Letting Go of Worries

For the past several years I’ve worried a little bit (obsessed a lot) about who I’ll be, what I’ll do and how I’ll define myself when the kids are grown. I wish I hadn’t wasted that time. I wish I would have spent that time enjoying who I was rather than worrying about who I might someday be.

I’m still learning though. I’m still learning to trust that, if I do the next kind, right and responsible thing, life falls into place.

I’ve never thought of myself as a worrier. Especially back in the days of wine and roses (mostly just wine really). I guess that’s because I could shut it down.  When the worry and anxiety creeped in, I could simply turn to a couple glasses of wine (or whatever). I could make it stop.

Then the wine consumption became an issue. Thankfully, I had the sense (the desperation) to stop.  Okay great. Now what?

When I first got on the sobriety bandwagon I heard the phrase ‘one day at a time’. I thought this referred to the whole not drinking thing. And, well it does at first but later it means so much more. In the beginning it means don’t drink today. Don’t worry about tomorrow.

For me, the obsession with drinking was lifted early on. The cravings went away quickly. Within a few weeks, drinking became a non-issue.

Now I’m stuck with me all the time. It ain’t easy being me. Turns out I worry and obsess a lot. About every single thing, real and imagined, that could possibly go wrong.

Today, the phrase ‘one day at a time’ is about enjoying life. It means living and rejoicing in today rather than worrying and obsessing about tomorrow.  It’s about trusting. Trusting that, by doing the kind, right and responsible thing today, tomorrow will unfold as it should.

That’s not to say that all things will be magically perfect and bad things will never happen. Don’t be silly. Tragedy strikes. And when it does, It’s best to do the next kind, right and responsible thing. It’s best to let go of the rest.

I know all this. And still I struggle.

I’m getting a little better though. I can usually recognize when I’m getting all tangled up over something that might or might not ever happen. Something beyond today and often beyond my control.

In these moments I do a little zen-like self talk. A mantra. A wise man taught me a mantra. It works.

“Stop that shit” I tell myself.  “Just stop that shit.”

I’m better than I used to be. Each time I get through something tragic. Each time life works itself out. One day at a time, I’m getting a little better at living one day at a time.

And so back to the beginning. All that time I spent worrying what will become of me when my purpose is no longer that of a full-time mom. All for naught.

Thankfully though, I didn’t simply bury my head in the sand while worrying. In anticipation of the next chapter, I joined a writer’s group, dusted off the thesaurus, and started this blog.

The next responsible thing, I guess. Although, I admit, I didn’t consciously think of it that way.

And then you kind people read my blog. And encouraged me. I started submitting my posts to….everywhere.

So guess what? Within one week of my youngest child’s High School graduation ceremony, I’m signing a contract with http://www.addiction.com.

It’s a writing job. A real writing job.

It’s a short term contract and I’m fighting the urge to worry that they’ll decide not to renew when the time comes.  I’m trying not to obsess that I’ll run out of the right words to express my thoughts. Or worse, run out of thoughts entirely. Writer’s block. I’m trying not to project that I’ll fall apart when they request that I convert a document to another format, attachment or some other computery type thing that makes me nervous.

You get the picture.

“Stop that shit” I’m saying to myself. “Just stop that shit.”

Right here, right now, right at this moment….everything is okay.

Today I’m a writer.



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27 comments on “Letting Go of Worries
  1. You are so gifted. I am praising the Lord you have found the desire He wrote on your heart as He knitted you together in your mother’s womb! As far as worry goes…Psalms 28:7 works for me. Praising Him for you!

  2. Jeanne, it has taken me awhile to read your blog…but it is just like sittin’ across the table from you, shootin’ the shit. You have always been Gifted in expressing yourself and this blog is a treasure and treat for me! March was 15 years sober for me and nearly everything you’ve touched on about your own sober journey, I have or continue to experience! But you say it so beautifully! My BIG 10 yr anniversary is end of this month – being thrown off that damn horse! Good news is …,. I have great memories of our college years in the 80’s:-)!! Better news is…… I can read your entire blog again next week and it will be just like the first time!!
    Keep it up. Congrats on your contract! You are amazing! Peace & Love, Luke

    • Oh Luke, it’s soo good to hear from you. 15 years! You’re the only person I had ever known to seek sobriety. My inspiration!. My 8 years was in March.
      Thanks for reading & commenting.
      I’ve not been thrown from a horse but my memory is pretty bad too.
      Send me a private e mail and let me know where you are these days. Miss ya. Love ya

  3. I absolutely love your blog. I always get so excited when you have written a new one, especially this one. Also Congratulations on the contract! Sounds very exciting!

  4. Jeanne – I really enjoy your blogs. Now that your a writer you will have many followers! I love the candor of your real life issues! Do continue with pride!

  5. Jeanne I love it! Actually, I’m pretty sure I say that every time I read a new entry! Congratulations on your contract, and thank you for sharing your humor and knowledge with us!!!

  6. Great Jeanne-who knew you were such a gifted writer! Very proud of you. I wish you the best of luck. As you begin your career, I am counting the time until I can finally retire- but I too worry about who I will be when the kids leave the nest.

    • Oh thank you Lauren.
      To call it a career would be a real stretch (a real lie). But I can now answer the ‘so what do you do?’ Question with a little confidence. That’s enough for me!
      Yes, our kids become such a huge part if our identity. Empty nest is scary!

    • Thanks Caitlin, use that mantra, it works !
      And thanks about the writing. I won’t be taking over all of the bills (or any of them) but I like the way ‘Im a writer’ rolls of my tongue.

  7. I love reading your blog. I don’t get to read them all but I love everyone I read. You are definitely a gifted writer. Funny how life has a way of working it’self out, don’t ya thing? Good luck with your new assignment & I look forward to reading more.

    • Thanks Fran. You’re right it is funny how things work out.
      I really like the word assignment. I wish I’d used that word instead of job. Darn. Hehe, job is a little misleading. I won’t exactly be putting in a 40 hour week. It’s one article a month. But thats enough to solve my identity crisis!!

  8. CONGRATS Jeanne on the writing job. What a blessing for you and the rest of us! You continue to delight me with a smile to my heart and hope to my soul! Selfishly speaking, I hope you write FOREVER my friend. Thanks again for putting words to my emotions. Hugs n love.

    • Thank you Sharon!! I’m thrilled to death about the writing opportunity (job is a big word – I should have chose a different one – live n learn)
      Thank you for the compliments. You are too kind!!

  9. I love this post. I’ve read it many times and tweaked my version into yours,” do the next kind, right and responsible thing”. My mantra? A woman in her 70’s told me “Get over yourself!” One day when I was early in sobriety and whining. Pissed me off, but hit home. Keep going Jeanne. This blog is a blessing to many.

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