Thursday, April 26, 2012

On worrying

Do you worry a lot? Worry is the mother of all rabbit holes, isn't it? It can pull us down so easily once we start worrying about our jobs, our relationships or even something as simple as what to make for dinner. I'm sure you can tell by now that I've indeed caught the worry bug a time two -- or three or four.
But then I came across something: In 1933, author F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote a letter to his 11-year-old daughter, Scottie. He ended the letter perfectly with a list of things to worry about, not worry about, and simply think about. These are some things, according to Fitzgerald, that we do not need to worry about...

*Don’t worry about popular opinion
*Don’t worry about dolls
*Don’t worry about the past
*Don’t worry about the future
*Don’t worry about growing up
*Don’t worry about anybody getting ahead of you
*Don’t worry about triumph
*Don’t worry about failure unless it comes through your own fault

Isn't that a great list! So, friends, what do you find yourself worrying about? How do you get yourself to stop those annoying racing thoughts once they pop in your head? (For me, working on my blog is a good way to calm down!). xoxo

P.S. How cool would it be to have F. Scott Fitzgerald as your dad? :)

[Top photo of F. Scott Fitzgerald via wit + delight]


  1. I worry about my future ALL THE TIME, especially when it comes to relationships. It's hard on me when I'm single, and hard on me AND my bf when I'm in a relationship. So not good. I try to breathe and remember good things. I also try to distract myself, which may not be the healthiest tactic of dealing with issues, but sometimes the most effective!

    I would love to hear other peoples' advice! I could use it!

  2. What an awesome list! I need to take this to heart.

    As far as my biggest issue goes, I'm worried about my career. I always thought I'd have a definite vision of where I would end up in the corporate world, but now that I've gone off to be my own boss, the future is pretty blurry. I couldn't be more thankful for my family, especially the support of my husband.

    I find that when I let go and get lost in my artwork, I lose my worries during that time. It's absolutely relaxing and comforting for me.

    F. Scott Fitzgerald is pretty amazing, but I don't think I could trade him in for my dad! I wouldn't be the person I am now. Nope! :)

    Hope you aren't worrying too much, Melissa!
    Wonderful post, as always.

    @Mandy: Hope things get better for you! It's hard not to worry about relationships, and I was a mopey human being after dumping/being dumped. Maybe amazing things will happen when you're least expecting it. Until then, write down a list of things that you're good at (I'm sure there are many things!) and things you love, and tape that list up on your bathroom mirror to remind yourself how worthwhile you are and that comfort can be found in the tiniest things. Don't forget to take time to treat yourself every once in a while too!

  3. I love these lists, and any insight from F. Scott–I used to spend hours skulking around Princeton, reading his letters! I am a worrier, but I've been learning not to let it consume me. It's not easy, but it's better than spending most of your nights wide awake.

  4. Oh man, I am very much what some might consider a "worry wart" but I'm trying very hard to kick that habit. One thing I've realized is that worry has become my way of trying to control some aspect of what is uncontrollable. For example, if I worst and expect the worst case scenario, then maybe it won't hurt as much.

    At the same time, worrying has never gotten me anywhere. I realize that not everyone is spiritual or practices a particular faith, but I've found that surrendering that worry in some way- whether one believes in a higher power or the fact that everything always works out somehow, is quite comforting.

    More or less, I just try to breathe and focus on the here and now.


  5. I worry about my children and grand children. I guess most mothers do.
    I too find my blog calms me.

  6. He's one of my fave writers, and these words are so wise, I wish I can put them to use...

  7. Sometimes when I have tons of things on my plate at once, I begin to become preoccupied with what I will do about the situation, but when that happens, I force myself to stay busy with things that I love doing and spend time with the people I love. I'm happy to say that most of the time I am able to not worry, because in the end nothing is accomplished or made any easier by worrying, especially in times when there is nothing that can be done to change things at the moment.

  8. These are great suggestions! Hahaha, Danie, I'm not worrying too much...just the usual amount. :)

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