Thursday, September 03, 2009

I'm a Ball of Worry

Several times a week Andrew and I take a walk through the neighborhood and usually end up at the track for a jog. It gives us time to talk about our day, unwind a bit and feel as if we're accomplishing something.

But last night I was telling him how it seems that I'm just filled with anxieties lately. I know that's probably a big "D'uh!" considering our situation right now but still . . . it seems I'm just one big ball of worry.

So in true blog-as-therapy fashion I'm lying (laying? I can never remember which it is . . . that old "chickens lay" thing never helps me one bit) back on the couch and dumping out my worries on the floor. Feel free to sift around through the pile and take whatever interests you. I certainly don't want them anymore.

1. What if this new business doesn't work out?
Of course this is the premier worry on our minds. I've heard that "Edison went through 10,354,987 different tries before he invented the light bulb" thing ad nauseum and it's made an impression on me. This is risky and it's different once you have a bunch of mouths to feed.

What if things flop? What if we're kidding ourselves? What if in six months we realize we've made a horrible mistake? What if . . . what if . . . what if . . .

No more details on this one, it's keeping me awake enough as it is. Can you tell his first full month of office rent came due this week? Something about writing out a check like that freaks you out and sends you into worry overdrive.

2. What if we have a really cold winter?
Silly I know but right now in my current state of mind I don't really want ultimate cold on my plate. What am I doing in Alaska you ask? Gosh, there must be a reason--somewhere--I'm sure it wasn't because of my love of freezing my hands to the car door handle when I open the car.

What if we made a mistake moving up here in the first place? What if things tank here?

3. What if we have a gas shortage this winter?
Honestly, I can't believe more people aren't worrying about this one more. It gets little tiny paragraphs in the paper every so often but the basic thought is that the production of natural gas in Cook Inlet is declining to the point that civic leaders are worried that if we hit a cold snap this winter supply can't keep up with demand.

Their solution? Practice for rolling blackouts and conservation. Because that's the long-term solution.

I'm no genius here but it seems to me that the problem will only get worse and why hasn't this been discussed all summer and spring when we had those fabulous temperatures? Why did they wait until now? Cold scares me and the thought of being in the dark and cold in the middle of January scares me.

I suppose we really need a woodstove. Yea, add that to my list of things to worry about.

4. What if our boiler breaks?
See worry #3. It goes right along with that. We had planned on having our boiler replaced, it's completely vintage 1975, but there were some delays and then when we were out of work we canceled the project altogether. We're really, really hoping that it holds together through one more winter because if it does break that's a bad time to be screaming for a plumber. But we don't want to spend the $6000 to replace it right now. For the obvious reason that eating is more important.

5. What if Obama passes his health plan?
I am so very tired of worrying about the national economy. Very tired. I'm tired of the panicking, the crazy town meetings with pitchforks and torches, tired of the soundbites drifting around that just induce more panic and anger. But what happens if this plan passes and it completely messes up our health care?

6. What if Obama doesn't pass his health plan?
See #5 with the inverse: What happens if his plan doesn't pass and no one can afford health care? Well I guess I'm worrying a little prematurely anyway because what's really killing us slowly is those insurance premiums. See? In the time it took you to read this paragraph a little piece of me slowly slipped away . . . down the drain to our insurance company . . .

Gosh I should write songs for Morrissey. He's as cheerful as I am.

7. What if it was a bad decision to change schools for Spencer?
We switched Spencer to a new school for junior high and I'm just holding my breath. On the plus side he's met some very nice friends who are actually being very nice to him and whom he really likes. WOOHOO! On the other side I'm not sure I'm very happy with the school so far. The old school he went to was great about being a fairly level playing field--lots of diversity and equal treatment--while here it's like this ultra-caste system with everything from brains to money to brand names ranking the kids and sorting them into convenient little milk crates. How is this going to affect him? I have no idea so I worry.

Of course this line of thought also leads to the "What if my kids can't get into good colleges?" followed by "How are they going to pay for it?" Having kids, while wonderful, increases your pool of worries by 200%. Per child.

