Worrying is like a rocking chair

My brother-in-law said something good when Elsie was a couple of years old.  I told him that when she was born (at 24-weeks gestation) we sat beside our critical baby, born before any part of her body (inside or out) was ready and all of a sudden the drought and the failed crops didn’t matter; we gained a new perspective on life. But a couple of years on, the drought was still there and the crops had failed again and we had a healthy two-year old and I told my brother-in-law that we’d lost all that new perspective I thought we’d gained. We’d started to worry about all the things we used to worry about.

And he said it probably meant that our lives were going along smoothly.

Sometimes I find myself worried or anxious about small things. Really small. And it’s only now that I’ve sat down and said that out loud that I see how small some of them really are.

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I don’t worry about things that have happened in the past. Some people do. A mistake they made or a decision they wish they hadn’t. I think that decisions are made based on the facts available at the time and that makes them right. It’s only hindsight that proves the decision wrong.

It’s not that. But it’s equally as unproductive. I worry about things that haven’t even happened yet. Possibly or probably won’t ever happen. And just like the ineffective worry about something in the past, I know that there are no positive results that can come from worrying about something in the future. In fact, I’ll probably invite or create negative results with my negative thinking. The more you worry, the more you worry and it’s a habit I don’t want to form.

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So. I got in touch just now with my good friend, Google. And I want to share a perspective I found on perspective (clever use of the two meanings of perspective in the one statement, no?). Psychologist Dr Bill Crawford suggests that we choose our perspective on something by standing back and asking ourselves some questions:

Is the way I am seeing this situation and/or myself within this situation serving me and those I love? Is it helping me create the experience of life I want? Is this perspective helping me make quality decisions about what to do next? Is the way I am interpreting what I see helping me define who I am and who I am becoming in a way that works for me? Would I recommend this perspective to someone I loved? Would I want to teach this perspective to my children, or children in general? Is this view of myself and the world coming from love or fear, and which of these is the energy I choose to guide my beliefs, emotions, actions, and experience?

And all of a sudden, worrying about how many nursery mobiles I need to get in the post this week (while I’m pushing Maeve on the swing and telling her ‘Only 10 more pushes then I need to go and do some jobs’) isn’t serving me well. Nor Maeve. It’s not the experience of life I want and I wouldn’t recommend this perspective to someone I loved. I wouldn’t teach it to our kids.

So thanks, Bill. For putting it so clearly for me. Thanks Maeve and Elsie for acting like puppies that want to sniff every blade of grass and investigate every beetle while I just want to jog around the block.

And while jogging around the block this last week or two (I did stop a couple of times to look at a caterpillar on Elsie’s arm or help make a helicopter for a teddy out of a shoe box), I successfully filled all of my online orders, built up a bit more stock to fill our stall for two days at Three French Hens in Hamilton last weekend and kept our children fed and bathed. But that’s all. There was no washing clothes. Actually there was one load. But no folding. No sweeping or vacuuming. No opening mail or replying to emails. And it was worth it. I spent two days with my mum. We sold heaps of things and met lots of great people.

And we plan to do it all again this weekend at The Square – Bendigo’s Handmade Market. The market is on Saturday and Sunday but we’re there on the Sunday only. And I won’t worry. The stock I have made is the stock I have made. The display we have will be the display we have. Elsie’s education will be Elsie’s education. Maeve will be ready for kinder when she’s ready for kinder. Our house will be messy if I have two markets over two weekends and 95,000 online orders. If our house is messy, our house is messy. If I eat chocolate biscuits and drink Milo while I type this, I’m a fat pig. If I’m a fat pig, I’m a fat pig.

So liberating {eats another biscuit}.

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Edited to add:
PS. LOT of quotes in this post. We’d already established I like quotes. If you didn’t know, now you do.

PSS. LOT of new colours available in my polymer clay necklaces. Check them out and order one for a teachers gift, childcare staff, your mum, or yourself. It’s a plug. And it’s shameless. I’m not worried about it…

8 thoughts on “Worrying is like a rocking chair

  1. Great post, Larissa. Worrying is definitely overrated. Such a shame it’s so easy to do! And since you love a good quote:

    You can’t wring your hands and roll up your sleeves at the same time. ~Pat Schroeder

    You can never worry your way to enlightenment. ~Terri Guillemets

    x

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    1. Thanks Gab, and I love those quotes too – thanks for sharing! Felt great going to bed last night after writing this, then late this morning rang Anthony to tell him about a ‘concern’ I had that probably won’t happen. He suggested I should read the latest blog post by the owner of The Bear & The Whale. How funny. I did enjoy my 12 hours of enlightenment! 🙂

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    1. I first read that Dalai Lama quote in a bookshop when I picked up a book about Buddhism for mothers, opened it on a random page and that was the first thing I read. So simple. Why is it so easy to forget?! Thanks Steph x

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  2. If we did not worry, we would not be human – or humans who cared. And it is easy to say don’t worry but not so easy to practise. My mantra is life is the Serenity Prayer:
    God, give me the patience to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference. Pretty simple really but we tend to make our lives I lot more difficult than they should be. But … again, well done you on your successful markets!!
    PS – I have strategically placed the Christmas decorations around the house (ie up and out of Alex’s reach) and fondly pinned the Christmas doves I bought from you last year on our noticeboard – so lovely!)
    Christine

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