“What If”, Be Damned

It ain’t no use putting up your umbrella till it rains.

~ Alice Caldwell Rice


I received some medical news this week that may or may not be a problem. I won’t have more facts until next week.

I’ve been observing myself since I received that phone call. My first reaction was omg. And I fully felt the weight of what might be. I was rattled and unable to focus for the rest of the day.

But as the week progressed, I noticed that my initial reaction had lessened. And while the bad news idea is still in the back of my head, I have chosen to not worry until I have a reason to.

Why the change?

For one thing, I have come to believe that worrying about what might be in the future takes away from my being in the moment, right now. And, I’m not willing to give up the “right now” for ruminations on the past or concern about the future. I also believe that the future is out of my hands.

I’ve got too much living to do right now to spend my energy on “what if.”

How did I get here?

I come from a long line of worriers. Stories abound about how much time my relatives spent consumed by “what if.” Most of them were products of the 1st Great Depression, so perhaps that attitude is understandable. But… I saw what that did to them and how heaps of energy were squandered, mainly on things that ultimately never happened.

Over time, as I gained wisdom born of age, I decided there is too much living to do to spend inordinate amounts of time and energy fretting over what “might” be. Besides, worrying robs me of today’s happiness. And, from traumatic events in my past, I know how short life can be. All of my energy is directed toward packing my day with truly L-I-V-I-N-G.

So, while it may sound corny, I choose to heed this advice: don’t worry, be happy. I’ll have plenty of time to deal with any problems—if they occur.


Your Call to Action

What’s your current biggest worry? Now, go step on your bathroom scale and imagine holding your worry in your arms. How much additional weight are you carrying? How does it feel in your arms? (Perhaps it spills over, or keeps changing shape.) How does your worry affect your posture? Now, imagine holding your worry in you arms hour upon hour, for one full day. What one word describes how you feel after the 24 hours?

Now imagine a container, deposit your worry there, and move the container out of sight. What do you notice? You DO have a choice…


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“What If”, Be Damned — 1 Comment

  1. Robin, I can relate. I struggle with the ‘what ifs’ regularly. Fully distinguishing between what I can and cannot control does wonders. Praying for the best for you always.