from All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

Worry is often a symptom of imperfect information. p 97

I worry about anything and everything. A champion worrier am I, taking it to the Olympic sport level. I’m wondering why we don’t have any snow and the impact that has on our state financially and how the lack of Winter is affecting our well-being. It doesn’t seems right that there are so many bare spots of grass in our yard when normally at this time of year the earth is buried beneath piles of drifts. Somewhere in the world there is snow and people staying home with their mugs of cocoa, watching the flakes fall.

But right this moment I find myself fretting about the blog. Will anyone read, does it matter what I write? Should I just stop and put my energies elsewhere?

Each week it’s like I need to crack the code, find my way through the maze, slip the key into the lock and jiggle it just so before I feel the release. It would almost be easier just to give up and silence my fingers. But there’s something there that wants to get out. This need to take what I read and what I see and match it up with how I feel.

Some weeks are better than others. Some days pressing the publish button gives me a jolt, a quiet thrill of success. Other weeks I send my offering out into the world and immediately focus on the next entry. In my lowest points I remind myself that the blogs I read sustain me. That connection feels like a fiery frisson which somehow manages to reach through time and space.

I read blogs by writers, photographers, cooks, artists, readers, knitters and filmmakers. Their words pick me up during the week and inspire me to keep going. Perhaps that’s the hardest part is realizing there’s an ebb and flow to our days. A back and forth, a high and low; waves crashing to shore and receding. When you’re up life is good, but the down places can really restructure your outlook.

This week I’ve had a moldy malaise clinging to me that I just can’t shake. I’ve tried to put a name to it, but I can’t figure out the cause or how one goes about eradicating it. When someone kindly asks how I am, I put on the smile and tell them that I am well, quickly inquiring about their well being in my reply. And so the conversation goes.

Because I am a champion worrier I like to hear how people are coping, always wondering how I can help, what I can do. Yet I’m reluctant to share too much or appear too sad when I mention my boy is off at school and I’m still grieving over this loss. I’m working my way through it, and someday it will lessen. I find a glimmer of recognition in other people’s written words and hold on to those truths.

But in the meantime I try and distract myself. I listen to podcasts.* I write, try to take in more information, rest when I can, clean, tidy, curl under the covers with a good book.** There are sentences to find, blog posts to write in my head, pictures to take, this life to live.

* This week Jen Lee is saving me, especially episode 5 and 6.

** I’m currently reading Alexander Chee’s The Queen of the Night wishing that I too were in Paris. So good.




7 thoughts on “from All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

  1. Worry, when not a pool of quicksand that envelopes, can empower. Worry motivates action. Worry motivates reflection. Worry is what motivated me to keep my 12 year old home from school. There’s a rumor, spread like a sexually transmitted disease in college thanks to social media, that a shooting was planned at her school. Jokes on me, a real shooting probably wouldn’t come with a warning. Aah fear, worry- cozy little blankets we sometimes nestle under, sometimes tuck away.
    Worry is what prompted my memoir The Icing on the Cake about my brain injury. Life, worry and all, is good. Right??….

  2. Yes, yes, and yes. Your post sounds like my head this morning (and so many mornings). Hugs to you. And anytime you want to go for a walk or a tea and let it out, I’m here.

  3. True! I sometimes feel like you, I also think that worry is something that can help you to change or overcome certain circumstances in life, I mean, feeling worry is fine , but you don’t have to give that feeling the power to go over your desire of waking up and discover new things every morning, to go over your joy of being so lucky for existing, cause that’s what life is about… Don’t you think?

  4. Your words resonate with me…this post and every post. After finding it about a year ago, this space is one of my favorites to visit…and yet for some reason I’m one of those that hasn’t yet taken the time to comment. Apologies for that…because while my voice may not be significant in the grand scheme of things, maybe it’s just enough to show you who is reading and that what you write matters. Certainly, energy could be put elsewhere if that is what you need…but until that time, thanks for sharing your voice.

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