar and reading the paper while driving (he was), thinking about all the things that need to get done, wondering what I could make for dinner. In the midst of all my thoughts, I hear Lorelei proclaim, “Look! A blimp!”
Cruising above us was a U.S. Navy blimp. The three kids spent the rest of the drive excitedly discussing where it could be going, how it flies, who could be inside, and singing “Blimpa, bloompa, doopity doo.” What was just an average ride to school became something wonderful because Lorelei was looking up.
I would have missed the blimp. I was too caught up in responsibility, in worrying about what was coming up next. Don’t get me wrong – I definitely needed to keep an eye on Mr. Cigar and Newspaper next to me – but it was a reminder that sometimes we get so caught up in our thoughts that we forget to enjoy the moment.
This is what worrying does to you. I’m meant to be a worrier, genetically speaking. My mother is the queen of worry. She has the most amazing heart, but loving everyone as much as she does sometimes means that she gets caught up in making sure that everything is alright for everyone. She wants to fix things, protect people, keep them safe. And I understand the impulse. The thought of one of my children having their feelings hurt or their spirit broken makes my heart hurt. But they will.
My children will get hurt. Whether that means scraped knees or battered hearts, they will feel pain. They will face things that scare them, and they’ll feel alone. They’ll have friends who betray them. They’ll stumble and fall. I can’t stop the world from hurting them. All I can do is be there for them when they need to be lifted up, dusted off, and loved.
I’m thinking about these things a lot this week. I had my first mammogram last week. I’m starting early due to a family history of breast cancer. I got a call on Monday that they found some “asymmetric tissue” and want me to get a diagnostic mammogram and a breast ultrasound today. Now, the rational part of me thinks that this is great. I’m glad that they are being so thorough in establishing a baseline and making sure that everything is as it should be. The other part of me – the worrier who wants to take over my life – she is in the background, telling me to Google and coming up with all the things that it could be. But this week I’m telling her to take a hike. There are things to do, and blimps to spot. Plus, I’ve got three little ones, a sweet husband, and my worrying mother who will be there for me, no matter what. Who will help lift me up, dust me off, and love me, regardless of what happens.
So, I’m wondering – how do you avoid getting caught in worries and missing out on joys?