8. What if I thoroughly mess up my kids?
I've been worrying about this one since about the time Grace was a baby and I was clipping her fingernails for the very first time and accidentally clipped off the end of her finger. Yes, she cried. Yes, I cried. It was a very traumatic moment in the life of this new mother. Of course I learned a couple valuable lessons: 1) I will probably cause quite a few problems for my kids even with the best of intentions 2) they will heal (I hope) 3) they probably won't remember it and 4) always clip a baby's fingernails when they're sleeping.

9. What if I can't write this book afterall?
I haven't said much about this but a while ago I was approached about writing a book. I've always wanted to do this so I considered the whole proposition and decided it might be a good step for me so I started working on an idea and pitching the story. They liked it and said, "Very good, now we'd like the first chapter by September 15th please."

WHAT?? So the good news is that I've got this book going. Better news is that I actually have over 6,000 words firmly down on paper. Or on hard drive or whatever. The bad news is that I'm constantly filled with anxiety that I am going to completely screw this up and ruin my one and only shot at doing what I've always dreamed of doing. No pressure or anything.

The thing is, the idea I pitched is a good one. I can feel it. It's not just some throw-it-out-there-and-see-if-they'll-take-it tripe, it really is a good idea. In fact, it's a book I would probably actually buy so I do believe in the project but the thing is, as with everything I've ever done in my life, in my mind I see how it should come out . . . i.e. absolutely perfect. But then I have to reconcile my own abilities and I'm completely worried that it's not only not going to be perfect (a given) but that it will turn out horribly.

To put it in practical terms, I'm riddled with self-doubts and I suppose my expectations are something like putting a cake in the oven and expecting it to come out in 30 minutes not only perfectly succulent but also completely frosted, tiered and decorated up to bakery standards. Right.

So I'm worried. Though at least I'm able to keep this worry in check enough to actually get some words out--obviously there's no trouble with me being tongue-tied is there??

10. What if my arm falls off?
Did you ever have it happen where you wake up in the middle of the night and your arm is asleep? You can't feel it, in fact it feels as if you've suddently been grafted onto a corpse and you've got this fat, flabby, useless thing attached to your body.

You pick it up and it flops and you try to get some feeling back and there's this momentary panic of "OH MY GOSH MY ARM IS DEAD!" before you kind of wake up a bit more and get reasonable and realize it'll be fine as soon as you get the blood flowing. When it happens it's weird because I'm not alert enough to be reasonable but I'm alert enough to remember reading about a guy whose wife fell asleep on his arm and cut off the blood long enough that he had to have it amputated. Sheesh! I'm insane.

Anyway, that happens to me and I go into a panic every stinkin time. I really need to relax.

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Hazel said...

Worry not! Consider the lilies of the field - and I know you do - and realise that someone else is in charge.

Hazel said...

Moved directly from reading your tale of misery, woe and worry to this from Gill Corkindale about job change which you may enjoy.

Heart2Heart said...


Perhaps you should look at all the positives instead of all the things that could go wrong, focus on all the things that could go right.

Lift these needs up in prayer and give it to God, ask for that anxiety to be taken away as well.

Hubby lost his job for more than a year and we seriously thought we would lose everything. No jobs after an entire year and just scraping by on some disability checks. After that ran out and we prayed intensely during that time and trusted God, the job came, bills stabilized and looking back if you were add income versus expenses, there is no way we should have lasted beyond 3 months.

Yet we made it a whole year plus. That is what faith does. It gets you through the tough times. We will be praying for you and your family.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Leslie said...

You are not alone, my friend! I'm in the same boat. There's stress, worry and a little despair filling it up. I'm just trying to stay afloat! It's hard to keep going on the hope or knowledge or whatever it is that everything will turn out okay. There comes a time when you ask HOW? HOW will it be okay? How do I pay this bill? How do I make this happen? I'm doing everything I know how to do and it's just not enough. It's scary.

But, there is no courage without risk or bravery without fear. This is the part that makes success so sweet. Or lands you on reality t.v.

Best of luck through all of this. And congratulations on the book! That's some exciting news! I can't wait to read it.

Mom24 said...

From one worrier to another, no answers, but plenty of empathy. (((Hugs)))

PS Congrats on the book, that's awesome!

