why I don’t worry ’bout the economy

schoolchildrenI used to be a good worrier . I used to spend most of my days worrying . I spent years in school worrying about assignments , and homework , and tests , and grades .  I invested most of my intellectual energy and expertise in worrying . I came upon it smoothly , slipped into it like it was a snug warm coat on a cold day . I was good at it . Worry fit me like a glove , too .

Or like a straight jacket .

I didn’t know that my worry should be worrisome to me . I hadn’t really known any other existence , I guess .

Let’s take an elementary school spelling test , for example . You remember those . I think it was written somewhere in the Constitution , or maybe in the Articles of Confederation :  20 word test every Friday . Write the words out , first , during the week , in cursive . Maybe make up a few sentences with them . Most mothers in those days tested the kid on the words at home the day before the test  .  Friday came the test . Every Friday . Teachers always wrote the test scores  at the top of the students’ papers in red ink . Each and every week I had to worry about these tests .  I had to defuse one of these little monsters every week .booby trap

I didn’t figure all this out until I was nearly out of high school :  All the time , energy , and emotion invested in worrying about the spelling test , or whatever test or , etc. , whatever ,  detracted  from what might , otherwise , have been an efficient study experience , no mess , no stress . In other words , rather than worry for twelve hours as I would about a stupid little weekly quiz , or about whatever , I might have not worried and instead simply studied for an hour , got my A , and gone home .

This is not news to A students . They knew this intuitively already . When I discovered the truth , purely by accident , sometime in late high school , I was a little shocked . Why hadn’t anyone told me before that if I didn’t spend so much time worrying , I could spend less time on study , and , and get higher grades  ?   I was at that moment of realization a turnip just having fallen  off the turnip truck . The fall woke me up , though , finally. Better late than never .

But , anyway , that was a long time ago .   I still worry once in awhile , I guess ,  if I’m bored and need something to do . But that doesn’t happen much .

I don’t worry about the economy , or the Middle East , or crime in the streets , or all the government conspiracies that I should be scared of , or whether I should pass on gluten and  caffeine , or beer , or animal fat in my meals  , because  worry really has no practical function . And I don’t smoke , so I’m mostly  o.k.  Isn’t that what the doctors ask first before they check out your other problems : ” Are you a smoker ?”

There’s a folk tale called The Three Sillies .  One of the sillies sees the reflection of the moon in a lake and worries that the moon has sunk into the lake and might drown  . The other sillies bring rakes and try to get the moon out of the lake . Everyone is hyper , worried ,  and full of energy and desperately engaged in useless activity , planning strategies , involved in one useless worried task after another . Later in the tale there is a hammer , I think , that someone has placed on a rafter . The sillies worry that the hammer will fall down and hurt someone.   They race around in worry , wondering how to save themselves from the hammer . A stranger walks in and sees all the activity ;  asks about it . The sillies express all the complicated worries about the hammer ; mention several strategies they’ve  devised to avoid the hammer when it falls . They’ve really put a tremendous amount of  worry work into this . The stranger reaches up and takes the hammer down from the rafter ; puts it in a safe place .

I’m not much good at worrying any more . If something goes to hell then I’ll worry about it . But I’ll wait until it goes to hell before worrying . At the very least , until it’s already  chin -deep in purgatory . devils

My conspiracy-theory Facebook  friend John would most likely tell me to wake up ,  that the country’s already gone to hell  . A mutual friend , however , told me that John’s bark is worse than his bite . I’m not so sure about that . But I’m not going to worry about it .cartoon crow

3 Comments

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3 responses to “why I don’t worry ’bout the economy

  1. We spend too many hours, days and years worrying. Wish I could say that I don’t, but I’m gonna try to slow down.

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