Okay, raise your hand if you’ve ever had a moment in life where worry suddenly (or not so suddenly) overwhelmed you. … Yeah, I’m pretty sure that everyone is raising their hand right now. I think worry is an unfortunately common part of being a human. Because we have so much to worry about!
Personally, I’m worried about money—because I had my taxes done yesterday and I owe so, so, so very much, and because there’s some drama with my financial advising—I’m worried about books and book deadlines and the fact that sales have been down at the time of year when they’re supposed to be up (it’s not just me, it’s across the board, and I have strong theories about why), and I’m worried about the state of our country, the high level of stress and conflict with people close and far, and where we’re going. So basically, I’m worried about all the standard, ordinary, normal things that people worry about: Money, Career, and The Future. I’m lucky I’m not in a relationship, or I’d be worrying about that too!
And that’s sort of the point. We all worry about the same things, more or less. I think if you asked any person anywhere to make a list of the top five categories of things they worry about, we’d all end up with the same five things, only in different orders. But what gets me is that in the midst of our own, personal worry, we always seem to think that we’re alone, that we’re the only one worried about those particular things.
Fortunately, we’re not. We’re all in the worry boat together. And as I deal with all of the things that are winding me up and stressing me out, I keep telling myself that. My worries about money seem big to me, but I will not have a problem getting through them. Other people might, and while that doesn’t invalidate the worry I feel, it puts things into perspective. Taxes slapped me upside the head this year, but I planned and prepared for it. Others might not be so lucky.
The same goes for my career. I am always going to be a writer, and I will always continue to write. The market may be down right now, due to outside forces, but those forces will resolve themselves and people will be more interested in reading than watching TV once there’s less drama to focus on. Not to mention that I have some super fun and exciting books coming down the line! Plus, it’s not like my catalog of books will get smaller. So that problem will resolve itself too.
As for the future of this country? If there’s one thing that being a historian has taught me, it’s that life, the universe, and everything goes on. Whatever state we’re in at any given point, it changes. That’s just the nature of the game. Also important to remember is that it’s not my job to worry about the big picture. I can do my little part, then leave it up to others, and ultimately the Big Guy upstairs.
So does that stop worry? Heck no! Of course not! *LOL* But it regulates the flow, so to speak. Although I may back off of the internet for the weekend. We’re never going to stop being worriers, but we are allowed to take vacations from worrying, if only for a moment here and there.