Chris said...

Worry is my middle name, so I'm with you on this one. The thing is I usually look back on all my worries and wonder why I worried in the first place. It's a control issue. If I worry about everything, then nothing bad will happen (right?!). Yeah, it's crazy. Anyway, everything will work itself out and if it doesn't we can handle it. We are tough women.

Aunt Maria said...

I read your Blog daily and love everything you write. I can understand your concerns. Right now lots of people seem to have the same concerns. I think with your talents you will make it.
I also believe in prayer and faith and you have that.

My daughter and husband both have lost their jobs. He had worked at the same place for 38yrs.

Yes there is plenty to worry about.
I have a blog and it has some light and interesting things to look at ,and It might make you laugh.. I am just learning .

Linds said...

Michelle, worrying is not going to fix anything or make things change for the better, and worry is something which we can "un-learn", thank heavens.
Believe me, I know what I am saying here. My husband died suddenly, and I was totally without any income, with a son still in school and having been a stay at home Mum for 30+ years..... you get the picture. And the grief bit just had to be shelved for a while.

What did I do? I took it one day at a time, and kept focussing on what needed to be done/paid/sorted each day, and took a job I loathed, but which at least paid for the basics, and kept going. I refused to consider what came after the today bit, and here I am 3 years later, and my son is at uni, and while no magic wand was waved, I have kept the roof over our heads, and in the process learned a huge amount. I bear no resemblance to the woman I was 3 years ago, but my faith is immeasurably bigger and stronger.Maybe it was a lesson I needed to learn. Who knows.
You will get through this. Your book will be as astoundingly brilliant as your blog is, and we will all go and buy it. Your husband will have the opportunity to work for himself, and one way or another, he will know if this was the path he was meant to take. Your kids will survive, and will have learned some very valuable lessons along the way re finance and budget and choices, and courage and bravery too. And that son I mentioned at uni?? His school arranged bursaries for him, so the costs are covered. I never dreamt that could happen.

Have faith, my friend. And look, as Kat said, for the positives. I start each day, corny as it may sound, by listing 5 things I am grateful for. It is impossible to be depressed or worried when you are thankful for things!

PS: The woodburning stove... It is on my list. Right at the top.

Annette Lyon said...

Can't help much on most of these besides send good vibes, but I can say that whatever the book turns out like, NO ONE but you will know what it looked like in your head. It will be awesome, even if it doesn't exactly match the perfection you envision now. Can't wait to hear more about it!

Rachel C. said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one worrying! My husband started his own business just over a year ago. He's a handyman/home remodeler. I know, great timing right? But we've been doing okay so far!

Anonymous said...

Are any of these things really things you can control? If not, why worry about them?

(I know ... easy for me to say, right?)

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...


Please consider this Bible verse:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. - Philippians 4:6

It's one of my favorites. Give all your worries to God. Thank him for everything - worries included - and ask Him for help. Keep praying until you feel your burdens lifted. And this might take a while since you have quite a list!

Hang in there! I will be adding you to my prayer list and I'm sure many others will be as well.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I have one word for you: Paxil.

All joking aside, I think that worry is in a woman's nature and we think that if we don't worry about things, who WILL? I love these verses:
"Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."

That is some good, mind-calming stuff.

CountessLaurie said...

I am so sorry you worry! I worry too and it stinks. I worry about rational things and then I worry about irrational things. And then I worry that I am worrying too much! And then all goes well and I worry about the next thing.

Hang in there. If you figure it out, let me know.

Shelly @ Life on the Wild Side said...

I'm not much of a worrier, usually, but a few years back, in a fit of worry, I read Psalm 37 over and over. It occurred to me that "Do not fret" is not a suggestion--it's a command. This has completely transformed my outlook on life.

Wendy said...

I am right there with you on the worry thing. Between worrying about credit card bills, how the kids are adjusting to school, volleyball tryouts for the oldest one, whether I should play volleyball or make some extra money by refereeing said volleyball, or apparently any other stupid thing I can find to worry about. It seems that lately that is all I do. I try hard to just let it go, but it seems that anxiety is my constant companion right now.

