I’m Giving Up “WORRY” For Lent

I had a mammogram yesterday.

Not that you really needed to KNOW that, but it was the last of several appointments I’ve had over the last 2 weeks. See, I had fallen behind on all of those ANNUAL check-ups, and had convinced myself I was dying along the way.

Here I sit though, on the other side of those doctor-visits, essentially alive.

I was sipping coffee this morning, reveling in my relief, when a thought slipped into my brain:

“So…what should I worry about now?”

Because that’s what I do. I don’t plan or schedule. I worry and fret and make myself sick over the what-ifs. I’ll sit wide-eyed in my bed from 2am to 6am, going over every possible bad scenario and chew on the skin around my fingernails until it’s bloody. Seriously. My fingers currently look like Freddy Kruger’s face and it’s all thanks to WORRY.

I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t like this. I worried when my Mom and Dad fought and after he left, I worried when my Mom and sister fought. I worried all through high school and college and once I hit 25, I worried about my ticking biological clock. I blamed all of these things for my constant state of WORRY, but I worry even when I don’t need to.

Recently, I heard my 11-year-old daughter say, “Once I get through this test, I won’t have anything to worry about for a while.” That’s when I realized that I don’t worry because there’s something to actually worry about. I worry because it’s in my DNA, and it’s something I’ve unfortunately passed on to my daughters.

So I’m giving it up for Lent.

I don’t usually give anything up for Lent because:
A) I’m a lazy Christian and
B) I can’t ever think of anything to give up.

I’m an over-40 Mom, so I’ve already given up all the really good vices. I also need the ones I have left (namely alcohol, caffeine and profanity) to get through the week. What else is there? Chocolate? Screw you for even suggesting that.

What if I gave up something that I needed to give up, but didn’t know how? Maybe this is just the incentive I need to abandon worrying altogether. Probably not, but it’s worth a shot. For the next 40 days I will focus, plan and strategize. I will think about the things I need to do without stress and if I ever feel worry slipping in, I will stop and envision this:
What is it? I don’t know…either a goat or a nightmare. It’s a picture that my husband occasionally sends to me out of the blue and it always cracks me up. That should break the tension, right?

So, good luck giving up your margaritas and Mexican food. I hope you successfully eschew chocolate and coffee and all of the other things I’m simply not strong enough to avoid. I’ll send up prayers of support in your honor and drink all the wine you leave behind, but I certainly won’t be worrying about you. Nope, no worry for me.


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