I worry, and sometimes, despite the futility of it, I do so about things not in my control. That’s just how I’m wired.
Sometimes, worry keeps me from living life to the fullest, but I’m convinced that many times, it keeps me from doing truly stupid or dangerous things. You be the judge.
I called someone to make a snarky comment about someone else. (Just go with me on this—what the other person was doing was objectively annoying. Trust me.) When the person I called did not answer, I almost left a voice mail, but did not. Here was my thought process:
- Wow, that thing so-and-so is doing is REALLY OBJECTIVELY ANNOYING! I bet Allen agrees. I should call him, because he’ll laugh when I point this out.
- Huh, not there. He should have been home by now.
- (The point at which a non-worrier would assume he was simply on another call, or out running an errand, and would leave a message.)
- Hope he’s OK. Hope he made it home from the gym. Surely they’d call me if something went wrong.
- Maybe I shouldn’t leave this message, because what if something happened to him, and someone else picks up his phone to find out who was calling him when he wrecked his car and they listen to this snarky message from me, and the last thing I said to him was not how much I love him but how annoying that thing that person does is.
- And what’s wrong with me, anyway, that I am so delighted to point out someone else’s shortcoming? Why does that make me pick up the phone? Am I doing all I need to be doing to create more kindness in the world?
- Wow, what if I say this and I’M the one who dies in a freak accident when an Upper Kirby District street banner rips from its mooring, blankets my car, and causes me to crash across the median into the side of Whole Foods? Do I want the last words anyone hears from me to be snide commentary on someone else’s annoying thing?
- I should just hang up right now.
It turns out, he was home, just busy, and all was fine. He is less annoyed by the thing the person does than I am, but agrees that objectively, I am right about it being intrinsically annoying. And I hope I’m a tiny bit up on the good karma scale for spending time thinking about how I could be nicer instead of spreading snark. I hope. I’m going to try not to worry about it.