I wish I had the magic solution, but if you find it, could you send it my way?

Lori said...

I think it's the worrying that keeps us striving. It sucks, and I know I feel it when I'm crying like a baby because of the stupidest things, but it helps us be better parents, partners, citizens, etc.

1. Worst case it doesn't work out, at least you can say you tried it. It will even add to Andrew's skill set if he has to apply other places ever.

2. Snuggle time?

3. We had rolling blackouts for power here about ten years ago during 100+ degree heat in the summer. It wasn't too bad. They don't last very long.

4. What an opportunity to get to know your neighbors!

5/6. I like the idea but my mom is an insurance biller, so it's a we'll see scenario for me. It works for Sweden, though.

7. Schools get the defined groups as kids get older no matter what. It's the appeal of Breakfast Club.

8. I had the finger thing happen too. But know that you are inspiring with the way you raise your kids and what you share about that.

9. Blogging in Pink is great. And a great idea sounds promising (along with a great editor).

10. Not helping, but I sprained my ankle this way trying to stand up after nursing my son and sitting on the ground. I'm extremely clumsy so I figured it was just me. The doctor said he'd never treated anyone for it before.

J at said...

None of these sound like they're un-solvable. Meaning, if it doesn't work out with Andrew's business, you'll all survive. You'll be broke, but you'll survive. If your son doesn't do well in his school, perhaps you can move him back, or to a third choice. If the healthcare passes and it sucks, it can be fixed. If it doesn't pass and our premiums continue to go up, we will push harder for a solution we can live with.

The one that worries me is the heat. In Alaska, I think a wood burning stove isn't a bad idea. Even if it's not the one you would buy if you had more money, even if it's just something you can all huddle around should the rolling blackouts occur in a particularly cold time.

I know that when I start to worry about us losing our house due to losing jobs or something like that, I step back and say, "So? While I certainly don't want to lose my house, I could always rent another. We would still be together as a family, and we would figure it out." Somehow, just thinking about how I would deal with things if they get really bad, helps me a bit.

And the laying/lying thing gets me too. AND the real solution to cutting babies fingernails is to have your husband do it. I learned that after doing the same thing you did. Poor deformed kids. ;)

Hope you get to keep your arm.

J at said...

AND I'm looking forward to reading your book. Perhaps I'll win a copy on a Saturday giveaway...

Chrissy Johnson said...

Was just reading the comments on this post when "Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley came on Noggin, and the sweetest little version, too:

Hope it helps you as it helped me today.

Alice Wills Gold said...

all I have to say is that they make medication for your condition we call anxiety. :)

I think you've bit off more than you can chew....yeah, which one of us mom's really knows how to avoid that situation?

The good news is that tragedy will make you into an excellent author. I can't wait.

P.S. I have seriously learned to give it to God in the last short while. It's like a breathe of fresh is my conversation, "o.k. God if you think it is imperative that we experience bankruptcy in this life, just give me the strength to get through it." This simple sentence has done wonders for my mental state. My hubby needs to take a lesson; he is still a ball of worry.

Kacie said...

I hope blogging about your worries was sort of theraputic! It can be overwhelming to have so many things on your mind at once.

I have full confidence in you.

And, for pete's sake, I hope you have a warm winter!

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

My husband loves to respond to all my "What if's" with "What if worms had machine guns?" Making me laugh and realize I need to pull myself out of it.

So maybe in your case, "What if Canadian Geese Had Machine guns?"

~3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

I have a litany of reasons to understand every word you just wrote as do many other families these days. I try very hard to maintain the positive attitude, but I too wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night worrying about the what ifs. There are no clear cut answer unfortunately.

Just try to breathe - in and out and in and out... It will fall into place.

As for the book, I can't wait to hear more and September 15th has always been a very lucky day for me (my birthday) so I'll send my birthday wishes your way this year for a good vibe for you.

Danielle a.k.a Yellie said...

