Just Sayin’: What, Me Worry?

I’ve always pictured myself as a bobble-head doll of Alfred E. Newman (Of Mad Magazine fame), sitting in the window of my life proclaiming the epitaph above . . . loudly. Well, imagine my surprise when I took the stress test offered by Tamara Patterson in her column a few days ago.  I’m stressed! It said so, right there in the test score!!

Now stress is the twin sister to worry. Or maybe worry is the parent of stress. O.K., I was going to write “mother of stress”, but decided that was sexist and we all know that stress is an equal opportunity employer. Never mind, I just never was able to get the worry thing down to a science.  It has always seemed that I can never remember to worry. My mother, on the other hand, would worry if she didn’t have something about which to worry. Looking at the element of nature vs. nurture, I SHOULD have been a worrier.  But no. according to that thinking, Scarlett O’Hara should have been my mother. You know, the “I’ll worry about it tomorrow” line.

And this approach to the future started very early in life. I distinctly remember being very stressed about my first day of school. And I also distinctly remember going to bed the night before and thinking, “Well, if I just go to sleep I won’t have to be scared.” That seemed to hold sway over my thinking all the way through school whether it was a term paper or some upcoming test. My mantra was, “Just don’t think about it and you won’t have to worry.” And to be honest,  that attitude seems to inform my thinking now and all through my adult life.  To this day,! I’ve not decided if that’s a good thing or not! But I’ve never been bothered with ulcers!

Of course this also goes along with a first cousin called PROCRASTINATION.  Oh, my dears, let me tell you I have my advanced degree in procrastination. Consequently, I’m one of those who works better with a deadline breathing down my neck. The plus side of that equation is that if you’ve procrastinated long enough, and you’re completing a task under enough pressure, you don’t sweat the small stuff and consequently you tend to not worry.

But then there’s the quality of the product. If anything suffers it’s the quality control. . . oh, and the second guessing? The “if only I’d thought about it” school of creativity.

Did I miss deadlines? I’m sure I did. Did I flunk tests? Probably. Did I worry about it? Nope. I was Salutatorian of my high school class and graduated college with a 3.83 so I must have gotten at least some the work done . . . I just didn’t remember to worry about it.

Is there a lesson in there, somewhere? I’d hate to think so. I certainly tried to educate my children out of the “Just don’t think about it until the deadline is upon you” school of life. I think they understood the lesson . . . it seems to have worked really well for them . . . I think. I will also admit that I have worked hard in my adult life to overcome this natural proclivity!! I even succeed sometimes.

If anything suffers from this particular school of thinking,  it would be as I said above, the QUALITY of the product.  But if I just don’t think about it,  I won’t worry!

Adrienne Jacoby is a 40-plus-year resident of Shasta County and native-born Californian. She was a teacher of vocal music in the Enterprise Schools for 27 years and has been retired for 11 years.
A musician all her life, she was married to the late Bill Jacoby with whom she formed a locally well -known musical group who prided themselves in playing for weddings, wakes, riots, bar mitzvas and super market openings. And, oh yes . . . she has two children, J’Anna and Jayson.

Adrienne Jacoby
Adrienne Jacoby is a 40-plus-year resident of Shasta County and native-born Californian. She was a teacher of vocal music in the Enterprise Schools for 27 years and has been retired for 11 years. A musician all her life, she was married to the late Bill Jacoby with whom she formed a locally well -known musical group who prided themselves in playing for weddings, wakes, riots, bar mitzvas and super market openings. And, oh yes … she has two children, J’Anna and Jayson.
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5 Responses

  1. Avatar CoachBob says:

    Well, you've known me long enough to know I don't worry or stress over very much. I think it's a trait that makes the IRS upset with me as I don't let 'em scare me. Lol

    I don't even stress when my piano player is gonna be missing from a job! I just cancel the show lololol! That said, here's a "lack of stress" story for you. When I was at the US Armed Forces School of Music (Little Creek, VA), I had a trumpet instructor. First few weeks he was very puzzled by my attitude (I didn't show 'concern' like other students). One day he told me, "You know, you had me fooled. At first I thought you had this 'I-don't-give-a-s**t-attitude' but I've come to realize what you have is a 'controlled-I-don't-give-a-s**t' attitude". Over the years I've come to realize he was right. He picked up on it quick. I'll have to teach you my "I-don't-give-a…." attitude sometime. It'll serve you well. Just look how it's served me! Lololol

    Thanks for the story reminding me of my service days.

    Bob

    • Avatar `AJacoby says:

      Well, I can certainly attest to the fact that you have that attitude well in hand . . . even when it comes to fixing a deck!! LOLOLOL right back attcha!!

  2. Adrienne, I tend to worry, in particular about people who are dear to me. But I remember someone once told me that worry is a totally unproductive emotion. It doesn't help, and it only causes stress. (I have to remind myself of that.)

    And I'm a procrastinator, too, so I can relate to that. Like you, the things with deadlines get finished … but left to my own schedule, well, it just takes me a while to prioritize.

    In fact, I should be working on my tax stuff, but instead, I'm writing to you, and I think I should bake something for book club, or maybe make a pot of tea …

  3. Avatar `AJacoby says:

    Oh Doni . . . chortle, chortle . . . . I think we must be sisters in some other dimension!

  4. Avatar Tex says:

    HEY! Worry works!!!

    98.7% of everything you worry about (for the worriers in the crowd) NEVER HAPPENS!

    Sharon is a natural born worrier, but she'll never have ulcers because she wears her emotions on her sleeve… sometimes it takes two sleeves. However, in her case it is 99.4% never happens. Me? With procrastination my way of life, I put worrying off until later, if I'll have the time.

    Thanks AJ. your "Just Saying" posts are always food for thought and a smile or two.

    Tex