What, Me Worry?

contributed by Rachel Stever

headscratcherI am a worrier from a long line of worriers.  My mother and grandmother – both worriers. Even my dog is a worrier. Do I drink too much coffee? Will my mom be ok if my dad gets sick? Will I have enough time left with my grandma?  Is my car making a weird noise? Am I saving enough for my own retirement?  Is Twitter destroying my attention span? No matter how big or small, every occasion is a cause for worry.

I know most of my worries are never going to be an issue. And the really big ones are the ones I can’t avoid. But I find my worries comforting in a strange way.  If I didn’t worry, then would I still plan? Taking a worry and thinking about what the worst thing that could happen is, then working backwards to where I am now is soothing. 

I go over my parents’ retirement accounts regularly to make sure they are in good shape. I made sure I know the details of their insurance benefits and pension plans to reassure them and myself that they will be ok. No amount of time is enough, so I make sure to talk to my grandma at least a couple of times a week and see her as much as I possibly can.

I know there’s nothing wrong with my car. I did months of research before I bought it to make sure I was buying a reliable model. I have a trusted mechanic I can take my car to who will check it from bumper to bumper to make sure everything is still in good shape. 

I keep a budget and plan out different scenarios to make sure my savings are on track and that I can splurge once in a while. I do my research ahead of time to make sure the people and companies I work with and trust my money to are just as invested in protecting me as I am. Last fall when my credit card number was stolen while I was on vacation, my bank noticed and contacted me before I had a chance to login to my account to do my daily check. 

I’m never going to be the type of person who can just go with the flow. I tell myself that everything will work out, it always does, but I also know that part of the reason things always work out is because I have planned for them.  And as for coffee and Twitter? This weekend I’ll make a pot of tea instead and read a real book.

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