Let it go

As a teenager, I was neurotic. I distinctly remember losing sleep over dogs barking in the neighbourhood, convinced that it meant rabies had come to the country and the demise of everyone was imminent. And that was just one of the very many threats to my world that I feared.

As an adult, I find the world around me still a scary place, but maybe I’ve been through enough scares now to realise that it’s very unlikely that anything will come of them and if it does there’s nothing I can do about it anyway, so it’s not worth losing sleep over.

Even so, I find myself frequently drifting into minor panics over various things. Many years ago when I used to watch Home and Away, every so often I would become so intrigued by a storyline that I looked up spoilers (Australia were several months ahead of us showing the episodes). I would read several episodes ahead, become overwhelmed by all the experiences the characters had to go through and would have to stop watching for a while, until again I was into an area where I didn’t know what would happen. I get that same feeling about real life – that looking ahead is too stressful, and I need to pull back and focus only on the present and immediate future. Some days I find it tough to look beyond the current day, at other times the pressure eases a little, but still looking forward too much makes me feel uncomfortable – maybe because those thoughts tend to focus on the big things and the negative things that might/will happen, rather than remembering all the little things and the positive things along the way.

Now I’m trying to remind myself that there’s no point in worrying, that I don’t have to pay today in worry-time in order to avoid future disaster. That song Let it Go is proving very useful as a refrain. As is the proverb that seems to be doing the rounds these days: Not my circus, not my monkeys.

So often we try to save the world, and despair that we fail. Maybe we need to work on just our little corner, and make that more pleasant, and stop worrying about the big picture.

And maybe I need to stop reading the news for a while.


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