Don’t worry ’bout a thing…

I say “No problem” a lot. I picked it up in my home away from home/other favorite country, Jamaica, where I’ve been twice in the past 10 years and hopefully will be headed to next July for a week.

They say it a lot over there, because they don’t get stressed about a lot — at least not on the surface. Like, you’re an hour late? No problem, we’ll just start whenever you get here. What matters is you’re here now. That’s the mindset.

Usually the moment I get back from those trips I drill my potential new way of thinking into my head. “That’s how you’re gonna be. No problem. No stress. No worries.”

And it works. For like, a week.

I’m a worrywart. (Right here my close friends and family are nodding and/or rolling their eyes at just how much of an understatement that is.) If it’s possible something will go wrong, I’m worried that it will, no matter how small that possibility is. If there’s drama, I worry I did something to cause it, even though 9 times out of 10 I didn’t even have anything to do with it.

I know it’s weird and silly and borderline ridiculous, but that’s life — my life, anyway — and I’m working on it.

I don’t like that I’m like this. And in an effort to make some more permanent changes, I’m going to stop assuming that things aren’t ever going to work out like I planned. I’m going to stop being a pessimist and worrying that I said the wrong thing or did the wrong thing and now look what happened.

I’m being vague for a reason.. The short version is I embarrassed myself not too long ago. And instead of brushing it off as a silly little thing, it became A Thing. A Thing To Worry A Lot About.

Was it worth it? Hell to the no. Did it seem like it at the time (and for a few days after)? Yup. Should I never drink rum again? Probably not. (But it tastes so good!)

It all comes back to perspective. In the grand scheme of things is it the worst thing ever? Usually not. So here’s how you deal with it. Let it feel like the worst thing in the world. For five minutes. After that, move on with your life. That’s the perspective I’ve gained this week.

There are worse things than that (perceived by you) stupid thing you said or did.

There are worse things than things not working out the way you planned (the majority of the time).

So, buck up, soldier. And chill out. It ain’t that bad.

Furthermore, if anyone catches me unnecessarily worrying, you have my permission to smack me. But not too hard, I bruise easily.

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