All my life worry has always been a part of the equation. I think some of us are born with a genetic propensity to really ruminate on all possible scenarios of what could or couldn’t happen in any given circumstance or day. Growing up in a big city with immigrant parents, we always had the proverbial warning regarding the “Boogeyman,” the person who would appear if we stayed out too late or didn’t lock our car doors. I still remember my father pacing at midnight as my car pulled up in the driveway. His excuse for being out that late? He always told us that he was taking out the garbage. We know the real reason was his worry regarding his daughter’s “safety. ”
Part of that upbringing is something I have a hard time letting go. During my childhood, we were the worst case scenario type of family. That meant living days in the corner of worry and at times sacrificing enjoyment. Perhaps there was a reason for this philosophy, something that I didn’t recognize or realize about my parents. Or it was a product of leaving the culture they knew behind and not really knowing how to understand the foreign quality of their new environment. Both my parents immigrated into the United States in their mid-thirties. I can’t imagine how difficult it probably was to submerge themselves into a new place and attempt to reshift their individual and collective compass to navigate a wholly foreign terrain.
There is an abundance of things we can choose to worry about. I realize that I must make a conscious effort to keep worry from becoming a real character in my life. Thankfully, I don’t have to do it alone. A few months ago, my daughter decided to pen a saying from the movie the Lion King and captured what I need to do for the rest of my life. It sits on my desk as a much-needed reminder. It’s sign from the universe that I need to focus on the sunlight and not trouble myself with all of things that may never happen.