10 Things I Worried About Today

Photo Credit: Andrea Piacquadio

I’ve always been a worrier. In high school, the most popular girl in class nicknamed me after her chronically-worried Aunt Betty. She seemed to care about her Aunt Betty and I was flattered just to be noticed, but at the same time it held a patronizing tone that highlighted my shortcomings… and I worried about it.

Parenting is a whole new world of worry — so one would think I was cut out for it. Unfortunately, despite my ability to predict and prepare for even the most implausible scenarios, I’ve learned that parenting isn’t an exact science and saving children from all negative outcomes would be, not only utterly impossible, but preventing them from much-needed learning experiences. I guess you could say that being a parent has actually helped me accept that I need to let go of excessive worry in order to let my kids be kids. Plus, I just don’t have the energy for it!

I still worry, mind you but I’m much better at weeding out the more irrational thoughts. Nowadays when I start feeling overwhelmed with disturbing worries and imagery in my head, I find it helps to put them on paper. Being able to stare my thoughts down puts them in perspective and diminishes their control over me. For example, here’s a list of ten things I worried about during a typical drive to the store:

1) What if I get in a car accident? (Imagine a horrific crash)

2) What if my car breaks down? (Check for CAA card)

3) Are the doors locked in case someone tries to attack me? (Imagine someone opening my door while stopped at a red light and pointing a gun at my head)

4) What if my doors are locked and I get into an accident? (Imagine I’m unconscious and the car is on fire as people pound on my locked door

5) Do I have enough gas? (Imagine being stranded on the side of a deserted road. Check gas meter and go to the nearest gas station if necessary)

6) What if I run into someone and forget their name? (Imagine an extremely awkward encounter)

7) Did I bring my wallet? (Check for wallet)

8) Did I remember my phone? (Check for phone. Then charge phone in the car in case the battery dies and someone’s trying to reach me in an emergency — or I need to call someone in an emergency — or I can’t check the grocery list app because it will be complete chaos if I can’t access that list!

9) What if people aren’t wearing masks? (Imagine myself yelling, “what is wrong with you people?!” at an entire store of unmasked people. Then imagine myself weeks later getting sick or inadvertently spreading COVID-19 to James and the kids.)

10) Why was that person staring at me when I went to check mail? Were they staring at me?

That brings me to ten already –and I’m not even at the store yet. In this scenario I wouldn’t bother to write these thoughts down because one, I’m driving and two, most have either been resolved or become moot upon arrival. Most times, I write my thoughts down when my overactive imagination is blocking my creative flow — nothing like a good brain dump to allow more productive thoughts to take up space. I hope this helps other chronic worriers who refuse to be defined or controlled by anxiety. At very least, know you’re not alone. Now if only I could find a cure for procrastination.

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Stacie Moana Mistysyn

Stacie Moana Mistysyn

MoanaMistFit: Fitness & Healthy-Eating Coach, Mom, Mental Health Advocate, Actor, Sci-fi Geek. www.staciemistysyn.com, Youtube: Stronger with Stacie

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