When to Fret

There is a school of thought that believes that if they worry about something enough that this will ensure negative events will not occur.  Fretting prophylactically to avoid bad things – that’s my cup of tea… as long as it doesn’t runneth over into general anxiety. Yes, you should worry about the amount you worry because neurosis is the gift that keeps on giving.

There are times when everyone should worry – even the few amongst us who are not neurotic.  Whether you’re left, right, center even if you’re a Martian, worry when no one questions institutional authority.  Worry when the status quo in your life, your country’s politics or society are in place for too long.  Worry when no one is causing trouble – in your household (annoying as this is, kids are in fact supposed to rebel, question your authority and separate, thus forcing parental growth as well as enabling their own) — or in your environs.  Troublemakers are necessary.  They disrupt and thereby force us to question even the most mundane minutia and in so doing facilitate our individual and collective evolution.

You should worry if the media you consume as news doesn’t piss you off sometimes lest you find yourself part of a choir to whom some like-minded figure is preaching.  Worry if the news you consume pisses you off constantly because the glass of life really is half full, or at least full enough for most of us so seek out some good news, because good does happen. 

And laugh.
  Laugh at the oh-so-very-first world problems that occupy many of our hours.  Each of us has to deal with real problems and suffering – but if you can laugh at yourself about the problems that, while annoying, are also a blessing, well, just do it. “So, sorry, our Uber driver made us late,” I said to the lovely couple hosting us at a black tie fundraiser with a laugh – realizing, as I stood in the grand, hotel ballroom how lucky I was to be at the shindig at all.

Go ahead, worry about some unknowns, and sweat some of the small stuff.  Use this worry to spur you to take useful action – like researching fears so that they become knowledge you can deal with, or yanking a child from a cross walk to avoid an oncoming car.

So however you set your personal ‘Worrymeter’ try to find something that worries you – not to much or too little – and try to laugh while you fret because where there is life, there is hope… and, naturally, fodder for fretting.

One thought on “When to Fret

  1. Mia Hansford says:

    Dear Fret, My son moved from Chattanooga to live with his dad in Brooklyn for high school, and so these days I reflect a bit on my 16 years with him. I was often critical. I praised little -and there was much to praise -at least I was told so by a those I considered to be more like “narcissist builders” than I wanted to be. I had so much pride. I criticized every thing that was not right, and denied praise for correct behaviors I thought not worthy of mentioning. This was a mistake. In the future I hope to find more ways to dialogue with him than I did. If I could do things differently (which I cannot), I would explore more ways to talk, find more common ground, establish indirect ways to commune simply -like cooking or drawing together, even doing crazy elementary mad libs together. I embarrassed him by giving critical feedback within earshot of others. He probably got over it, but I know now that feedback is more effectively considered by the individual when given in private. Also: I did not give critical feedback, but I gave feedback critically. I’m sure I did a few things “right”, but I wonder what results might be in play if I had more frequently used the power of water. Through repetition, beautiful sound and with less force, water smoothes and hones the terrain it crosses. I had much power to squash or encourage. It was a relatively brief window, but it was there. Thank you for your blog. I love the gamut of your topics, and especially the essential, thought-provoking questions that point to multiple resolutions and answers.

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