May 7, 2013

All Those Wasted Hours

All my life, I've tried to see bad things coming, as a way of preparing myself.

This is perhaps because of a rather large surprise I got when I was three, but my skills of anticipation were really quite rudimentary then.

I've tried to sharpen them quite a bit since.  You can call it worse case scenario.  Call it a negative disposition.  Or call it preparing yourself.  But the idea has always been the same:  by worrying about things (and let's face it, that's what I'm really talking about) I hoped to make them less painful if they happened.

Here's the thing though.  If they DIDN'T happen, I spent all my time poisoning perfectly good times for no reason at all.  And if they DID, I was never prepared anyway.

This has somehow never really gotten through to me until now.  How could I be that stupid, you may ask?  Don't I have a master's degree?  Haven't I seen counselors off and on for years?  All I can reply is that you can be very aware or skilled or whatever in one direction, and completely blind in another.  The windshield is not the same as the car's blind spot.

Kathy's sickness taught me this lesson like being punched in the chest by a welterweight boxer (no, I don't know what that means, I just like the sound of the word).  We've talked about this- how she and I both worried for years that we had some deadly serious illness, only to realize  it was all in our heads.

But you know what?  When it was confirmed to be real, all those years of worrying helped not an ounce.  Not a breath.  I was as shocked and hurt and afraid as if I'd never even considered disease before.  All those late nights laying on my back staring at the ceiling:  worthless.  Not figuratively but quite literally of no worth to me at all.  The biggest shock of my life and my worry hadn't helped me in any way.

Which brings us to The Bible.  Luke 12:"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?"  It is so true.  And this is most certainly a pot calling a kettle black, a wolf calling a bear a wild animal.  I don't want to preach.

But if I could only pass along one thing from what Kath and thus I have gone through since February, it would be this.  Don't waste your hours  thinking about what might happen.  It'll happen alright, whether you anticipate it or not.  And sometimes it will be good.  Unfortunately, you'll likely overlook those times, because it's human nature to take it for granted when things are hapy.  But sometimes it will be bad, really bad.  And please trust me:  when that horrible moment comes, you will not wish you had worried more.  But you might get the smallest bit of conciliation knowing that you were truly happy in the days before and didn't waste them with worry.

Don't take that last paragraph wrong.  It is necessarily an edit of my life right now.  Things truly are not as dark as all that.  But the intent is true.  The lesson I've learned is real.  Enjoy the heck out of life right now.  Don't worry about what might go wrong.  Let it surprise you like a wave on the ocean.  Because guess what?  It will anyway.

1 comment:

  1. Dude thats F-ing brilliant !
    I do the SAME thing, and as god as my witness I will do my level best to learn from your entry...