It was a rare lovely day and I was out on a trail with my pup. We passed a middle-aged couple. I pulled off to the right side of the trail which forced the gentleman to move further to the center. As soon as I made my move I could tell that his body did not always move in the way his brain told it to. I had moved to the wrong side, but it was too late to adjust. They were very friendly and said hello, but he tripped a bit on a rock as he was making his way over so that we could pass eachother on the trail.
I felt a wave of sadness wash over me. How will I react if someday I must watch my spouse of many years decline in such a strong way? I am not so worried about my own fate, so much as I worry about my ability to be the right kind of support.
But quickly I realized that this is one situation when worrying does no good. We have no idea what our future holds. Our ability as humans to endure the less than ideal is phenomenal. My ability to be a strong supporter may also be phenomenal.
In her book, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, Lori Gottleib shares the story of a conversation with her own therapist about her worries of leaving her son without a mother if something happened to her. Her therapist asked if she would rather be a worried mother to her child now or to be the parent that embraces each moment for what it is, a moment together?
We have this choice each day, not just about the big things good life, but also the little. Constantly worrying about things we cannot control takes us away from being in the moment. If you find yourself worrying and you can do something about it, then do it. But if there’s nothing you can or will do about it, then what is the purpose of the mental anguish?