My husband always asks me why i don’t worry. He’s a worrier by nature and at times the small stuff gets to him.
To start, I was raised to be adventurous, have confidence and embrace life’s challenges. But I am also fortunate enough to have a career that gives me a unique perspective on the life cycle.
Today, I was able to answer his question while holding my stethoscope to the chest of a dying man, hearing a struggling heartbeat and fluid-filled lungs that will fail shortly. The patient is in his 80s and from what I hear, he lived a full life. He has hours, maybe minutes left on earth.
As he sits wide awake, smiling at me deliriously, do you think as he looks back on his life he thinks about the bills? Losing his job? Family drama?
At the time those struggles may have felt like the end of the world to him. His worry may have consumed him in the moment. But no matter what challenges he faced having lived through the Depression and a World War, he got through them and still lived a full life.
During the most difficult years of my life, when I was caring for my dying mother, I didn’t know how I would ever see joy again. When I came to the realization that my dream medical practice could never live and thrive in NY, I grieved for a long time and doubted that i would ever find work I loved again. But my wise and loving father, even if the depths of his own despair, reminded me that I would one day look back and say, “I don’t know how I got through 2012.” But I did.
Remember the things we know for sure... We have a finite amount of time on Earth. We have the choice to make that time worthwhile. We have control over our health, our lives and our future.
Worrying will do no good for your clarity, focus, energy or mood. And one day, a long time from now, as you enter into the sunset of your life, whatever you’re worried about today will be insignificant.
Choose not to worry today.