>When nothing is going right…the Worry Monster

>Heard on Twitter – “When nothing in life is going right, go left.”

I lean pretty far to the left as it is, so I find other ways to cope. The hardest part of coping with life in general is facing the Worry Monster.
The Worry Monster invades my thoughts when something unpredictable or uncontrollable is coming up, something I need to face but can’t really change. The Worry Monster enters through the side door, suggesting I worry about something coming up – a routine medical procedure, perhaps. As I’m consciously deciding not to worry about it, the Monster will suggest something else that deserves worry. By the time the Monster leaves, laughing its evil laugh, I’ve probably worried about a number of upcoming dates or vague future events.
I fight the Worry Monster by staying active. Politically, the Worry Monster thinks I should worry about all that’s going on in Madison. In place of worry, I choose concern. I write letters and emails. I blog. I volunteer with Organizing for America (OFA) by entering data after phone banks and canvass days. I make an occasional donation, but my main contribution is time.
I fought the Worry Monster before the frost came by working in the garden. Simple and mindless tasks such as weeding and watering provided think time. Think time isn’t worry; it’s work-things-through time. As long as I remembered the mosquito repellent, I could stay in the garden for hours, weeding, watering, and processing thoughts. The garden really does nourish the soul.
Now, when the garden lies sleeping the winter away under a blanket of leaves, I play in the kitchen. Cooking is work; baking is play. It’s productive, fun, and a great creative outlet. I’ve considered attempting sourdough bread; maybe it’s time to get serious and create a sourdough starter. Maybe – after the holiday cookies are done.
So take that, Worry Monster. If not much is going right in life, I just turn to the left and get busy.

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