I stayed awake worrying last night for about 15 minutes, then I fell asleep. I can't remember what I was worrying about, which is a very nice kind of forgetting.
Do you peer down the road and watch for the bus? or just relax and wait for it to come?
Most nights, sleep steals me like a thief. No sooner do I close my eyes than whooooshhhk! I'm gone. Sometimes I dream worried dreams, but worrying rarely occupies my mind when I am tired. I am more of a waking worrier.
Do you wish you had a rewind button so you could do or say things over?
Mostly I worry about things that I can't change - things I've done or said, or not done or forgotten, then regretted how I handled it. I wish I could go back and do it better. Often I try to fix this kind of worry by talking to the person involved and offering an apology or explaining how I will handle it differently next time. Usually the person says, "Hey, don't worry about it!" And funny, after the talking I usually can stop worrying. If there's nobody to talk to directly, sometimes I talk to someone else who I trust and look up to. It's kind of like a confession, kind of like a check-in. I'm seeking reassurance, and usually, the person says, "Hey, it's okay. Don't worry about it." and usually, I stop worrying.
Do you worry more about disasters or bad things other people do? or about what you might do wrong?
I rarely worry in the future tense. Occasionally when I have to do something that's going to be difficult, I worry about whether I'll do a good job. Like if I have to speak to an unhappy customer at work. But I have a fun way of overcoming this one. I imagine an outrageously horrible outcome. For example, I phone the unhappy customer. She does not accept my explanation or attempt to offer a solution. She phones the mayor, who phones my boss and has me fired. Then the police come and arrest me for ruining the unhappy customer's life, then my family hates me. There are front page articles in all of the newspapers trumpeting my incompetence and the horrible damage resulting from my failure to solve the problem...HA! After imagining this unlikely over-the-top outcome, no matter how badly the real conversation goes, it's a piece of cake. I guess it's a creative way of asking, "What's the worst thing that could happen?"
Do you worry about the well-being of your friends and loved ones?
That's me definitely. Although I usually choose another word, like "caring" or "concern." Like if I find out someone is sad or sick or has an injury or is worrying about something, I'll phone that person the next day and say, "How are you? Is it better yet?" That's love-worrying. I don't think it changes the situation, but I think it feels better, both to me and the object of my worrying. Usually whatever it is is already resolving, and the person says, "It's okay, don't worry. But thanks for worrying about me!"
Are there other forms of worrying?
I wake up praying every morning. I do not know how I got into this habit, but I have been doing it since I was a teenager, before I started going to church or anything. It's habit-wired in by now, and totally unconsicous as I swim into consciousness. I pray thanks for the good things then I list all of the people who I am worrying about and ask God to help them. Sometimes I tell people when they are appearing on my list, if I think they would like to know. Other times I just do it without telling the person. If I every say to you, "You are on my list." That's what I mean.
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