Borrowing Trouble

Last night I was watching television. One of the characters in the show was worried about possibly falling victim to a hereditary illness later in life. Not that she had any evidence that she WOULD inherit this illness. No. What she had was evidence that she had the POTENTIAL to develop this illness. She was so worried about this eventuality that it was interfering with her ability to experience her current life.
How silly I said to myself. Who would behave in this ridiculous manner? And my honest, inner voice said quietly, “Your friend ______ would. She does it all the time. You listen to her do it and try and reassure her.” And then, even more quietly, whispering, it said, “and you used to do it. Sometimes you still do.” I realized it was true. In fact, it had been true that very day!
My mother used to call this sort of thing, “borrowing trouble”. An interesting phrase. It emphasizes the foolishness of this behavior. After all, who would “borrow” trouble? Don’t we each have enough of our own? Who would ask for extras? And yet, we all do some form of this, worrying that we will get Alzheimer’s, or cancer, or get in a car wreck, or fall and break our hip. Most of these things aren’t even within our ability to control. Still, we worry. As if the act of worrying about it will somehow make us more prepared.
I don’t indulge in this sort of “busy work for the brain” very often anymore. For one thing, I cannot spare the brain cells. It takes all of them to get me from one end of the day to the other. For another, years ago, (it will be 23 years in August as a matter of fact) I already made it through the most difficult day of my life. I knew at the time that nothing else that ever happened to me would be as hard as that. There is something oddly freeing about being positive that it will never again be so bad. So, I don’t worry much. After all, that didn’t kill me, so how hard can this other stuff be?
The potential for bad things to happen is out there. All the time. For any of us. It is not possible to completely avoid bad things, or to protect our loved ones from all things unpleasant. Nothing you can do will avert some of them. I, for one, am not going to waste any of my good moments in the present worrying about potential bad moments in the future. Are you?



  1. Wendy Hoag said,

    April 6, 2013 at 1:46 am

    Not anymore

  2. Felicia Wootsick said,

    April 6, 2013 at 1:48 am

    “As if the act of worrying about it will somehow make us more prepared.” You know what it was (oh, who am I kidding, still IS, but I’m doing much better) with me? It was more the sense of if I weren’t worrying, then I wasn’t ‘active’ in the fixing or making it all better, living in a bit of denial, maybe… That ‘being in the present’
    is so cliche and I know people get sick of it, but I swear, there is so much truth in it. I even would go as far as saying living in the present could very well be the answer to all life’s problems.

    • witchyluck said,

      April 7, 2013 at 5:12 pm

      Yes, there is a sense that worrying is “doing something about it” in some fashion. I think that if worrying is all you can “do about it” then your time is better spent DOING something more active and profitable(watching paint dry or washing your car in the rain come to mind). I am so glad you are doing better sweetie. Your troubles were kinda scary. hugs.

  3. leafstrewngirl said,

    April 6, 2013 at 2:29 am

    Good point! What is it they say? Worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but doesn’t go anywhere! 🙂

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