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I Ain’t No Worrier

John W. Pinkerton


Linda, my wife of over fifty years, is a worrier: I ain't.

I suffer watching her worry about so many things:  She suffers from watching me not worry about much.

It's hard to say when or how I became a non-worrier.  There is one event I recall which might be a clue.  My younger brother and I shared a bedroom.  One day in a fit of anger, I knocked a hole in a wall of the bedroom, placed a handy wall calendar over the hole, and went on about my business.  My younger brother seemed deeply troubled by the damage done to the wall.  I told him not to worry about it.

A month or so later as he and I stood together watching our home burn to the ground, I commented to him, “See, I told you not to worry about that hole.”

I don't know if there was a pivotal moment in her life that placed Linda into the worrier category…it might have been marrying me.  Oh well.

I found a list of twenty common subjects about which folks have a tendency to worry.  I'll list each one and offer some “wise” advice on each.

Bills.  Pay them or even better don't have any.  Throughout our entire marriage, we saved then bought items…no bills, no interest.

Money.  You need some.  I never made much money and money was way down on my list of concerns.  Somewhere in my late 30's it dawned on me that  if I didn't make investments, I would probably grow old and not have enough money to retire comfortably.  Invest and then pay no further attention until you might need the money in retirement.

The past.  We probably all have regrets from the past.  Get over it.  Ain't much you can do about it.

Gossips.  You've got to be kidding.

Haters.  You've got to be kidding.

Work.  I truly like work.  Be the very best you can at whatever your job is and you'll find most of the stress disappears.

Death.  I went through my first 21 or so years without even considering the prospect that death was a possibility.  I had a moment of realization and didn't think about it again until my body reminded me of my mortality.  My attitude has been “so?”  I don't think folks are too concerned about death; they're more concerned about what comes next.  What comes next is above my pay grade.

What people think.  You've got to be kidding me.

Celebrities.  You've got to be kidding me.  I don't even personally know these folks.

Safety and comfort.  Buy a gun; learn to shoot it.  Buy a good chair and a good bed.  Invest in a home.

Mistakes.  There are no good or bad decisions.  One should choose a path then work like Hell to make it the right path.

Your luck.  You either are or you are not lucky.  I'm a lucky fellow.

What can go wrong.  Well a lot,  but my way of dealing with this is to never have expectations.  I just show up and see what happens.

Worrying.  This depends on who you are.  A worrier like my wife will never understand why I don't worry.

The price tag.  Do the best you can at the moment on the cost of items.  Once you purchase an item, never look back.

The small stuff.  Try to treat the small stuff as though it's important.  It will allow you to clear the way to see what's truly important.

Things outside your control.  As a young man, I took responsibility for everything from atomic weapons to the price of a movie ticket.  I gave these responsibilities up little by little.  It seemed prudent.

Being perfect.  We ain't.

I found the online list of things to worry about to be a little short of subjects for Texans.

In Texas folks worry about their teams---pro, college, high school, junior high and pee-wee league.  I take note of how “my” team is doing, but that's about it.  If they lose, I label them losers and move on.

One of the best comments I ever heard by someone about worry and stress came from a fellow who was a yearbook and school ring sales representative.  When he came buzzing by our school, I asked him how he was doing.  I've never forgotten his response: “A lot better since I realized I'm not going to be President.”

You know, that applies to most of us.