Wednesday, February 1, 2012

And I Keep On Rockin'

"Worry is like a rocking chair; it will give you something to do, but it won't get you anywhere."

This evening, after my son was put down, I hopped on Pinterest to take a quick (Ha. Quick. Remember that one time when I lied about the length of time that I spent on Pinterest? Me too.) gander at all the lovelies there are in the world. I happened across a pin that linked me back to an article called "Top Five Regrets of the Dying". Intrigued, I clicked. These were collected by a nurse who had been working with the elderly for some-odd years and had collected a list of things they frequently said were their biggest regrets. She says these are the top five most common regrets:

1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard.

3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

So I thought about it. I mean, I really thought about it, and I have to say if I were to die tomorrow...those would not be my top 5 regrets. I feel like I'm living the life I'm happy with living, I often play with my baby in lieu of doing dishes, I often tell people EXACTLY how I feel, I have a facebook (very useful in fulfilling desire number 4) and I generally allow myself to be plenty happy. HOWEVER. Each of these regrets branch off to create a single sub-category that I consider to be a very real behavior I exude that needs eradicating lest I do die tomorrow and it becomes my Regret Number One:

I worry.

I worry that my house will never be clean and someday the prophet will drop by to check on me and there will be a sink full of dishes, a dead bug chilling on the welcome mat, baby toys strewn about and folded laundry keeping the couch company. I worry that I'm not working hard enough. I worry that the feelings I express to others will offend them. I worry that people don't actually want to stay in touch with me and that I'm just clinging. I worry that I won't get enough sleep and that I'll be exhausted the next day. When I wake up in the middle of the night and my baby isn't crying, I worry that he's dead. (haha. No, really, though...I have to talk myself out of checking on him every single time.) I worry that I'm not being the perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect friend, perfect daughter, perfect employee. And I worry that when I'm sad, it must mean that I'm not trying hard enough to be happy.

I worry all the time. I'm a professional worrier. I don't WANT to be, but I don't know how NOT to be.

I don't want to have regrets when I die. I want to just know that I lived the best life that I knew how to live. I think it'll help to know that things don't end here. Things go on. It's not a one shot only type deal. There will be more beauty to discover if I miss some of the beauty here. There will be people to love if I can't love them all here. There will be work to do if I don't do it all here. There will be choirs to sing in, children to mother, people to meet and places to explore.

BUT...I don't want to worry my life away! I don't want to constantly need a plan. I don't want to constantly be in a frenzy or a hurry or a panic. I want to let things go. Things will go wrong, I won't be perfect, I'll make mistakes, tragedies will hit, hard times will be gone through. I want to be okay with that! But it causes a pit in my stomach just thinking about all that unknown over which I have no control.

Worry is so inherently a part of me. It's engrained into my very being. How do I etch that out?? How do I melt those parts away?

I don't know. I just don't know yet.



  1. I have no idea how to help. I am the same way, a constant worrier. My house is always a mess because I'd rather snuggle the baby. I am constantly worried that something bad will happen, that someone will die, things will come crashing down around me. It's hard.

    Nate tells me to focus on what I can control and not to worry about what I can't. That is a difficult thing for me because there are about a thousand different things going on in my head all of the time. I think I need to simplify, try to remove what does worry me. Baby steps, I am not sure how to do it. :)

    As you can tell, I totally commiserate with you!

  2. "Mothers who know do less. They permit less of what will not bear good fruit eternally. They allow less media in their homes, less distraction, less activity that draws their children away from their home. Mothers who know are willing to live on less and consume less of the world’s goods in order to spend more time with their children—more time eating together, more time working together, more time reading together, more time talking, laughing, singing, and exemplifying. These mothers choose carefully and do not try to choose it all. Their goal is to prepare a rising generation of children who will take the gospel of Jesus Christ into the entire world"--Sis Julie B Beck

    I'm pretty sure the Prophet's gonna appreciate the time you're spending with your family and not even care about the mess. Don't know how helpful this is, but maybe it will serve as a reminder that you're doing a good job. Yes, everyone can improve, but don't beat yourself up for what you're already accomplishing.

    Love you!