Open Bar: Ascending from the wormhole of worry (column)
In the pitch black of deep night, I bolt upright, scaring the wits out of my wife who had theretofore been sleeping soundly next to me. Those amorphous demons that coalesce under the moniker of worry were taunting me again, for the umpteenth time in infinite days. Robbing me of rest and threatening to subsume the twin pillars of sanity and happiness, my tormentor is an unwelcome but frequent houseguest.
I keep trying to change the locks, but the doorbell rings incessantly and, in a weak moment, I open the door to this useless interloper. Worry, you are not welcome here.
My worries are impressively diverse, a Benetton ad but less photogenic. It’s a wonder that I can form cogent thoughts, with my brainpower diverted to matters too trivial to warrant real attention and those of such monumental import that even questioning them is beyond ridiculous.
I worry that I didn’t choose the right font for my new business cards. I worry that the sun will burn out before its expected demise, still many billion years past it mattering to me or my exponentially calculated descendants. I worry that my brother will be hit by a Belgian driver hopped up on chocolates and trippels. I worry, I worry, I worry.
The antidote to the poison of these worries is to harness or relinquish control, as the situation demands. Either I have control over the outcome and should therefore stop worrying and work to attain it, or I should stop worrying because I have zero control and must accept that fact.
Instead of fretting over a big deadline and worrying how I will meet it, I just get down to business. Horrid things are going to happen to those whom I love: We all die and are faced with many travails before that inevitable end. Instead of conjuring the myriad ways that my kin will be mutilated, I focus on the bliss of being with them and cherish the memories of those that have already departed.
These are lessons that I have intellectually understood since a boy, but which I was not strong enough to truly internalize until too recently. Growth in this regard is still a day-to-day affair, an unfinished masterpiece. Each brushstroke releases me from long-held stresses, the deep breaths offering a clarity and calmness that I have not always known.
I just finished writing my first novel, an endeavor about which I have dreamed for nigh 30 years. But I was paralyzed by worry for literal decades. I first worried that I wouldn’t be able to write it or that it wouldn’t be good enough. Then, once I finally committed to doing it, I worried that I would finish and would love it, but it wouldn’t get published and I would be distraught.
Then, as I came close to completion and because I must truly be insane, I began to worry that it would get published and that I would feel pressure to follow that up with an even better book. Fortunately, I told my worries to take a hike. They only rarely come back for a visit. I am ecstatic.
Perhaps this article is too obtuse, too personal, not as focused on the legal world as this column’s purpose would suggest. But I’m not going to worry about it.
T.J. Voboril is a partner at Reynolds, Kalamaya & Voboril LLC, a local law firm, and the owner-mediator at Voice of Reason Dispute Resolution. For more information, contact Voboril at 970-306-6456 or email@example.com or visit http://www.rkvlaw.com.
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