A ramble about Mr Worry and the art of losing things

*dusts off blog and fires up laptop*

Gosh, it’s been a while. I have been mostly distracted by half term and some exciting little hooky projects, but I miss my little patch of the internet and tonight my thoughts are whirring sufficiently to want to just put them out there. I shall update you on my crochet adventures soon, I promise.

Mini Mck’s latest book obsession is the Mr Men books, which is both delightful, as I loved them as a child, but also a little sad, as I realise now they are quite dull. It is no wonder my Dad used to change bits, much to our delight and horror.

Anyway, it has reminded me that my favourite Mr Men book, when I was young, was Mr Worry. I loved how his list of worries was so long that it covered a whole page of the book and that his wrinkly forehead magically disappeared after seeing a wizard, who helped him stop worrying. Even at a really young age that book resonated with me, so I know I have always been a worrier

I have a lovely life and am basically very happy. I love that I look after my own children, most of the time and get to enjoy this time with them while they are small and still at home. We all have our health. We have a lovely home and get to do nice things, albeit on a budget. All is good.

Nevertheless I worry. About the big, abstract, probably not going to happen things and also the little, trivial, inconsequential, happen all the time things.  I most definitely ‘sweat the small stuff’. Incidentally, I bought that book once, I seem to remember it was a bit rubbish, but then most self-help books are, aren’t they?

Our car went for it’s MOT today and didn’t pass. A couple of minor things, one of which is the windscreen washer not working. After some investigation the generic MOT garage can’t work out what is wrong and it needs to go to a specialist to have the water bottle taken out and more investigation done. They’ve given me the details somewhere that should be able to help, which is still within walking distance to my house and I will need to phone them tomorrow. All fairly simple and straightforward, in fact I’ve been looking for a garage that specialises in my make of car for years, but I am left feeling quite anxious and stressed. In my experience, when the garage can’t work out the problem, that usually means it’s going to be expensive and the thought of traipsing to another garage tomorrow, with two children in tow gives me a sinking feeling.

I tell myself not to feel this way, in fact I actually do say this out loud, but I am still left worrying about stuff I don’t even know will happen. “How much will it be? How long will they need the car for? How will I pick Mini Mck up on Wednesday?”……and on and on it goes.

It’s the same with losing things, which I seem to do with annoying regularity. I spiral into a barrage of self criticism. “Where on earth is it? Have I thrown it in the bin? If I was just more organised and less messy, I wouldn’t have lost it in the first place. I’m never going to find it!” You can see the pattern, yes?

Alain De Botton argues in his very readable philosophy book, that the philosopher Seneca believes we are most able to deal with the frustrations that we are prepared for. For example, we get angry and frustrated about mislaying the TV remote, because we mistakenly think we should live in a world where TV remotes don’t go missing. If we simply accepted that these things happen then we would be far more able to control our frustrations.

I have a friend who says that expectations and managing them appropriately is the key to happiness. This sounds a bit depressing at first, but I think it’s true. Cars go wrong and need fixing. Things get lost. Things get broken. People (me) forget to do things, or only remember at the last minute.

Life is full of little hiccups and dealing with them is part of being a grown up. I just can’t help feeling that I’m not really very good at being a grown up and am still that worrying seven year old, hoping that writing a big list really does work, just like it does for Mr Worry.

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4 thoughts on “A ramble about Mr Worry and the art of losing things

  1. I'm with you Emily. I'm naturally a 'thinker' but this can often mean worrying about the big abstract unlikely and small silly inconsequential when I'm left to my own devices. It's a bad habit and a waste of time but bad habits are hard to break! I think your friend is on the money. It's about letting go of bad habits, moving goalposts and enjoying the here and now without finding something to get revved up about x

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