Monday, September 1, 2014

Love More, Worry Less

Picture belongs to Alex and Ani; I am reposting for the quote!
Seriously, I am in love with the  #motivationnation quotes from Alex and Ani.  (as well as their awesome bracelets!)  This popped up on my Facebook news feed yesterday, and it's been on my mind ever since.  These quotes often seem timed perfectly to send me a message, to point out something that I might not otherwise see or think or feel.  

I am a worrier by nature.  I get it from my dad.  I can and do worry with the best of them.  About things big and small.  I swear it's part of my DNA, no matter how I try to unprogram myself... I still worry.  A lot.

I have a fantastic life, one that is by and large free of struggles.  I have a wonderful husband, a daughter who I cannot imagine my life without, a great stepdaughter, the best parents that anyone could ever want.  And yet I still find myself in a constant state of worry.  And so I started to think yesterday, after reading this quote, why is that?  Why do I let myself worry, when it really doesn't do any good in the first place?

The things that I worry about have changed dramatically since becoming a mother.  My daughter brings out a whole new level of worry in me.  Add that to the regularly scheduled worries that accompany me in life, and now I have a broad range of concerns going through my head at any given moment.

Here is a sampling of my current list of worries, in no particular order:

-We let Sabrina watch a little TV each day and play FisherPrice apps on my iPad occasionally.  Am I rotting my baby's brain with screen time?  Am I a bad mother?

-The dog's fall allergies are getting worse.  She keeps scratching open sores on her face.  But I don't think I'll have time to take her to the vet this week, with work and getting ready for going away for the weekend and everything else going on.  Am I a bad mother?

-We have a 6 hour round trip drive to Pittsburgh and back this weekend.  How will I occupy Sabrina's time in the car?  (see worry number 1 about too much screen time)

-Sabrina finally has two teeth!  Is it me or are they crooked?  Crap, she's gonna need braces.

-Did I get my husband enough gifts for his birthday next week?  Do I have any wrapping paper at home?

-I went and bought fall clothes at the mall yesterday.  Went up ANOTHER size in dress pants.  *sigh*  I hate my body right now.

-Will I EVER have time to clean the inside of my car again?  There is so much dust and dog hair, it looks like a blanket of freshly fallen snow.

-Did I buy Sabrina the best kind of organic whole milk?  Did I do enough research on best brands of dairy products?

-Why are those damn squirrels eating my flowers?!  Do they think they are deer?  It's bad enough that they are littering our backyard with acorns and downed tree branches.

-When was the last time I vacuumed the carpet in the family room?  Sabrina probably ate a pound of dog hair this weekend.  

-Is it too soon to buy mums for fall?  Will they die while we are gone for the weekend?  Is there a better deal somewhere else?

-Where should we have Sabrina's first birthday party?  I don't want to rent a hall and I don't want a dive, but I don't want to pay a lot.  Is a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme okay, or should I just do a generic girly theme?  

-Sabrina says "dada" and "ball" but still no mama.  Does she hate me?

-When was the last time we ate out?  I miss eating out.

Obviously, some of these concerns are more serious than others, but this is a 100% accurate reflection of worries that I've felt sometime in the past few days.  Luckily, a very serious worry of mine has been relieved, at least for now, in that Sabrina's appointment with the pediatric ophthalmologist went great and he sees no cause for concern.  (yay!)

This quote encourages loving more and worrying less.  For me, the two are connected, for better or worse.  I worry because I love.  It is as simple as that.  I love my family, I love my daughter, I love my dog.  I want the absolute best for them.  Part of that is me worrying about them day and night, night and day.  I can't help it.  So I am not going to fight the worry.  I know I should worry less, but it's not who I am.  So instead, I am going to continue to love fiercely, with all of me.  And if I annoy anyone with my worry in the process, they will just have to forgive me and know that it is only because they are my whole world.

I hope everyone has a safe, happy, worry-free Labor Day.  Enjoy spending time with friends and family.  I will try to save my worries for another day and just enjoy this wonderful life of mine.  

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