Is it possible worry is the result of a misplaced (or skewed) priority system?
Back when I wrote the post Worrier’s Anonymous, one of the examples I used was the way I informed my husband I was pregnant. It went something like this, “I’m pregnant. How are we going to pay for orthodontia?” While he suggested we at least wait for our child’s birth, or perhaps even the acquisition of some teeth, it took a conversation with the Love of My Life for the epiphany that each (if not most) worry could be a misplaced priority.
Priorities are like triage for time. First is deciding what’s most important. Then deciding the order (which takes into account the odds). For example, you have seven people still breathing following a horrific car accident. You can definitely save four by acting immediately.You could possibly save two others. Given your present circumstances, if you focus on the four “definites” the two “possibles” may still have a chance. If, however, you initially focus on the two “possibles,” you’ll definitely lose the four “definites.” As for choosing to focus your time, energy and resources on the one who is already more dead than alive … you lose all seven.
Harsh example. Still, the idea of triaging time resonated with me. I am known for “mind-tripping” on the most inane and innocuous matters, thus losing sight of what’s really important. Both long- and short-term.
One example that comes to mind is my inability to make decisions on how to set up and organize the master berth on the boat. At the moment it’s being used as a catch hold/storage repository. The difficulty in decision making is the “god-forbid” factor running through the back of my mind. Should that ever happen and my darlin’ twenty-something have no place else to go, I always want to be able to offer her a place with me. Taking into account her independent nature, intelligence and common sense, her needing/wanting/choosing to take me up on the offer is pretty much nil.
However, since my past consists of a few “I never thought it’d come to this” situations, I know it is a possibility — remote that it is. With this thought (worry? concern? remote possibility?) niggling as a possible future event, I am unable to make decisions in the present. Any idea I think of for organizing or setting up that part of the boat runs smack into the filter of both the remote possibility my darlin’ might need a sanctuary and trying to figure out what she would and would not like.
As exhausting as it is just writing about this, it is far worse going through the convoluted mental gymnastics. Bottom line: lousy time triage on my part!
An appropriate triage (priority) for now, would be to decide what’s the best use of the master berth for our needs — at present — and make decisions based on that. Should the need arise for using the space differently (i.e., the darlin’) we can revisit and adjust at that time.
When prioritizing it’s most productive if, like in triage, you focus on those matters you can “definitely” do. It’s also helpful to accept as f-a-c-t (there’s that four-letter eff-word again) more than likely not everything will get done. Still, if you start with the most important and work your way down the list, you will be in better shape than jumping around willy-nilly. Best of all, the inane monkey chatter and useless garbage filling your mind and sapping your energy will lose its hold on you
Writing this down has presented a do-able step towards living in the moment (which does seem like a worthwhile pursuit).
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