5/9/2022 11:51

Worry Worry Worry

The clerk in the grocery store said, "Why worry about things you can't control?"

But that is just what worry is for! Things you can control you should control. Only something you can not control can logically give rise to worrying.

What is worry except returning again and again to the problem until you develop, discover, or happen upon a path to resolve it? Like the dog worrying at the bone until the bone is gone.

Worry is a reasonable play in the actual reality game so long as there is a possibility of finding the solution with repeated attempts. It is maladaptive if the problem is categorically outside of your ability to shape or influence the situation, but a categorically unaffectable condition is rare.

That proverbial dog I mentioned is justified in worrying the bone so long as his efforts give exercise, relieve tension, or provide enjoyment but it would be pointless compulsion for the dog to return to the bone over and over without investing anything in it or gaining any benefit from it.

Worrying about supplies of toilet paper -- as we all did last year -- was pointless if it never led to anything beyond observing that we might run out. If the worry led to identifying alternative supplies and to keeping a reserve more in line with the actual risks of interruptions in the supply then worry made an effective play in the game.

When the play is finally made and the issue is mitigated then the worry ends: The former problem is now a thing you can control. Then something else will emerge as a topic for worry, some consequence not yet managed and therefore a fair subject about which to worry.

In the actual reality game the only things worth worrying about are the ones you can not yet control.