Thursday, September 27, 2007

2027 And Counting

I never know what’s going to strike a chord and resonate with the readers of Pink Granite. Yesterday’s “2027” post generated responses which prompted me to think harder about my own answers.

Once upon a time, I would have answered with things that are no longer on my “life list” (singer, pianist, peacemaker). Mind you, the list is not written down anywhere. Those of you who have known me forever are probably gasping because I used to be known as the “Queen of The Lists”! But a few years ago I started to feel weighed down by all my to do lists. At the end of the day, I would focus on what was still undone, rather than on what I had accomplished. So I went cold turkey. Visualize the DTs and a padded cell. Then I tried short lists on little 3 x 3 Post-It Notes. That was a major improvement over multi-columned 8.5 x 11 master lists! Many years ago when Chuck and I worked together, I was often in charge of large meetings and conferences. The night before an event, I would write up a final checklist and leave it on top of my desk. I used to call it my: “In case I get hit by a truck list”. Everyone knew it meant that even if I was hospitalized or dead on the side of the road, everything could still go off without a hitch. Control issues? Maybe. But I ran excellent events!

But about my life list. Some things got crossed off because I accomplished them. Some things were dropped because they no longer mattered. Some things were taken out of my hands. So what’s left? The most important one for me isn’t glamorous or exciting. I want to stop worrying. It’s even difficult for me to type those five words and put a period at the end of the sentence, because I want to qualify it with “so much” or “about unimportant things”. But the truth is I’m weary of the worry. It’s eating up too much of my life.

I went through some things many years ago, which left me feeling afraid. It took me many more years and more work than I’d care to admit, to stop feeling so afraid. I can’t truthfully say I never feel a wave of fear, but I no longer have the chronic rushing of adrenaline and cortisol through my bloodstream as I once did. What’s left, is worry. But the worrying is old and brilliantly entrenched, rather like a keystone in an archway keeps everything from turning into a pile of rubble. See. My worrying just typed that last bit!

But if Broadway called and they needed me to take over for Bernadette Peters in a Sondheim production, well, I’d tick down my list and squeeze them in. As long as I could find a way to stop worrying about opening night...

: : Red Sox Notes:

Happy 88th Birthday Johnny Pesky!


Tonya said...

i think the best advice i ever received, and I got it from a book, was that there was no need to worry. worry will not effect the end result. it blew my mind the next day when i got up and realized for the first time in my life that the only control i had in my life was self control. i remember that day so well when the weight of all those i worried about daily moved off of my shoulders and i could smile.

when you worry just remember it has no effect. things will be they way they will be with or without your worry.

i know you can beat it because you already know that all you need do is practice. i'm sure that is what got you passed being fearful.

Pink Granite said...

Dear Tonya,
Thank you.
Thank you for putting it so clearly and succinctly.
I'm going to write the phrase down so that I can see it. (That's something which works very well for me.)

You're right, that being conciously aware of the fear and talking myself through it, that daily practice helped to bring me out of the fear.
I experienced a similar lifting of the burden when I realized I was no longer afraid the way I once had been.
Thanks for the wisdom and the ecouragement!
- Lee

Roo said...

I stopped wearing a watch, you wouldn't believe the difference it made for me.

Worry is a natural thing, and sometimes gets a little mixed in with caring. Stopping worrying doesn't mean you stop to think about those around you, it just means you give yourself time to take a deep breadth and, if needed, say "bollocks" and carry on. Well I like to think so ;o)

Pink Granite said...

Thanks Roo!
You're absolutely right about worry getting tangled up with caring and concern. That's part of what I'm teasing apart right now.

Your taking a deep breath, sayng bollocks and carrying on made me think of an expression we use: FIDO. F**k It and Drive On! Coarse yes, but pithy!
- Lee