It’s August 13 at 12:58 PM. I am sitting in my daughter-in-law’s kitchen in Chicago wearing borrowed sweats—it’s 63 degrees outside and the rain is bringing a chill to the air. Why is this significant? Because I’ve been worrying for two months about how I would endure the heat and humidity of Chicago in August. And guess what? I’ve been here almost two weeks and we haven’t had any. The temperatures have been mild and the humidity non-existent unless you count the two days of rain we’ve had. I guess that could be counted as 100%. If it were hot, that is.
Why is this significant? I ask again. Because it’s such a good lesson in the futility of worrying, which, I admit, is one of my best honed skills. I can worry about anything–I can worry about not worrying!
I spent several nights recently not being able to fall asleep because I was worrying that I wouldn’t be able to handle being outside while I was in Chicago in August, and that I’d disappoint my grandkids in some way. They might have wanted to go to the park, go to a Cubs game, go to the lake and I might have had to opt out.
This was a groundless worry as it turns out, but a worry based on past experience. I don’t do well in heat and humidity. I wilt faster than a Hibiscus flower out of water. I become dehydrated. I become a somnambulist, bleary-eyed and dragging through the day. I become non-functioning. I know this because it’s happened to me in Chicago before. I barely made it through one visit when Dave was in grad school. If I sat down, I’d fall asleep. If I stood up, I wanted to fall down. Come to think of it, that was 15 years ago, and they lived in a 3-story walk-up with no air conditioning. Things have changed. Might be time to move on.
Now, what I can learn from all this? To stop worrying would be good, but it may be to difficult a habit to give up cold turkey. I’m sure I’d have withdrawal. Hopefully I will remember this experience and bring it up in my mind every time I start to worry. What if I used that technique on the golf course? I could stop worrying about the sand traps and water hazards waiting to entrap my ball. Then I could just hit away with a relaxed confidence. The ball might fly through the air with the greatest of ease.
What a thought! I might just have found a life-changer, here. Now, if I could just warm up a little.