Oh girl, I wish I could hug you. I get so filled with anxiety sometimes that I'm not sure if I'm going to puke, cry, scream or all of them at the same time (that should conjure a pretty little picture for you). It's very hard, but I really just have to sit back and remember that I am not the one in control and that all of my needs will be met because that has already been promised to me. Letting go and letting God isn't always easy, but when you can sit in quiet and give it all to Him, it sure does bring a peace like nothing and no one else can. I'll be praying for you and looking forward to hearing about the ways He assures you that everything will be ok. ((HUGS))

BONNIE K said...

I was talking to my dr last year and said that I worry too much. He said "everyone worries too much. As a matter of fact, you don't stop worrying til you're old and out of it and you sit around and pee in your pants all day cause you just don't give a damn." And for some reason, that really had an effect on me, cause I realized it doesn't matter how much you worry, cause what will happen will happen whether you worry or not, so you're wasting good energy worrying!

boinky said...

buy a woodstove. It could save your life in an emergency loss of power and that can heat the house and cook the food...

and figure out how to keep your pipes from freezing (drain the water, and have cheap plastic barrels to store water for one week of use).

if you can afford it, also buy a generator...even a small one will help...and store the diesel to run it.

and I agree with the "lillies of the field"...even if things fail, there will be a reason behind it. Been there, done that...

A Happy Heart Blog said...

Even with all your worries, I still sense that you know exactly that your decisions were correct when you chose them and any second guessing is natural. The new school, the new business, the book deal are all exciting things and despite your worries, I am excited for you - as my mom likes to say - "What an interesting time in your life!"

There are some things that are so far out of our reach to do anyting about I think when we worry it allows us to feel like we are doing something about it.

I am not as far up as you, but Montreal winters seem endless. I am not looking forward to this winter either. At least know you have someone to comiserate with on this!

Michelle :)

Amanda said...

Just getting them out in the open must be one worry from your list. I will send good karma your way xox

Scribbit said...

Thanks--I'm sure this will all be fine in a while and that I'm worrying for nothing but it's kind of in my nature. I've got to have something to worry about or I worry that things are going too well.

Naomi said...

Okay, I totally feel better that you worry about your arms getting paralyzed in the middle of the night, too. Maybe I'm not insane!

Congratulations on the book. I am sure you will blow us all away with your sheer brilliance...

Stephanie said...

I so can relate. As hard as it is to be calm when there is so much uncertainty surrounding us that is what I wish for you. I can only tell you that no matter the outcome, failed business, changing high schools mid year no matter what comes your way you will survive. You will be alright. You are brillant. You can write a book. Your are a wonderful Mother. All of your creative posts on cooking for your children and making things for and with them. Michelle you and your family are going to be ok. It may be a different life than you planned but it will still be a wonderful life. God Bless

Stephanie said...

p.s. I still worry. In fact if we were graded for how much we worry I would get an A plus.

Amy said...

Wow, I am sorry you are a big ball of worry but think about all of the great things. I bet you could think of a positive think for every worry, maybe that would help brighten your day. Have a nice Friday.

Trailer Wife said...

As a type-A, freakishly organized, mega-planner, I can completely empathize. Sometimes I worry about the things that I've forgotten to worry about. Sigh.

On writing: A brilliant and successful writer told me once that if you're NOT a little bit concerned that your project is a huge stack of incoherent dribble, you have no business finishing. She said that if you feel like a fraud, you're on the right track. It keeps me going.

Thinking writerly, productive thoughts for you!


Anonymous said...

"Whether you think you can, or you can't....either way you are correct." - Henry Ford

Monkey's Momma said...

I know how you feel. I worry a lot more than I used too. I lose sleep and think, "What if?' a lot.

But like Hazel said: Who is really in charge?

Suzi Dow said...

Feel better? Hope so. I have found, if you voice your concerns and doubts out loud, they aren't nearly as impossible. They don't go away but they are no longer "monsters in the closest." Plus you always have US!!!

Now, go make a nice cup of tea, take a seat, and count your blessings (advice from a Great Plain woman's journal dated late 1800s at the end of her "recipe" for washing clothes - my worlds to live by.)

Laurie said...

If your arms fall off, call me. You can dictate the book. Where would I get my scribbit fix for the day if you had to type with your toes? You would need to switch to a weekly issue. Call me. Just not in January when the fuel runs dry.

Anonymous said...

