It’s hard to remember if I was always this way. Was I ever a worrier? Did I ever believe that life would fall apart if I did….or I didn’t? Have I ever lived with nagging doubt or overwhelming anxiety? I suppose I would remember such intense feelings.
I generally feel as though life will just work out. Does that sound crazy? It does now that I’ve said it out loud.
Maybe I’ve learned to compensate for my husband. I think he worries enough for the both of us. He always has. Shortly after we started dating, I returned from a trip to Ireland with a gift for him: a Connemara worry stone. Connemara was so incredibly beautiful – it was easy to lose your worries there. In hindsight, I suppose I should have taken him on the trip instead of trying to bring the trip back to him. He kept the stone, but he didn’t stop worrying.
I like to think that we balance each other out, though I’m not entirely certain that my husband sees it that way. He seems to believe that in order to compensate for my lack of worries, he is required to worry twice as much as he normally would. Of course, there was that one time – it was 9/11 in New York City – when he might have been right.
We spent September 10th in the city celebrating our wedding anniversary. We woke up in our room – room number 911 (yes, I’m serious) – on September 11th to the sound of sirens. My husband’s first instinct was to get us out of there. My first instinct? I thought we should take a walk.
Yes, you read that right. I wanted to take a walk.
My brain seemed only to understand that we had nowhere to go. Trains, subways, buses – none of them were running and so we were stuck where we were. I reasoned that the very efficient and well-trained NYPD and FDNY would get things under control and, when they did, we would be able to catch a train back home. For a short while, my husband tried hard to channel my calm energy…. and then he told me I was crazy. He led us, on foot, across the 59th Street Bridge where we met up with thousands of others who were all caught somewhere between calm exodus and panicked escape. Somewhere over that bridge, my brain caught up and I got it.
This is when I’m supposed to tell you about the turning point in my life. The moment I realized that I should worry more about life and all that happens in it. I hope I don’t disappoint you when I say that I never had that epiphany; I never thought that worrying was the answer. I still trust that life will happen. Life has a habit of moving on and working itself out … one way or another. Worrying doesn’t seem to change any of that. My theory? Let go of the worry, hold on to the happy.