In summer there are lighter evenings and the smell of freshly cut grass. There’s the crunchy chill in the air as autumn beckons.
But as we are often lucky enough to have sunshine and blue skies this time of year, it can be easy to forget winter’s here.
So I was reassured to see the brushing off and rolling out of the annual FLU EPIDEMIC HITS SYDNEY trailer as I flicked through channels looking for the news.
Now that’s how I know winter is here. But now I’m a mum, I did take it a little more seriously than I had in previous years.
Enough so that I had a little worry, despite having taken all the relevant precautions for my family’s health. And that got me thinking: is worrying a bit like flu… is worrying catching?
I may have mentioned before that I was a bit of a worrier. In fact I used to keep myself up at night worrying about being too much of a worrier.
I’d also worry if everything was great, and I had nothing to worry about.
That meant something bad was on the horizon, so I could have a nice old worry abut the unknown horror coming towards me. In a strange way, worrying was soothing.
The act of worrying about whether or not something would happen, allowed me not to think about the actual event itself.
More recently, I’ve had to accept that being a worrier might not be the old friend I thought it was.
That maybe it goes hand in hand with being a control freak and I needed to let it go.
It would be lovely if it came to me in a gentle Zen like way, as a result of much yoga and navel contemplation, but really it was simply something nature demonstrated while I was pregnant.
Realising I had limited control over what happened to my own body wasn’t as scary as it could have been. It turned out to be calming, and a very freeing experience. I guess so much of what happens in your first pregnancy is unknown, and so very worrying.
So maybe you are obliged to spend every second of every day worrying about yourself and your unborn child, or learn to go with the flow. I did try the first option (obviously) but even my love of worrying was pushed to the limit, so I gave it up and relaxed a little.
It’s great to have the energy I previously spent on worrying to use for other things… like playing with our daughter at the beach, and not worrying that I have baby sick on my top while I do it. Or spending an evening relaxing with my husband and not thinking about the washing up that’s in the sink.
Most of the time, I’ll now share a concern with my husband or girlfriends, who will either laugh (the latter) and tell me they’ve had the same thought, or look at me in such a totally befuddled way (the former) that I realise I’m possibly going a bit berko and can stop that particular concern in its tracks.
Either way, it helps to put a little perspective on things. On the rare occasions when neither of those are enough to stop me; I find a glass of wine does the trick.
And I reckon if we don’t talk about it, worrying really can be infectious. If we’re honest, we all do it to one extent or another. It’s just that some of us have a higher immunity to it.
So I think we do need to talk about our worries, however bonkers they seem. Unlike flu, worries do tend to dissipate when you share them.
I think we all need to immunise ourselves against endless worrying by talking to our friends, families and other halves. By realising we’re not alone in having them, by laughing at them, by breaking them into manageable chunks, our worries become altogether less worrying.
PS. Having read through the article, I am now worried that I’ve used the word ‘worry’ too much!