I know how you feel. My husband and I (we both have master's degrees) went through three layoffs in three years. It's frightening. Even now that we're both employed, we're still playing catchup. You must have faith and trust in your and your families' abilities and skills. You're intelligent and it will work out, despite the worries. Amazing what you'll worry about when times are tough that you probably wouldn't give a second thought to in other times. And don't let the avalanche come crashing down on you. I know it's easier said than done. Good luck.

Gray Matters said...

I think as women and moms we're wired to worry. I'm thinking of you. It doesn't sound like you have much available time for reading, but if you're interested, I have an extra copy of my favorite book to help with my worry, Calm My Anxious Heart. I'd be happy to send it to you!

tjhirst said...

Me too. Maybe it is a woman thing, or maybe it is our personality. Whatever it is, it takes over and feels like I can't let go of the stress.

But I had an epiphany this week that I may not be honest with myself or others when I express my worries--exageratting them, maginfiying them, making false assumptions about them--and that leads to more stress and more worry. I'm definetly working on this.

Congratulations on your book. I'm glad you've found still another direction for your writing that fits you. That will help move you past your worries.

BTW, it won't ever work out for me like I plan in my head, but that doesn't mean it didn't work out for me.

JENNIFER said...

well I do not have a drop of advice....but it was so nice to bond with you....:)

Kelly @ Love Well said...

I just got a copy of a new book to review. It's called "Fearless" (Max Lucado.

Do you want me to mail it to you (while I still can, before the snow covers your state and you run out of gas and you're forced to eat your dead arm to survive) when I'm done? Because I totally would.

Blog O' Beth said...

First, the new business is a crap shoot, but you wouldn't be doing it if you didn't have confidence in Andrew's abilities. You've trusted him this far you need to continue to trust him. Set a date. We will try this for 9 months and then if were not at this predefined goal we close it down and move on. Set limits, time, money, etc and stick with it. This will give you the sense of control.

Second, worry about the things you can impact not the ones you can't. For example, health care and the economy. Let the rest of the world deal with that problem right now, you just don't have time

Third, Kids are resilient and you aren't sending them to college today. By the time they are going to school you will be in a different phase of your life and none of this will matter. If Spencer is unhappy you will begin to know and then you can make changes.

The best advice I ever got from my father was "we'll cross that bridge when we get to it". I can't tell you how many times I've said that in my life. I should have it tattoed on my body. You are worrying about bridges you haven't gotten to yet.

Jennifer said...

You can do it!
You can do it!
Put a little power to it!
Goooo.... Michelle!

Telling you not to worry won't work, just know you aren't alone. :)

Howard Family said...

This morning I told Steve I was too tired to ever go to bed again. I am so exhausted of worrying, I just can't do another night!!! There is so much that we love here I can't help but think.... ARE WE CRAZY? And this permanent stomach ache..... I have to tell you it made me smile to read your blog this morning even though there was nothing real happy about it. Just to know someone else has a lot of the very same concerns that I have. It somehow made me feel better.... until I started worrying because you were worrying. :)

Mirien said...

Hope it helped to write it all down. And I'm sure you could have kept going. I'm good at worrying, too--there's always a big chunk of my brain stewing over a number of things at any given moment.

The book? I am so proud of you for tackling such a huge project. Your worries there are so understandable, but I've read enough from you to know that I'm going to like it--and so will thousands of others! Keep up the good work.

Beautiful Mommy Princess said...

Maybe it's worry and maybe your mind is trying to plan for any eventually. I like to give myself a break when I get into a groove of thinking about the what-ifs. I think about the American Indians that used to sit around and tell stories to their children and then ask the child what he or she would do if this or that happened as a way of preparing them for some unknown, but could happen event. This is how I see your "worry". Have a plan for bad times and then force yourself to think about something else.
Oh, by the way I'm an American living in Canada. There are many good things about Canada, but Govt. health care is not one of them. We can't pick our own dr., and there isn't extras like seeing a dermatologist. They only exist if you cross the border and pay for them. Need a specialist in Canada - no problem as long as you can wait 9 - 18 months. Also, your take home pay is reduced greatly. We pay over 40% taxes. Have cancer? The U.S. has the best survival rates because treatment is fast - no lines.

