Soon Enough

fullsizeoutput_aaWe’ve had lovely weather for the past few days, comfortably warm in the daytime and cool at night.  It’s the kind of weather that makes it a joy to be outside. You’d think I’d be enjoying this break from Summer’s usual heat and humidity, and I am.  Sort of.  But the problem is, all the forecasts say this beautiful weather is going to be over far too soon.  By the end of the week, we’re supposed to have temperatures in the high nineties, heat indexes over one-hundred degrees, and very high humidity levels.  Which means that while I’m trying to enjoy the cool temperatures we’re experiencing now, I’m mostly dreading the horrible weather that’s coming.

I know that sounds silly, but it’s not just me.  Everywhere I go, I hear people talking about the weather and they’re all saying the same thing.  “Isn’t this great?  But it’s not going to last.  It’s supposed to be one hundred degrees by Thursday!”  The logical thing to do when we have a lovely, Spring-like day in late June would be to simply enjoy it.  But for some of us, that’s a hard thing to do.

These days, there seems to be many things that can cause us to worry and fret.  In my more cynical moments, I almost believe that the real goal of the news media is to keep us in a constant state of outrage and fear.  And that’s just what’s going on in the world around me.  I always have a few personal worries as well, such as the mild but persistent pain in the right side of my face.  I want to believe it’s nothing more than my usual jaw and sinus problems, but I also worry that I’ve got another bad tooth that’s going to need treatment.

I don’t know why it’s so hard to simply enjoy ourselves when something good comes along, and why it is so easy to worry about the bad things that we think might be coming our way.  Being prepared is one thing, but endlessly worrying about something that may or may not even happen is nothing more than a waste of time and energy.  And I don’t know of a single situation where worrying about something has made it easier to deal with when it actually happens.  (Often, it’s the reverse.  When I worry too much about upcoming dental work, I end up walking into the dentist’s office so tense and fearful that it’s all I can do not to run for the nearest exit.)

But this is not how I want to live my life.  If I’m eating dinner with my family on a Sunday evening, I want to simply enjoy the experience rather than worrying about whether or not we’re going to have enough volunteers the next morning to get all the shelter dogs walked.  When I feel pain somewhere, I want to just make an appointment to get it checked out, rather than fret about all the possible causes and what it will take to get it fixed.  Even better, I’d like to remember to be thankful that I have access to medical and dental care at all.

I know the only thing I can truly predict about the future is that it will always bring me a few things that I’d much rather avoid.  But that doesn’t mean I have to dwell on those things, worrying about what could happen or even what I know will happen.  I want to learn to deal with tomorrow’s problems…..tomorrow.   That way, I can actually enjoy and appreciate whatever good stuff is happening today.

81 thoughts on “Soon Enough

  1. When I get nervous about a visit to the doctor or dentist, my blood pressure goes way up. Of course, when they check it and see how high it is, they assume it’s that high all the time. The high temperature here doesn’t help. Here’s hoping you live in a part of the country that uses AC. Stay cool. Blessings.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. My husband is that way, and I frequently remind him not to “borrow trouble.” It just lets you experience a bad thing in advance whether or not it ever happens so that at worst you live through it twice. It is a habit that one can’t control easily, though.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Well Ann, for what it’s worth, I’m the same way. Misery loves company. And, like you, I’m trying not to live my life this way. It’s never too late to TRY to change. I’ve always been a worrier, and I think in another life I might have been a squirrel. I’m always planning way ahead (as if gathering acorns in July), fearing the worst, and making myself crazy.

    Liked by 7 people

  4. The good moments are there to be enjoyed. True, but there are situations where at the same time sickness or troubles are present in our circles of friends and family members. They will overshadow the enjoyment of the good moments and I say they should. Having said that I agree with you totally. Carpe diem is good advice for most situations. The weather is good? Enjoy it while it lasts. Is someone sick? We do not provide help by just worrying about it. We rather should look for ways to offer assistance. Great post to give us something to think about this Sunday afternoon, Ann!

