Hollie Grimaldi Flores: What, me worry?
Although I completely understand worry does not change a thing, I have a confession to make I am a worrier. Countless journaled pages written, dozens of self-help volumes read, and thousands of therapy dollars spent has not changed my core reaction to potential adversity, conflict or challenge. I fret. I imagine scenarios long before the actual outcome reveals itself. I agonize over what if’s and what might be. If any of my worst fears were to come to fruition, there would be no joy or satisfaction in being right about my worst-case scenarios. Truly there is no win in worry. Often, (always) the anxiety is for naught. What will be, will be and things always do work out … one way or the other.
And stuff does happen.
I am trying to focus on the present and to stop ruminating on the past or worrying about the future. In an attempt to be more positive and less focused on controlling situations, I am turning to gratitude. After all, it is that time of year.
By focusing on all that I have to be thankful for, I find myself spending less time agonizing and more time amazed at the good that surrounds me.
My good fortune begins with a healthy and loving husband and extends to my own good health, successful, self-supporting adult children, the love of many good friends, a roof over my head, plenty of food to eat and the luxury of reliable transportation.
My husband and I recently had a discussion surrounding having “enough.” In the realm of basic needs, we do not lack. We pay our bills. We go out regularly — to dinner or to see a movie, concert, stage performance and other forms of entertainment. We take weekend trips to the ocean and to explore other cities. Truly, we are among the fortunate ones. I know this.
During our talk, my husband announced his level of content. He explained he has he all needs. He fills his time with work, coaching, running, golfing and me. Life, from his vantage point, is quite good.
I want to be like him. But, I am the one who is in self- imposed suffering, as I long for more — more travel, more money in the bank, more things for the house, more options to help our kids as they struggle to lead independent lives. For me, it boils down to a sense of security.
My fear, my worry, is that it will all be lost in a moment. My well-being and my financial health go hand in hand. When there are left over funds in the kitty at the end of the month, I feel better. It is simple. My dilemma is in finding peace in knowing there is enough now, right now. It is not just up ahead. It is here and I need to learn to relax and enjoy the ride.
My life is good. I know this. The problem is I let the fear of what could happen keep me from truly, enjoying what is here in front of me.
Everywhere I turn I see people who are struggling. Many who are a paycheck away from dire straits. It is heartbreaking to hear stories of folks who suffered a health set back or an untimely event that changed the course of their life. In some cases, rendering them homeless and bankrupt.
Over the next six weeks or so, with the holiday season is upon us, there is a focus on taking stock of our many blessings, taking time to nurture friendships, and stopping for a moment to reach out to family and loved ones.
We gather and share meals, traditions, laughter and tears. We mourn the loss of those who have passed. We celebrate new life. We acknowledge those who have touched us in some way, and we commemorate the rituals of the season.
What I hope to accomplish this year is to do all those things — gather, share, mourn, commemorate, laugh and cry — with a profoundly grateful spirit.
As I shop for just the right gift, prepare just the right meal, find just the right tree and pray for better than average weather, I will work to be conscious of my general disposition and attend to these chores with an open and happy heart.
There is no question life could be worse. Tragedy can always strike, and I do not believe I have seen the last passing of a loved one. That is life. It is part of the package that is good, bad, ugly, and simply lovely all in good turn.
What, me worry?
Hollie Grimaldi Flores is a Nevada County resident and freelance writer for hire. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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