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It’s never what you expect

standard April 28, 2011 7 responses

As teenagers and even now we all have this vague idea of where we assume our lives are going to go. It’s easy to make broad stroke predictions. Easy to assume.

But really. It’s never what you expect.

There you are, living your life, doing your thing. Worrying about the things you assume are going to interfere with your “plan.”

And then there it is. Out of the blue. The thing you never expected. The thing that changes the course of your life forever and sends you spinning out into the unknown.

You’re hearing it from me first.

Guaranteed: That thing is NEVER the thing you expected and worried about.

It’s pulmonary embolism at the happiest moment of a mother’s life.

It’s cancer that steals a dad.

It’s a pool with an unlatched gate.

It’s Lupus.

It’s a grandmother who was taken from her grandkids much too soon

Those people worried about other stuff. Stuff that never happened. It never occurred to them to worry about the things that did.

I have a friend who lives in fear that her children will one day show the effects of the asbestos they were exposed to as babies. She loses sleep over this, and while I never want to trivialize the real risk that something might one day happen, I also want to shake her and make her realize that she’s wasting precious time worrying.

Yes. Shit happens. Real, horrible, life altering shit happens. Trust me. I know.

No amount of fretting, stressing, or worrying will stop it from happening.

Spending hours worrying and focusing on what could happen does not give you a pass from pain and sorrow. There is no magic formula. “If I worry for x hours every day, I’ll be spared the thing I worry about.” No karmic balance. “If I don’t enjoy life too much it won’t get tarnished.”

The Jewish people believe that you never draw attention to the beauty of children so that you don’t attract the Angel of Death’s attention. They believe that you never boast about your blessings and instead you focus on the negatives to stave off bad luck.

You know what? I refuse to live my life like that.

Shit happens whether you spend your whole life anticipating it or your whole life enjoying the time before it comes. The only thing that is affected by those hours of self torture is the quality of your life in that very moment.

Why waste those moments?

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7 responses

  • i definitely had some anxiety problems before i got cancer but they only got worse with the cancer because then it was what if it comes back, what if my cat gets cancer from licking me, and what if i don’t do well going back to work. but the cancer was the kick in the butt i needed to go to the psychiatrist and get some anti anxiety medication and i think overall i’m doing much better than i ever did before.

  • too true… only time can tell you what you should expect…

  • I agree that life is too short to waste those moments but have to admit to getting caught up in the daily grind and forgetting. Thanks for the reminder!

  • I agree… as a society as a whole we need to boast more about the positive things and quit dwelling on all the negativity. As you said life is too short.

  • If someone spends countless hours worrying about some evil that may inflict her or her loved one there may be something else going on there. Worrying so much that it infers with your daily life may warrant a visit to a therapist to rule out any anxiety disorders. For some it’s not as simple as a conscious decision to let go of their anxiety/worries. Just my .02 🙂

  • This is oh so true! I totally agree that life is way to short and you must live for today because you never know when there may not be a tomorrow. I believe that when you are looking for the good in things you will usually find it, and vice versa when you are expecting negative things they will find you. Bad things do happen, and it sucks, but you have to look for that bright side or why live? Two thumbs up for a wonderful post.

  • You are so right. When I was younger I use to spend way too many hours worrying about everything. I finally realized that you can’t control fate – whatever is going to happen will happen and no amount of worrying is going to change that.

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