    Liked by 5 people

    • I agree, Peter! When real problems show up, we need to deal with them. And worrying isn’t dealing with anything. So it’s better just to face troubles head on when they come, and meanwhile to enjoy those times in our lives when things are good. Thanks, Peter!

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Ann, listen to this. Last week my truck battery died. Did not have extra money this month for a new battery, but I need my truck. At the auto parts store I was told there was some warranty left on the battery but first they had to put a 35 minute charge on the old one to be sure it was dead. While doing that, the clerk dropped my battery on the floor and I got a brand new battery free of charge. My angels were working overtime that day.

    Liked by 7 people

  6. So true! Funny how we are like that – huh? Let’s try to find the joy and good in every day before we worry about the not so joyous things that are “supposed” to come. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • I know! Some of us are natural worriers, so when we are encouraged to be fearful and upset, that just makes it worse. Which is why I limit how much news I watch these days. Better to live in the moment, whether it be good or bad. If it is good, then enjoy it. If it is bad, then we deal with it as best we can. And in the process, I think we often learn that we are much stronger than we thought! Thanks, Jodi!

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Staying present seems to be the hardest thing, I totally agree with what you are saying. I was in yoga class tonight, where I try to practice presence, and my mind kept jumping forward to what I need to do this week. Perhaps just noticing when we are worrying, taking note, and gently bringing ourselves back to the present is the most important thing we can do. It takes a lot of practice, but it helps us live our lives more fully. So hard to train ourselves out of it though… I come from a family of worry-warts so I know where I learned my tendency. But I am aware that I struggle with it, and I practice being more present every day. The intention helps. Take care!

    Liked by 3 people

      • That’s a good point about us being hard-wired to notice the negativity! It was a defense mechanism that was probably absolutely necessary at one time in history. Honestly, I think that is why so many people struggle with being overweight too. At one time, a person’s survival depended on continually searching for food and eating as much as he/she could. So it almost goes against our instincts to not eat whenever we get the chance. Evolution is a funny thing, isn’t it?

        Liked by 1 person

    • I think for those of us who are natural worriers, it is hard to stop. And I agree that being intentional about it is absolutely necessary, and also being patient with ourselves as we learn to change. It’s not easy, and we will fall back into our old habits sometimes. But like you, I think that it is worth the struggle. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I feel for you, Ann. That feeling of dread is so hard to shift. But it is easier to deal with if you make preparations (note I am an expert dentist procrastinator).

    As to the heat, do you have some fans for later in the week? Keeping the air circulating makes a big difference. Increasingly we have blackouts in heatwaves. So I bought a couple of re-chargeable electric fans just in case. And if you still have your old dog, you could buy a few bags of ice on the hot days and put it in a toddler pool (no water is necessary). My dogs love to eat the ice when the weather is hot. Also, making small ice blocks of plain chicken stock for the dog. Again, another favourite with my pooches.

    Take care and keep your cool. I believe the dentist suites normally have air-conditioning. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Luckily, we do have air conditioning in our house, so it is comfortable for us and our old dog. But those are very good suggestions for when the AC is out…which it sometimes is. Thank you! The problem I have with the heat is that I walk shelter dogs three times a week (short walks for the dogs, obviously, just so they can potty outside.) But since there are so many dogs to walk, it often takes me four hours to get the job done. And four hours when the heat index is over 100 is a long time, and that’s why I dread the super-hot temperatures. Still, I just have to adjust to it. Take lots of breaks and drink lots of water, and know that when I’ve hit my limit, it’s time to quit. Thanks again for your advice. It is very much appreciated!!!

      Liked by 2 people

      • You’re welcome, Ann. I think the dogs would find that pretty warm too. Probably they would be just as happy to get outside to the closest tree and just sit with you. Have a look at some scent games you could play with them, like having a few small containers, and put a treat in one. Then they get the treat if they pick the correct container. This tires them out too. Anyway it is just a few thoughts. Take care.

