Saturday, December 11, 2010

I Don't Want Worry Wrinkles

I also don't want to be a frump.

I’ve filled my face with worry wrinkles.

That’s what I call them. There’s this crease in the middle of my forehead above my left eyebrow, and I swear it was not as deep and as defined earlier this year as it is now. I can tell you exactly when it developed, and it probably will never go away.

I’d rather be noticed for my smile lines, my bursting red cheeks, and my sometimes apple-colored skin. I say that even though I find it, too, embarrassing sometimes.

The Reverb 10 project put out the word today as “Things.” What 11 things do I not need in my life in 2011? Certainly, I don’t need worry.
Worry never got anyone anywhere and fear and doubt don’t help either.

“Doom!” My boyfriend says to me when anything could potentially go wrong. For example, I have a paper due for a graduate class but I may not have time to finish. I’ll tell him my concerns, and he says the word “doom.” He says it with this deep, long, “ooom” sound that kind of makes me laugh and quiver at the same time. I love that.

I don’t want the doom. Yet, I have to understand that sometimes, I just can’t do anything about it.

Another example is having an unpredictable expense and putting it on a credit card. Instead of whining about it, I have to make the money I do have last longer. Or, I ask him kindly to donate generously to the Get the Frump Out of My Rump fund, and he pitches in, willingly.

What happens to you when you worry? When you are afraid?

I sometimes call it the “haunted house of my head.” It’s where all the negative ideas and thoughts are. There’s a difference between a gut instinct and rattled nerves. I believe that fear and worry manifest with a heart beat, and flushed skin, and sometimes the nibbling of fingernails. It manifests in the same way when I’m watching a movie that I know is not real, which is how I know it’s irrational.

Fear of failure. Fear of losing. It is the disenchanted wonderment that comes in asking, “Why?”

Doubt, fear, worry, they’re ugly. They are unattractive. Yet, the fact that we, as humans, have these feelings is real. Most of us, unless we are serial pessimists, don’t go through life looking for evidence to support our doubts, our fears, and our worries. Instead, if you’re like me, we choose to believe. We choose to trust and open our hearts to the positive parts of life. I recognize that life does not come without some sort of angst every once in a while, I just don’t like it.

A life that is worth living, and a love that’s worth loving, is what these experiences are all about. If we are lucky, we learn something along the way. Every morning that I wake up, I choose life. In that choice, I also choose to love the people I love, and who I know love me: Mom, Dad, Nathan, and so many good friends.

Resilience, I wrote the other day, is about the staying up and not in the falling down.

So, in answer to this challenge, as difficult as it is, I need not worry in 2011. I choose faith. I choose to celebrate in the joy while I am in it, and not wait for it. The minute worry ends, the best of my life can begin.

p.s. The 10 other things I could do without in 2011 are: doubt, fear, anxiety, confusion, debt, loss, weight gain, illness, car problems, and somehow not graduate.
How I'll work to prevent them? Believe, trust, relax, ask questions, save more, love wholeheartedly, eat and work out well, take my vitamins, take my car to the shop, and do the work and graduate.


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