Worrying can be such a waste of our singular time. How much time do we spend worrying about things that never even happen?
Like many people, my life can be stressful at times, and running Singular magazine and its affiliated social networking community, SingularCity, can be a wild and exhausting job, especially when we have two big events happening back-to-back. I’m an editor, not an event planner, so all the details that are crucial to a successful event can seem overwhelming — at least when I allow them to be overwhelming. I need to remember that the fear of the future can consume more energy than just experiencing the future.
It’s not just me. Last night, a single friend who is raising her daughter on her own told me about how she had an anxiety attack over jury duty — what about the loss of income, what about her child, what about the horrible traffic driving to and from the downtown courthouse?
Her fear and dread became so intense that one night she called the paramedics convinced she was having a heart attack. But here’s the kicker. When she showed up for jury duty, the attorney for the defense dismissed her and she was back home by noon. My friend was laughing about it now, but she also realized her anxiety about what didn’t happen was a complete waste of her time, energy and well-being.
Another friend, a divorced guy friend (to show this isn’t just a female thing), went through something similar when he received a letter from the IRS with a question about his tax return from two years earlier (no he wasn’t a member of the Tea Party). Instead of just researching the specific area they were questioning, he spent the next three weeks sorting through five years of his tax returns, sure he was about to go through the tax audit from hell.
He couldn’t sleep and was irritated and angry with everyone. Armed with all of his documentation, he drove to the IRS office ready for The Inquisition. Instead, they simply asked to see some receipts from a business trip, told him thank you very much, and sent him home with a car full of unopened, unneeded documentation.
What is it about humans that make us so ready to imagine worst-case scenarios? Behaviorists say that animals, unlike us, live in the moment. What a blessing not to worry about what might happen next week, next month or next year and to focus only on what’s happening right now. Sure, we need to have long-range goals, but how about concentrating on doing the necessary footwork to advance those goals today. If steps A, B and C are required now, do those steps, and stop fretting about the rest of the figurative alphabet.
For we who are single it’s doubly important. If we don’t do it ourselves, we think it won’t get done. However, maybe life would happen the way it’s supposed to happen if we would just stay in the moment and do what needs to be done today.
Being single gives us tremendous freedom. We have the ability to chart our own course in life, so let’s try to enjoy the journey and not worry so much over everything little thing that could possibly go wrong along the way.
Copyright © Kim Calvert/2013 Singular Communications, LLC.