I’m a worrier.
You had probably noticed that.
I’m a worrier who worries about big things, little things, middle-sized things. All The Things [tm], to quote Hyperbole and a Half. If it’s out there, I’ve probably worried about it at least once, from Yosemite blowing up and exterminating my family (okay, that was a short-lived, insane worry that I mostly don’t worry about any more, given that Seattle’s very own Cascadia subduction zone could produce an over-9-point earthquake with a tsunami up to 30 meters high, so I’ve got more immediate problems on my hands, obviously), to whether or not it should matter to me that people in the office haven’t said that my new scarf is pretty today.
Yes, I worry. Yes, I know this is bad. Yes, I worry that I’m worrying myself into an early grave. It’s what I do. I’m good at it. I’m working on not doing it so much…but did any of you other chronic worriers notice how hard that is?! Back when I was doing my first master’s degree, I took a great biofeedback and meditation class that worked really well for shutting off the 2:00 am crazies. Since getting out of the habit, though, the worrying has come back with a vengeance.
Last night I think I spent two hours feeling like a terrible person because, back when I worked with students in Manchester, I didn’t give a girl a class refund of all of 4 pounds when she was obviously really desperate for it. It was the rule, and I was following the rules, but, in hindsight, I wish I’d broken them. An hour worrying about that, and an hour reading to try to stop worrying about that…and I’m exhausted today.
It’s almost funny. I know, of course, that we all should let go of our guilt and fly free like happy butterflies, but the knowing and the doing (and the flying thereafter) are all entirely disconnected steps. I can let go of things. I can close the door on some things, knowing that I’ve done my best and that was the best I could do, but it’s the pesky moments when I let someone down, or when I let myself down, that plague me. Letting go of those, acknowledging that I’ve grown as a person and am trying to improve, just seems so difficult to accomplish, because the logical reminders of my growth don’t seem to hold much weight in the middle of the night, especially when, being human and all, I keep making more pesky mistakes to regret.