        Liked by 1 person

        • That’s a good idea! When it is too hot to let them blow of their physical energy, then mental energy is just as good. We have some volunteers who do enrichment with the dogs in the afternoons, but sadly we don’t have enough that the dogs get enrichment every day. So your suggestions for playing scent games with them after they have pottied but before we return them to their cages is a great one! Thanks for you help and concern….it is very encouraging!

          Liked by 1 person

  9. wow Ann I read your post and these comments above pretty astounded … but then I have been persistently focusing on living in the present for decades now.

    That so many waste time and energy worrying is beyond me.

    To use your two examples … can’t change the weather, so enjoy what I have now. Also can’t change the need to attend a dentist, so just attend when I need to without buying into busy negative speculation about how much work I might need or what it could cost.

    My policy is if it worries me
    1. Can I do anything about it … then do it now!
    2. If it’s beyond my control, let it go …

    Living in the now brings such peace and contentment, please may I urge you and your followers to keep working on it? And if worry arises distract yourself with kinder thoughts eg what would my grandson be doing now … yes, I can access medical resources many others will never have … please?

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I think in this day and age we’re all guilty of worrying about what might and could happen. It’s too easy to think ahead and worry and wonder but it really achieves nothing. So yes, while I can relate I’ve learned the best way to be is to live in the now and appreciate each moment as it comes.. Not always so easy but we can catch ourselves. My latest trick when I feel myself spiralling into negativity is to say aloud “shift, shift, shift my focus” and I do a particular motion Probably sounds silly but it works. 🙂 I also watch very little news.
    As for those niggly teeth problems, which I also can relate to, I figure we deal with them with and if we have to. Have a good week Ann. Live for today. x

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think that sounds silly at all! When I find myself worrying too much, I sort of do the same thing. I try to take some deep breaths and really look around me for something that makes me calm or happy. Sometimes, it helps if I just think of a solution for whatever problem I happen to be worrying about, because then I can be assured that if the problem pops up, I know how to handle it. But for the more complex stuff, I really do have to think “just let go of it!” And it does make a difference! Thanks for your comments, Miriam. It helps to hear I’m not the only one, and even more, that other worriers have figured out ways to shift their focus to more positive things!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. This is so true – I hate worrying but I do it! Every time my kids leave the house I think about the risks. Better to appreciate the here and now and not let all the worries get in the way. Great post. Once again I am baffled about why I am not seeing your posts in my reader. I haven’t been scrolling by without stopping – I always enjoy them! Hope you are well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Yes, I think some of us just worry naturally, not as a choice we make. The only choice we can make is to let go of those worries when they rear their ugly little heads!
      As for my posts, I’m sorry to hear they’re not in your reader. I don’t think you’re the only one, as I’ve noticed an absence of some regular readers. WordPress does act up now and then, and I don’t think there’s much we can do about it. I do appreciate your willingness to find my posts and read them when you can. That is very nice of you!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I almost believe that the real goal of the news media is to keep us in a constant state of outrage and fear.

    I used to be devoted to the national evening news on the networks, now I can’t stand it and never watch it. They have nothing to say and nothing to tell us.

    It is all just views and clicks.

    I would rather walk my dog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Couldn’t agree more! I would love to have a real news source that just gives me the facts about stuff I actually need/want to know about. But it’s just fear-mongering and fluff these days, and watching the news only annoys me. Good thing we have dogs…..

      Like

  13. It seems hard not to worry about things. I try not to watch the news as much and keep my mind occupied as much as possible. Making lists of tasks help too. After our horrific flood last year, our weather people have been much more gentle, always saying it is not enough rain to cause a flood.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s nice of them! So much of the news seem designed to instill fear and outrage these days, and that’s just not good for any of us. We do need to hear about problems so that we can try to solve them, but hating each other just makes problems even worse. I’m glad the the news media in your area realized people need better!

      Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a nice way of putting it! When I get worried about something, I do try to think of the things I have to be thankful for, like being grateful I have dental care (and pain killer) for real dental issues rather than simply fearing the procedures. It helps!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. As a compliance/safety person it is my job to be looking for trouble and trying to prevent it. I try not to let it spill into my personal life. I’ve been trying to let go of the worry and relish the moment. It isn’t easy after a life time of searching for the ‘worst case scenario’!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I understand! That’s the part of the equation that “living in the moment” doesn’t quite cover. It is actually a good thing to look ahead and realize what could go wrong and prepare for it. (And for me, second nature.) I think the problem comes when we can only look ahead, and only think about what can go wrong. Yes, we need to be prepared, but we also need to be able to live in the present moment and appreciate what is going on right here, right now. And to acknowledge that the things we worry about don’t always come true. So I think it is a balancing act, with those of us who are natural worriers making the effort to let go of some of that worry and angst. Thanks for bringing up this perspective, it is a very good one!

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  15. Based on what I just read, I would say your chances are very good that you’ll learn to not worry so much. I think you’re right about not wanting to live that way. Possibly you could do it with just some small changes? However you do it, it sounds like a very worthwhile goal. Just remember to let us all know some day how you went about it! Good Luck, Ann.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Des, I will keep you all posted! I actually think I made some strides today: rather than worry about my face pain, I made an appointment for the dentist next week (the soonest he could get me in) and then went to the nearest Urgent Care to have my ears checked. Turns out, there is fluid and inflammation in the right ear and sinuses, where I am having some pain. And I got some medicine for that.
      So, instead of worrying, I’m meeting the issue head on, and now feel as if I can let go of the fear and worry, knowing that I’m actually dealing with it.

      Which freed me to just enjoy the evening and stop worrying. I am trying very hard to remember that I’m strong enough to deal with issues as they arise, and have no need to obsess about what may or may not happen. It’s a process, but I’m getting there. Thanks for your support and encouragement!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Identifying that source of pain has got to be a relief! Hope it clears up quickly. It’s great to hear that you’re making progress, Ann. Thanks for updating us and keep up the good work!

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Hear hear. I have found for myself that the only way to avoid anxiety is to be as fully present in the moment and focusing on what I am currently grateful for. There is plenty I could worry about … no health insurance, running out of funds, when will I see my parents next and willI get there in time? Where will be living as we get older that provides good health care if we need it?

    I keep breathing, staying present and eating as much fruit and Vega as possible as my natural form of health insurance .

    Take a deep breath … 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Peta! I think you are right, the only way to stop the worry (and there is always plenty to worry about, one way or another) is to intentionally turn our focus on the present. It does work for me when I remember to do it, so I think there is hope I will improve.
      And I agree, living a healthy life style is actually a form of health insurance! Take care, and thanks, as always for your insightful comments.

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  17. I used to check the news site every morning before I start my day. I live alone and abroad, so I wanted to stay updated. But, now, I prefer to read the news only when I don’t have anything to do or if I want to kill some time. Before and after I understand the local language of the country where I live now, I rarely watch the TV. I think if the news is so important or impactful, it would come to me somehow without me looking for it. Also, if something happens in my country where I come from, my family or friends usually tell me directly. Constant worrying happened to me so many times. Often it is about the future. However, having a faith in something really helps, at least for me.

    Enjoy reading your blog. Hope you have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right, I think the news that we really need to know gets to us anyway. And we don’t miss not hearing about all the stuff we don’t need to know. Thanks for sharing your experience in those matters, it is reassuring! And thanks for your kind words, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Mindfulness takes commitment and daily practice, but is achievable. It does make for a happier life because you live in the moment, which is really all any of us have. Maybe limit media input so you’re just informed. No one really knows what the future holds, but it usually turns out OK!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, I think you are right! I spend a lot of my time in the company of dogs, and I can’t help but notice two things about them: all dogs live in the moment, and most dogs are happy. There’s got to be a lesson in that for us, I think.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. And it’s funny because we’re having another hugely hot day here in FL and I was thinking: if this was New England I would be thinking…oh what a lovely summer day! But here I think: ugh, another awful hot day. Yet, you guys are already bemoaning your hot weather after a wicked winter! Yikes. And I can’t wait to get back there and have a change of season because I’ve finally realized it’s impossible to enjoy the weather when it’s the same all the time… maybe humans just aren’t programmed to enjoy?

