When we were staring the potty training process with our daughter who was nearing three at the time, I was fretful. I set dates on the calendar to make our first attempt, read all kinds of information, engaged my husband in big debates about how to best approach this, this ordeal (always, said with a sigh). I was very dramatic about it all.
And I worried. I worried that it was too soon, and too late. I worried about our approach. I worried whether it would work and how long it would take and how hard it would be.
One evening, my husband said: “Give it up. There is nothing to worry about here. She is not going to be wetting her pants when she is 16. She will get this figured out at some point.”
And she did, on her own. A week before all my carefully scheduled plans and strategies.
My husband was right of course, and he brought perspective to my world at a time when I was finding lots of things to worry about. Once in awhile, I still do ruminate, but not often. It just isn’t a productive way for me to cope and it certainly doesn’t make me feel any better.
Wonder though? That works for me. It causes me to look creatively for solutions, to gather info, to get involved. It’s an active form of coping. While worry is passive, wonder actually makes room for awe and the other good things in life.
I do still find myself worrying about my daughter and my parenting skills — it’s not smart, but it happens. Once-in-a-while I’ll stress about money. But, I’ve let a lot of other worries go and my life is easier because of it. Truth be told? When I stop worrying about things, I actually handle them more effectively. They pass on through instead of becoming sticking points in my life.
What do you worry about? Which worries can you release and replace with wonder?
6 Things I No Longer Worry About
1. What I eat. If I’m already eating it or if I’m going to eat it, worry only serves to make me feel bad. Instead, I wonder about the food I do choose and my eating style. That has made me more aware and prompted better choices.
2. How much sleep I get. I’m either sleeping or I’m not. Worry doesn’t help do anything but keep me up late at night. Wonder inspires me to find things that help me sleep.
3. What to wear. I wear what I’m comfortable in and no longer worry what others think.
4. How gray my hair is getting. The only thing that’s gonna help this head of hair is dye. So the choice is clear: dye it, or live with the gray. No need to worry. I’m not worried about aging either. I wonder how I can stay healthy and active as I get older, but I’m not caught up in old age will bring. Just grateful to have another birthday.
5. Who likes me. Not my concern. I do wonder though, how I can be a better friend to those whom I like.
6. If I’ll continue to have work. Worry keeps me stuck. Wonder gets me hustling. As long as I’m working hard, the work will be there.