Organizing Mommy said...

I am a worry wart also. When I have days of worry and I call my friend, she listens patiently and says to me, "I am going to mark this day on the calendar, and I'll be expecting another call like this a month from now"

Oh, yeah.. O.K.

Either way, money comes to those who work hard, and I know that neither you nor your husband are lacking in industry.

Mimi said...

I was laying (again, I can never remember that rule) in my bed the other night realizing that just ONE different decision in my past could have totally changed my life. Instead of living in Maine where I grew up, which I NEVER thought I'd be doing, I could be married, have kids, be living in Boston, New York City, Florida, or Baltimore. "How is this my life?" I asked myself. But it is. And there is no need for me to dwell on past decisions.

I have a LOT to be thankful for and happy about. My family is close to me and healthy. I have a job that I love. I now own a house (my grandmothers). None of this would have been possible had I stayed in NYC after grad school.

Perspective! Whenever I complain about stuff my dad says "You could have no legs" and it's true. Things could always be worse.

Take it one day at a time...or even a week at a time. I find that writing things down helps a I hope your blog is helping your anxiety. Focus on the things you can your book and where you send your kids to school and not on the things you can't the weather and shortage of oil.

We just published the October issue of the mag I edit and it was all about energy. Send me your mailing address and I'll shoot one your way. Lots of ideas on how to save money in a cold Maine winter...but you could easily substitute Alaska for Maine....

Chin up!

Neas Nuttiness said...

I'm so sorry that you have so many "what ifs" going on right now - BUT
I'm so glad that I'm not the only person that worries endlessly about every tiny little think( along withe the HUGE things) that goes on.

My husband keeps telling me that worrying doesn't help - but gosh, I'm just soooooo GOOD at it.

Sound like you could use some prayers - and that I'm good at too!

Carissa(GoodnCrazy) said...

What if I can't remember my Jr. High Locker combination..

Oh wait that's my recurring nightmare... not real life.. but still what if?

Freaking GOOD luck on that book thing delio? Can you please put me in touch with the whoever got you started cuz my HUSBAND has this awesome idea for a book and I can't get him to START!!!

Amber said...

After reading this, I'm feeling very calm about my stresses.

Well, except that I'll probably lose sleep about my arm falling off. :-)

charrette said...

I want to hear more about that book you're working on.

(And I like Hazel's comment about considering the lilies...)

Anonymous said...

Since I'm late commenting on this, I'll just be flippant and tell you that I often wake up with my arms still asleep. And that worries me. Because is that normal? To sleep on your arms like that? i mean, it happens a lot.

And my worries are huge too, but hang in there! We'll make it. And if we don't, we'll have great stories.

perilloparodies said...

I have a verse that ministered to me yesterday...

Isaiah 26:3-4

I did a papercut for it!!! check it out at

May God help you to trust in, cling to, rely on, believe in Him and in His care and provision.

The Bible is clear. do not worry but take your requests before His throne, WITH THANKSGIVING. You are blessed. Dwell on that.

and remember to dwell on things specifically listed in Philippians 4:8-9 or you can make yourself sick and even dive yourself into depression. Been there, done that.

Don't let Satan have that foothold. Fear is dibilitating. He will use it against your very self. Encourage yourself daily withe scripture. Stand strong while on your knees!!!

You are not alone. God said He would NEVER leave or forsake you. He hears and answers prayer. Also have been through SEVERAL lessons of learning that, and He has proven faithful in all seasons.

Hang in there. hugs...

Stephanie said...

Sounds like me. I worry about this and worry about that and everything else in between. I try not to. But I do.

Let me know if you discover a "Worry Away" potion or something. ;)

P.S. Congratulations on the upcoming book. I can't wait to buy a copy.

Mercy's Maid said...

I KNOW I didn't just read "what if I mess up my kids" from YOU of all people! My goodness! Who cares about their kids more than you? Who tries harder to instill good values in her kids? And you're worried about that? Who spends more quality time with her kids? Let's just mark that worry off the list, OK? :)

Janet said...

#8? Right there with you.