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know, I sometimes think you are right about that last sentence. It’s not that we’re not able to feel joy, because we can, but we do seem to always look for something to worry about, complain about, or fight against. We have a lovely grade school in our neighborhood with a huge field behind it for the kids to play on. It’s great! But the school has had a huge bump in enrollment and had to add classrooms, and sits on a two-lane street. So the district decided to sacrifice a fourth of the field to add parking and a better pick up/drop off lane for the safety of the students. You wouldn’t believe how up in arms people were about that. And while it’s not at all ideal to reduce the size of the field, I couldn’t help think… Really? With all the problems in our world, this is what people get upset about? I do think we have to be intentional about enjoying what we do have.. Thanks for the comment, it really made me think!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I think it’s human nature to worry about the future, unfortunately. I am off from work this week, trying to enjoy my time off before our summer program at work hijacks my time and forces me to work extra long days. As usual, I feel guilty if I’m doing nothing much, even if I am supposed to just be resting up and being on hand for my son after his accident. I think we need to retrain our minds.

    Liked by 1 person

    • For so many of us, worry is natural, I agree. I think our only hope is to retrain our minds to allow ourselves to prepare for the future and problems that may arise (life is too hard if we don’t), but also to make time each day to just enjoy what is going on around us and to be present.
      Even when I’m doing something I don’t like, such as sitting in the dentist chair, I can find a way to relax if I try. I stare out the window at the pretty apartment complex across the street, watch the cars go by, notice the colors on the trees and bushes. Things like that can help!
      PS: Do not feel guilty about relaxing on your break. Trust me, you deserve it!

      Liked by 1 person

    • What a great idea, Michele! Imagine something beautiful, rather than hard things we need to dread and fret about. When bad stuff comes, we’ll deal. Until then, let’s concentrate on the beauty and focus on all the good that is here right now, and some of which will surely be coming out way too.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Brenda! I’m on antibiotics now and they are helping. And I’m hoping for good news at the dentist office next week, but I’m no longer worrying about it so much. Whatever happens, I’ll be okay. And meanwhile I’m just grateful for, as you so eloquently put it, “the joys of today.” Take care!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I can very much relate to this, Ann, as can many others too from looking at the comments. 😉 Out adult minds are somehow bound to always fret and worry. Look at children – they might wonder if tomorrow the weather is going to be okay to go to the zoo but they normally don’t do this for hours. We simply have to try and let go if our worries – as you said, it never really helps anyway. When something’s coming up we either can handle it or don’t.
    And I will keep my fingers crossed for you that you won’t need a visit to the dentist!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Sarah! And I agree that worry doesn’t help anything. I like to be prepared, but that only means acknowledging things that will likely happen and having a plan to deal with them. It doesn’t mean fretting and stewing, which is what I’m prone to do. But I do think I’m getting better about not worrying, I just have to keep myself on track!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. I had been on a grief-seeking trip when I stopped by here and read this post and realized I was going just where I shouldn’t. So, I caught myself and said a quick prayer of thanksgiving for recent sunshines. The moment I did, I began to see things I hadn’t before. That led to deeper thanksgiving.

    Thanks for this post, Ann.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And thank you so much for letting me know that this post helped you. Honestly, that is the best reward for writing. Not earning money, or getting a huge number of views or likes….it’s just knowing that something I wrote spoke to someone’s heart and helped them in some way. And it is very kind of you to take the time to let me know that!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. This post helped me too Ann, so thank you for writing it. I agree that the best reward is feedback from others. As for dogs, Bernie Siegel wrote a book about overcoming worry, and one of his exercises is going out on a walk with your dog and just watching what the dog does. You’d be surprised how relaxing it is.

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