A few days ago, I woke up with one thought in my mind: “You know what? I’m going to not worry about anything today. I’m very good at worrying anyway, so I can always do it again tomorrow if things don’t work out today.”
I used to be a carefree person. Then I became a parent. Slowly, I developed an obsession to read the future, to catch problems before they happen, to see further ahead, all in the name of making life as safe as possible for our children. Slowly, my brain became more and more focused on thinking about worst case scenarios, to make sure that I could handle them properly. I started to worry about a lot of things, things that eventually never happened, but would nevertheless cost a lot of my mental energy.
The worrying became so frequent and strong that it’s affecting my physical health. And life continues being unpredictable, as unforeseen problems keep happening. So it was quite a different day, the day I woke up and decided not to worry for one day.
I felt lighter. I realised something new, that my worrying and problems that arise are entirely separate. Problems will show up anyway whether I worried about them or not beforehand. Worrying does nothing to problems that actually show up. And the amount of energy I have to use to fix a problem is likely the same, whether I worried about it or not beforehand.
Or, in other words, worrying is an extra work that’s not particularly efficient or useful.
That day I did not live completely worry-free. Some worries still crept into my mind. We had to do some errands outside, and during a pandemic, that’s a good enough reason to worry. I noticed those worries, and tried my best to talk to them and let them go. It didn’t work that well, but I suppose that’s understandable. I’ve never done any of this before! But overall, I felt pretty good about it.
In a weird meta sort of way, I’m also worried that not worrying at all is not the perfect solution. I still need to be able to foresee some problems and prevent them from happening, if I could. But I think I should be able to dial down the intensity. I should be able to trust myself more, that if something unpredictable happens, I will have some sort of ability to handle problems that arise.
Personally, I think a powerful way to change myself is the fact that I love to experiment. I enter a lot of new hobbies out of curiosity. Just to see what it’s like. So it feels like a good idea to tell myself to try not worrying for a day. Just to see what would happen.
If the experiment fails, I can always go back to worrying tomorrow. Or, maybe the experiment will be successful enough to help me delay the worrying further to the future. Who knows. Why don’t I try and see?