The morning rays filter the bedroom and I hear the woodpecker pecking on a tree trunk outside our house. It is early. In one hour, I will hear another tapping inside the house. My daughter’s feet scurry to start her day.
My day will unfold with routine and mundane tasks: washing dishes, making lunches and dinner, taking out the garbage, checking the calendar, exiting and entering my car for pick-ups and drop-offs and various errands that are planned or arise out of surprise. As I move throughout the morning, my mind gravitates toward various worries, those that are real and imaginary. This is not a new course for me. The thread of worry thrums as my back story. I’ve never quite conquered it and as I get older, the magnitude of what I worry about gains a new momentum, a cycle that continues, as much as I try to stop it.
On the radio or on the news, there is another story about a natural disaster, a shooting at a school, a marriage crumbling permanently when one spouse shoots the other and in a similar vain, catastrophic events overshadow the lives of people I know and love, carrying the same beat – yet another cancer diagnosis, a job loss and a hospitalization for mental distress. This tide of news, whether it happens to a stranger or a friend, creeps into my psyche and feeds my need to worry.
But when the day ends, the worries throughout the day do not usually materialize, but instead, unexpected good outcomes provide the filter to redirect my gaze.
The march of sunrises and sunsets glitter the sky, with a spectacular glow that takes my breath away.
When my family sits together at dinner, there is an exchange of banter and talking about nothing – But this nothing is everything. My circle, front and center, breathing and living.
Everyday I am honored that my words hit the page. Sometimes I worry as I write, but then a moment occurs where I let go of the outcome and sink into the process.
The trickle of voices I hear from via text or phone or through Facebook of reminders that people are celebrating anniversaries, birthdays, promotions or a Hawaiian sunrise on vacation – suggesting the gloaming of goodness is always present.
There are also those moments of insight that occur at the precise right time.
As I scrolled through my Facebook feed yesterday, I ran across this Mary Oliver poem from my blogger friend, Wendy. Oliver’s words captured a sentiment that threads my everyday, but have failed to articulate.
I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?
Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?
Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,
Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
I’ve made a promise. The next time I worry, I will think about the hundreds of good outcomes I’ve witnessed – keeping them close.
Do you worry? What do you do to pacify your worrying thoughts?