The anticipation of stress is stress

It’s remarkable how much stress I could avoid if I just didn’t give a damn until the last possible moment.

It doesn’t matter if this concerns small events like “I hope the kids don’t fight’ or large events like ‘I have to pass this test’. Not to mention the really big ones like ‘I lost my kid at an event. I hope the kid is all right’.
Anticipating the worst is just one of the things I regularly do. I have done that as long as I can remember.

I know now that almost nothing ever turns out as bad as I think it will.
Some of this knowledge comes from experience. I used to be convinced that if my car will ever stop working on a street or on a highway, that will be the trigger of a row of events that will lead to my imminent violent death. Well, over the years we had some car breakdowns and I am still alive.

I also now make the conscious effort to recognize that I am in fact worrying needlessly and from then on I try to stop worrying about whatever it is that has me riled up at the moment. I am somewhat successful with that. But I refuse to stress about not stressing out.

I still try to anticipate outcomes to events and prepare for them. I do have narrowed down my contingency stressing though. I am very good at contingency stressing. It’s like playing dominoes with ever larger bricks.

The most bizarre fact is, that I can stress about positive things just as much as I can over negative ones.
For example, let’s just say: Yay, we’re going on a trip!
Oh my god, what if this and this and this happens?
I need to organize and prepare and make sure we have everything and everybody knows what they’re doing.

Usually everything turns out to be fine.

Sometimes I wonder if the exhale after the event is worth all that stress beforehand. But I guess, being mindful about it and trying to reduce it as much as I can is all I can do.

I will never be as cool as the turtle in ‘Finding Nemo’, but I can try to be less of a Marlin all the time.

About scratchingcat

Writer, mother, friend.
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