There are times when I’m having a bad day, when I’m really struggling and getting frustrated, when I have to stop and take an honest inventory of what’s actually troubling me.
“Is this the end of the world?” I’ll ask myself.
The answer, almost invariably, is no. It just feels that way.
And I can look back at my life 20 years ago and see that a younger version of myself would probably be rolling her eyes at what I’m going through. Her life was hard. A constant struggle. Never-ending stress and no flexibility.
It didn’t help that I was low on coping strategies and resources. That I didn’t have a support system.
It’s funny… because it hasn’t been a straight trendline up since then. Not at all. I’ve had some setbacks. Some big disappointing — and yes, embarrassing — failures.
But overall, looking at the big picture, I’m in a much better place than I was 20 years ago. And the things that trouble me, while annoying, are much smaller than what troubled me when I was 20 years younger.
“I’m so spoiled at this point,” I tell a friend of mine. Anxiety brain has taken over, and I am struggling with a set of unknowns. “Just… I worry about the smallest things. Past me would have my head.”
“Aww,” my friend replies. “I think past you would understand maybe. You worry about what you can.” She adds that I can worry about the smaller things now that the big picture is (mostly) safe.
“Yeah, it’s humbling how that works,” I reply. Because it is.
Honestly, given the choice, I would prefer not to worry anymore. I would prefer if that’s what happens once the big picture is (mostly) safe. But maybe that’s not how it works — and the best we can do is be fortunate enough to worry about smaller things.