I’m sitting here at my computer trying to think about a topic to write about. It’s not like I don’t have any. In fact, I have a five page document next to me that has hundreds of topics and/or stories for me to write about. No, the problem is that my mind is racing and I can’t figure out what I’m in the mood for. I could regale you with more stories of my time being an insolent employee of International Paper Company, other stories which Kevin has done something silly (or I could give the poor fellow a break), my kids, my pets, the multiple times I’ve been fired. You name it, there are millions of ideas but I can’t seem to focus on just one.
Maybe I should just explain one of my core philosophies of living to you. You see, I have a few basic premises that I operate under and these premises make my life manageable and for the most part, angst free. My favorite thing to say is “I’m not even worried about it.” It seems simple in theory, but in fact, most people do worry about it, whatever it is.
I realized a long time ago that there were some things in life you just can’t control. That moment, that exact moment, was an epiphany to me. I will tell you what happened. When I lived in our old house (which was in fact a new house when we built it), there were many kids in our neighborhood. It was a perfect place to start a new family as we all had big lawns and there wasn’t much street traffic. My kids were outside playing “tag” with the kids across the street when Keely tripped and fell and of course, broke her arm. At the time, we didn’t know that Keely would become the “queen of the broken arms” as this was her first, but by no means the last, broken arm. At any rate, she came in crying “my arm, my arm” and I’m looking at her face which is all scraped up and thinking “your face, your face.” In my opinion, a break will heal but a scar is forever, right? What does this have to do with anything you might be asking yourself? Good question. I realized that you tell your kids to be careful, not to run out in the street, not to jump off the swing set - all sorts of things but the fact is, shit happens. Accidents happen. It was at that point that I realized that we all sit around and worry that something is going to happen, something bad.
And we’re right. Something is always going to happen. The thing is, it’s never the thing you’ve been worrying about, it’s always something else. So we all sit around and worry about the 100 things that can go wrong and of course, it’s the 101st thing that goes wrong. So what’s the point? You can’t stop it. It’s going to happen. So I decided then and there (well, after getting her arm set of course, I mean I don’t totally suck as a human being), that I was going to stop worrying about all the things that I couldn’t control or impact. Of course I’m going to have my kids wear a bike helmet because that’s just basic common sense, but I’m not going to panic every time they get on a bike (I guess I should have with Keely as she broke her arms multiple times on a bike but that’s a story for another day) or go somewhere.
As I expanded my “I’m not even worried about it” philosophy, I realized that I could apply it to everything. I mean, we own a manufacturing company that’s in the housing industry. Needless to say, business has been bad but guess what, “I’m not even worried about it.” I mean, why should I? Kevin’s worried about it enough for us both. I can’t impact the economy, I don’t work in the business, what good will stressing about it do? So, I don’t. When the kids have medical problems, sure I have a momentary panic but then, we just go about seeing the professionals who can hopefully help and I move on with it.
This basic premise has changed my whole life. Kevin says it’s going to be the epithet on my headstone when I die (although I’m not sure I’m going to be buried because I hate worms and I really don’t want to spend eternity with them) because it truly is my mantra.
So you see, you too can change your life today. Worry about what you can change, or something whose outcome you can actually affect. All the other shit that life throws at you? Well, let’s all say it in unison.
“I’M NOT EVEN WORRIED ABOUT IT!”