I'm one of those people who is very creative in my worrying. Some people are really inventive cooks, or have a brilliantly original fashion sense. One of my great creative talents is my ability to concoct elaborate and often irrational scenarios for disaster.
In no particular order.
I'm worried that the company that is installing the adaptive driving devices is going to cut huge holes in our car. This is not entirely unfounded, because for some reason the plan for our car had been something along the lines of: chop a huge hole, install an un-needed instructor's brake, neglect to install the needed equipment, remove the instructor's brake, and leave a gaping hole in the nicest car we've ever owned.
Lately, I've been feeling like a parent of a fifteen year old, who is about to start driving. I'm totally convinced that Robb is going to crash our new car, and we won't be able to afford to replace it. In really creatively destructive moments, I convince myself that Robb will crash the car, and will suffer a horrible injury, and this whole nightmare of sitting in the hospital, next to his unconscious body will begin again.
I'm worried about our growing collection of cars that we need to sell, and the fact that we've broken several California laws by leaving one (Toyota) sitting in the garage with an expired New York registration and the other (Subaru) parked on the street without a current smog certificate. Leaving the Subaru sitting on the street somehow drained the battery, and it took three different jump starts (Kristen, me and finally AAA) to get the car started again.
I worry that I'm not going to be able to get all the scenery painted on time, and that the choices I've made have all been horrible ones. I'll anger the set designer, disappoint everyone at the theater, and get fired. With no gainfully employed member of the household, we'll rack up gigantic bills, and end up out on the street.
I'm convinced that I'll never be able to invite people over again as long as we live. I feel like the house is falling apart around us. I've never in my life seen an apartment get so messy so quickly. Whoever re-finished our floors before we moved in must have used a flooring product that was made of one part polyurethane, and twenty-seven parts water. All the sealer has worn off the wood in high traffic areas. The floors in our apartment look dreadful, and despite the fact that I am an expert at sealing floors for theaters, I can't figure how to refinish a floor under the feet of three hyperactive pussycats. (The landlords offered to wax the floor, which would actually make re-finishing the floors a more difficult job.)
I'm convinced that I'm going to lose all my friends, because I've been so weird about social plans. Everything is so touch-and-go with Robb's energy levels, that I've been unable to make definite plans with anyone, and I fear that everyone is losing patience with us. I worry that friends are no longer going to think of us as plucky and brave, but rather undependable and not worth hanging out with.
I'm terrified about my dad's health.
I'm convinced that I'm going to disappoint everyone who has been so kind to us in the last year, by not sending out elaborate handmade Christmas presents.
I fret about what Robb's ultimate recovery will be, and if we will be emotionally and economically prepared to deal with this for the rest of our lives. I don't need to go into the particulars. Even the most uncreative worrier can imagine the thoughts I torment myself with.
But somehow, when the end of the work day rolled around today, and all the painters had finished their last tasks, I actually managed to start breathing again. We had a huge room full of painted scenery, which was going on a truck at 8am the following morning. Sure, I was going to be painting a massive project over the weekend, but I would be working quietly, and by myself. I wouldn't have to supervise a crew of painters and answer phone calls. I could figure it out on my own, with no distractions.
And, maybe I could even think about making a few tiny Christmas presents, as I waited for paint to dry.
And maybe, maybe, maybe, I could un-spin the Spiral of Worry, and find my way back to the place where I can accept (and respond positively to) the things that life throws in my path, instead of worrying about the things that aren't going to happen, anyway.