There is a lot of merit in not allowing ourselves to be consumed by daily worries beyond our control. My mother was a kindergarten teacher for 30 years. She told me the story about a child she had in her class who came every day with a worried look on his face. His new surroundings were making him obviously uncomfortable. My mother picked up on it immediately and invested quality time in addressing his problem. She would compliment his bright mind and tell him what a great helper he was.
One day as she walked past him seated at the table with the other kids, he looked up at her and said, “Mrs. Dudley, I’m not going to worry anymore.” And he didn’t. He had obviously made the positive choice to not let worries beyond his control and consume his day. He made up his mind that he was going to enjoy his day rather than worry about it. Ahhh — .the beauty of good teachers — .
I have my own story of a time period when the process of worrying was interrupting the probablity for having enjoyable days. My 41 year old sister had died unexpectedly from Toxic Shock Syndrome leaving behind three small children. I would go about my days, feeling consumed by worries. I missed my sister terribly and I worried that I could quite possibly hear more bad news. I dissociated myself from friends .My friends would invite me to lunch and my answer was always an excuse of why I could not. I always responded to RSVP’s for parties with a “no.” My heart was hurting so and I didn’t want to be around my friends with a sad demeanor. I wanted the world to feel normal and happy again — I knew that I needed a plan to stop the continual worrying.
A pivotal event that would change my path was fortunately about to occur for me. I received an invitation to a party. I can’t even explain why I said, “yes” this time. I arrived at the party and I instantly noticed my cherished friends talking and laughing. Happy music was playing in the background. I looked around, with a worried expression, and knew that I would not be able to stay and fake happiness. I turned around and left to head home to its sanctity, in order to hide my worried hurting mind and soul.
I woke up the next morning knowing that I needed to map out a plan to shed myself of unhealthy, daily worries and to be able to find a way back into the world again—a world I had always enjoyed. I knew that I needed to learn to live day to day not letting myself be consumed by potential worries in the future. I went about this by mapping out a plan'”a plan to reclaim my life and myself. I decided. I would make a list each night of exactly what I would be accomplishing the next day. I would not make the list to long, so that it would not be
I told myself to pay attention to the small moments of joy, no matter how tiny. At the end of each day, I would make a listing of all the small moments that lifted my heart. It could be caused by the sound of a bird’s song, my dog’s tail wagging, a yummy dessert, my son’s laughter, and on and on. The key was to stay alert and aware of all the good instead of letting my heart feel sadness. I would write down all the happy moments that I witnessed during the day, as a daily reminder of all that was good.
I would also make a list each night of exactly what I would be accomplishing the next day, so as to keep myself busy and occupied. It helped with putting order into each day. I was methodically teaching myself to learn to live day to day and not allowing myself to be consumed by worries.
In addition, I was trying to figure out a way for humor to be reintroduced in my life. Laughter can certainly have healing powers. I have always loved words and putting my thoughts and life observations on paper. I called the area newspaper and asked them if I could begin writing a humor/inspiration newspaper column for them. It forced me to look at the world in a humorous light once again. I would keep a notepad on my bedside table. I found myself waking up in the middle of the night laughing with an idea for another column. After incorporating my plan, I was quickly able to, once again, see the world as the wonderful domain that it is–one that we should love, enjoy and appreciate without being consumed by worries. Our precious family and friends make it that much more beautiful!
So, I am the one saying now, “Mrs. Dudley, (Mama) I’m not going to worry anymore!”