Over the past couple days I have amazed myself with my ability to worry about things that are 8 time zones and a 10 hour flight—over Western Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Eastern United States—away. Yep, I find my ability to worry about things that I have absolutely no control over quiet impressive. To put it in an even harsher perspective, if I was in the United States, I would still have ABSOLUTELY NO CONTROL over the situations. What good does worrying do anyhow? Everything will work out the way it is supposed to. We are adaptable beings; even if the outcome is not what we expected, we will make it work. Since I have been worrying lately, I have not been fully present with the people here, and that is quite unfortunate. Whether or not I am here, at home, or anywhere else, it is difficult to be fully engaged in any moment because things always pop into my head, but I am learning the importance of really being present in the situations in which I find myself.
This morning when I was playing with an outrageously adorable little boy at the Children’s House, I realized that I was fully present with him in that moment (I usually am fully present with the kids—you have to be completely engaged so you can stay one step ahead of them!). Unlike me, he was not preoccupied with the other things that were going on in his life; he was at the House to play, and that is all he cared about. The only thing that caused him to worry a bit was the singing stuffed cow toy—the poor little guy was terrified of that thing! When the cow was put away, however, he again slid down the slide like nothing happened; he was not worried that the cow would come out and scare him again. His absence of worry allowed him to enjoy himself to the fullest and have fun.
Watching the little guy on the slide reminded me of the merit of being engaged in the moments in which one finds oneself; life is more exciting when there are not 10 others things running through one’s mind. Kids set a great example of how to get the most out of the situations life presents to them because they do not worry about other things all the time. Worrying is an unfortunate trait that develops with age, but the example of worry-free living that the kids set for me every day helps keep me young and completely engaged in the situations life throws my way. Worrying brings about no good; if anything, the total preoccupation of one’s mind takes away from the fullness of life.
It is unrealistic for me to say that I am going to stop worry over night, but it is manageable for me to say that I am going to work harder to keep it under control so I can more completely enjoy life. After all, life offers a lot to enjoy!