We are heading out for vacation soon. In preparing for our trip, I have been thinking about what I need to do before hand and what I will do when I get back. It occurred to me that all, about which I have been thinking and have been worrying is so short sighted. Probably when we return things will naturally resolve and I will not be so intense about my situation and my current concerns.
I met with some friends the other week. They have younger children than we do. Hearing their concerns about schools, sports clubs and eventually college brought me back to the time when I worried about those same things. I wonder, at the time, how much time and energy did I devote to thinking about those things when in reality, most of my mental gymnastics did nothing to change the outcomes. I just aggravated my family as well as myself. You would think given all the attention and time to those worries that I would carry those memories in my heart. The thing is, I completely forgot about those feelings of anxiety and overwhelming consternation until I spoke with our friends. Obviously it wasn't too great a concern if I cannot remember much about it.
In cleaning out my father's house I came across pictures and memorabilia that returned me to the time when those depicted scenarios took place. I can almost hear the conversations around the kitchen table or on the beach blanket. Again, I think of the mental gymnastics we performed as a family as we discussed (ad nauseam), decided, revisited, discussed some more a problem or situation one of the family members was having. I am sure that if we currently asked the highlighted family member about that situation they would say, "What? Oh yeah. I remember that now. Funny how I had forgotten. I don't know what was such a big deal."
I do think that time does provide great perspective. Unfortunately I wish that I would remember that when I am in the middle of a situation or problem. I wonder how many cycles of worry, problem, worry, intense worry, thinking of problem all the time, problem resolved, problem forgotten that I need to experience before I cut out the worry stages. I guess all I can do is try to remember that things do have a way of working out regardless (and most probably in spite of) of our fretting and fussing. Sure it is good to plan and be proactive in situations but the ruminating of past events and worrying over hypothetical scenarios does nothing.
What about you? Are you in the middle of a worry, problem or concern? What do you do to help resolve the issue? Talk to others about it? Revisit and replay the scene, dialogue or situation over and over again? How can you gain some perspective? Can you "go on vacation" from the problem?
It may take some time but my concerns today are not at all my concerns from yesterday. So too, I know that my concerns for tomorrow will not be what they are today.
And that is a good thing.
Maybe if I remember that concerns come and go I won't be too anxious while they are here.