Saturday, 24 December 2016

Learning to not worry is HARD

As I begin to write this, the whole of Christmas is in a state of flux for our family.

When you have the kind of family we do - and most of us do these days - between all the step families and inlaws, everyone has to do Christmas a few times over.

The Big Day rarely happens on the big day itself. For us, this year, the kids & grandkids were/are due to drive the 60 miles up here on Boxing Day. But the forecast for that day has the potential for disaster; freezing rain, rainy rain, ice pellets and snow, and that's not what we want our loved ones driving through! So phone calls and emails started flying back and forth last night as we tried to work out an alternative day that suits everyone.

The upshot is not what I would have preferred; they tell me "it will be fine, we'll just drive carefully". Oy.

I'm at my desk in the basement, staying out of Paul's way. In a bid not to be such a control-freak as I usually am, I'm "letting" him take over cleaning the house. He's cleaning differently than I would; one area at a time instead of my method of dusting everything, then vacuuming everywhere, then washing all the floors at once. He's entitled to do it however he pleases but wow, is it ever difficult to let him take over one of 'my' jobs!

I suppose this stems from the days when it was only me. As a single mom, I did it all, I was responsible for it all, even those things I couldn't control were my responsibility. It's been a very, very long time since those days, but feeling responsible for everything is a hard mental habit to break. Can I get an 'Amen!' from those who have been there, done that?

Our friend Terri F from the comments has an interesting post up at her blog about how we feel like victims more than we really need/ought to. When 'stuff' isn't the way we believe it ought to be, it bugs us!

But we have to learn to just deal, right?

Take this morning as my example - I was waiting to hear from one of my sons about which day we'd be doing our festivities, the one of the freaky weather or a calmer one, before I took my turkey out of the freezer. I had specifically said 'call me early in the morning'. Did he? No, of course not, I had to chase him down and because of that I lost a good 4 hours of turkey defrosting time. That can matter, and I started to feel a little ticked. But then I remembered that once upon a time I actually clean forgot to thaw my turkey until the very night before - that bird sat under a trickle of water from the tap for hours, I managed to get it babied into the properly thawed state just fine and no one got food poisoning. It is truly not a big deal that I lost a few hours this time around, it just felt like it for a moment.

Sometimes it feels like we spend our lives running around putting out fires, right? Little brush fires can turn into huge conflagrations and we're it, the first (and only) responders on the scene. To the casual observer, we look like we're control freaks, leaping into action, squelching every spark. I can only imagine the stress hormones we've got going on most of the day. And all night too as we re-view and pre-view everything we're responsible for. Then for people like me and Terri and others with blogs that fit somewhere into the 'health' spectrum, it's people and issues we're not even really responsible for but we care about. We care, dammit, about the general public's health issues .. what are we doing this for? Do we need this extra stress?

I suppose we must. We have information that's helped us and we just need - literally, it feels like a need - to get that information out there. So on top of putting out the fires all around us we get into fire prevention 'out there' in other people's lives.


I, for one, have got to let some of this GO. Since I've done enough vacuuming and floor washing in my life, I'll start with that. Agonizing as it might be for the moment, going upstairs to find the house gleaming might just make that agony worth it.

Merry Christmas y'all and God bless.


  1. Can I SO relate! I, too, was a single mom for a number of years and, or at least to me it seemed, I was the one who had to make sure everything got done. My way, the right way! So, I usually did it all myself. Man, how many hours of relaxation or at least peace of mind could I have enjoyed but for that? I must admit, I wouldn't mind walking into my house that someone else cleaned up for me! Good for Paul! (And you) (;^)

    1. I think it's pretty much universal for women, single mothers or not, that our sense of responsibility makes us quite territorial! I'm very very glad to be giving up that obsession and the bonus is that he actually did a more thorough job than I would have. I've never seen my floors quite so clean!

  2. I clean kind of like Paul! I start in one corner and work my away around. Funny. It's a good system!

    Learning to not worry/fret/ruminate/stew/let go of being in charge is hard. But I think I'm going to get the hang of it, one way or another! I'm thinking life would prefer me to choose to learn it rather than it having to teach me over and over again in harder and harder ways! For me, I don't know where the tendency comes from. Maybe from being the oldest of four.

    But, I mean, like you said! The turkey got thawed!!!

  3. Terri - "I'm thinking life would prefer me to choose to learn it rather than it having to teach me over and over again in harder and harder ways!"

    I ought to write that down on paper and stick it on my fridge so I see it several times a day.

    1. Heck, if we were talented, we could design it on some web program and print it off. Even copyright it or something. (Grin.) Or not.

    2. Ah, but if I write something out by hand it sticks in my head better (isn't that why we make kids write lines?)

  4. I learned to let go when both kids were out of the house and on their own. I am glad you care enough to help and spread the word. I give thanks to you and others that do so. So a big thank you and hope you had a Merry Christmas with your family. Here's to health for the New Year!

    1. I let go of my kids pretty easily (did that come out right??), but other stuff, woah, needs some work.

      And yes, let's toast *everyone's* good health for '17!