Don’t Worry…

Don’t worry if you don’t know what to do.
I’ve spent a little time in worried shoes,
I wore them out through walking, it wasn’t any use.
Don’t worry if you don’t know what to do.
(Don’t Worry  ~ Frank Turner, 2018)

After work and errands at the start of this week left me exhausted again, I yesterday started wondering, if maybe my frequent worrying about stuff adds to my level of exhaustion. Simply because worrying, I think, takes up sooooo much mental energy. There is a lot going on at work at the moment with various projects I’m in charge off or involved in. Lots of responsibility, lots of coordinating with other departments or agencies or just outside people. And a lot of this doesn’t work as well and seamlessly as I’d hoped or liked. It feels like I have too many balls to juggle at the moment. Which often makes me second-guessing myself and starting to worry and expect a negative outcome, even though a positive outcome has the same odds. I’m just wired the wrong way.

Add an off-hand comment from a coworker, scrunchy noises from my car’s brakes, the (perceived) lack of replies to a idea I posted in a Facebook group… Welcome to Worrypallozza. Though I have to say and I’m happy that I’m able to say it: I know that I worry too much. I mean that quite literally in a “the reasonable part of my brain knows it’s just a thought, which doesn’t have to mean anything” kind of way. While the emotional part of my brain or the automatic nervous system still needs quite some time to catch up on that. Over the last few years I’ve gotten much better at stopping the train of negative thinking much quicker, so I usually don’t worry as much as I used to. Still worry too much, I’m afraid.

When I left the office today, I had this vague idea writing a blog post, testing out the theory of how my constant worrying these days is a drain on my energy. I often ponder these vague blog ideas driving in my car, while I listen to some music. On the drive home though I decided to finish the “Meditation for the Fidgety Skeptics” audiobook first to get into a calmer mindset and only after that ran out, I turned on my “all of Frank Turner” playlist, which I usually listen to in shuffle mode. I’ve skipped the first two songs as they were cover versions, which I just wasn’t in the mood for in that moment. The first original song then was “Don’t Worry”.

And I had one of these weird moments, when a song, which I hadn’t really paid too much attention to – because I liked it alright, but not especially – all of a sudden takes on a whole new meaning. Or not a new meaning, but a meaning. Which, I have to admit this song didn’t have for me before. In my review last year I wrote “It’s a bit too simplistic for my taste, musically and yes, even lyric-wise.”. Funnily enough it might have been this simplicity that hit home now.

I wore them out through walking, it wasn’t any use.

To hear these few simple words summing up my emotional state and the state of my mind so perfectly at a time when I had come to a similar conclusion only half a day before. And the song goes on, of course.

Don’t listen to the bitter things they say.
Put those thoughts behind you, tomorrow’s a new day.

That’s another thing I need to remind myself of. It’s not some outsider “saying the bitter things to me”, but my own voice in my head and a voice I need to ignore more often.

I don’t know what I’m doing, no one has a clue,
But you’ll figure it out, and I might too.

With this we’re back in comforting “Deep down you’re just like everybody else” territory. Each and every one of us is just figuring life out as it goes and that’s totally fine. One day at a time. Heck, even one moment at a time, if it comes down to it. And it’s lovely to have the perfect soundtrack to do this with. Thanks once again Frank for finding the right words to express how I – and I guess so many others – feel every now and then. 

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