When I was a little girl my mom’s nickname for me was worry wart because I worried about everything. I chewed my nails down to the nub worrying about my grades, even though I got all A’s. I even worried about my dog getting taken by the Sausage Man when she was outside late at night (a cruel yet now-funny myth an older neighbor boy made up to scare me). As far as health, I worried about every spot I found on my body and I worried about my parents getting cancer because they used to smoke and I even worried about what ingredients were in my food, long before it was cool to do so.
When I got to my teen years I let go of my worry and began what I call my reckless abandon years. I would ride in cars with drunk boys and date those same bad boys. I would go to parties with strangers and tell my parents the old I am sleeping over at Amy’s house and Amy is sleeping at mine lie. (Amy, remember when we got caught, twice?) I didn’t worry about a thing other than finding out who was going to buy our beer for the weekend. Meanwhile, I still got great grades and got into my college of choice, never died of a weird spotted disease, my parents were just fine, my dog never did get made into sausage and those late night Whopper Jr’s and tacos from Taco Bell were delicious. I continued those reckless abandon years until I met my husband in college, he is one of the good boys, and I settled into my cautious but still fun years.
Yet, as I found myself in my 30′s and becoming a mother, I have felt my worry meter creep far from reckless abandon all the way back over to full blown worry wart and it seems like that each time I really worried it is almost like I was bringing on the bad things. For instance I remember for some reason how I was so worried about delivering Truett even though I had done it before and then he almost died at birth. I worried when we all got the flu that Truett, just four weeks old at the time, would get sick and he wound up with a 105 degree fever and Meningitis. I worried when I got a bad cold that I wouldn’t be well enough in time to go on a planned mountain weekend getaway then I ended up really sick for 5 months and no one doctor could initially figure out what was wrong with me. It turns out I had a double acute lung infection and pleurisy in both lungs. Hey thanks doctor who dismissed it as an just being an overtired post-partum mom allowing the infection to get phenomenally worse. Suffice to say 2010-2011 have not been my best years.
Each time I would call my mom during one of these bumps in the road she would say the words, “DONT BORROW TROUBLE!”. I have to admit it annoyed me to no end. Here I was stressed to the hilt and she was throwing some tired cliche at me? WTF? Her life philosophy is to think positive and positive things will happen. This is a women who has lost a sister to meningitis, a brother to depression, a brother-in-law to a car accident, a mother and father to cancer, and a best friend to a sudden heart attack. Seemed to me like her philosophy was full of holes. Yet, somehow she always finds a way to stay positive. She sees the flip side. She says she was just lucky to have had those people in her life before they passed, she still has a loving husband of almost 50 years, 5 loving brothers and sisters, five healthy children, and 10 healthy grandchildren. She says she doesn’t waist a moment worrying about a one of us, because she doesn’t want to send the bad in our direction. Even so, I still didn’t buy it, until this past weekend.
This past week our dog ate about 1/3 of a canister of raisins, not a big deal right? I knew they could make a dog sick and worried she was have vomiting and ruin our upcoming camping trip that we had planned for 5 months. Turns out I had no idea what raisins can do to a dog. Apparently they are highly toxic for dogs and can cause kidney failure. A friend of mine alerted me on Facebook after I posted a picture of the dog busted eating the raisins. I called the vet and shew as immediately admitted to puppy ICU. Her kidney levels were jacked and she had to go on an IV flush for 48 hours to prevent kidney failure. Camping trip ruined. Reluctantly I sent my husband and my 3 year old on their way and stayed back with my 1 year old waiting to see if she would make it. I worried all Friday night that my husband would lose my sneaky three year old in the forest and they had no cell reception so I couldn’t check in on them. I didn’t sleep well. I worried the dog wouldn’t make it and I would have to say goodbye alone. Thankfully my worrying didn’t bring that outcome on and $989 later she made it through.
Saturday when they released our dog from the hospital, I picked her up and immediately hit the road to Mt. Hood, so happy that I would be rejoining my husband and Jack. I damn near hung my head out the window just like the dog on the way up. I couldn’t wait to have a beer and relax lakeside surrounded by old growth trees. As I approached the campground I saw smoke coming off the mountain. It cast an eerie Mar’s-like light through the trees. It seemed far from our campground, but immediately I worried “what if it makes its way to our campground”.
When I got to the site, Jack immediately ran up to me to show me his “ouchies”. Apparently he had grabbed a kerosene lantern with his hand and it was all blistered…but hey at least he wasn’t lost in the woods. I spent the next hour unpacking and organizing our tent and then went on a short walk with the boys down to the lake. As I was walking back up to the lake my husband met me on the trail and said “Did you hear?, We are under a mandatory evacuation because of the fire, we have to leave right away.” I thought he was joking. He wasn’t. So there I was just mere hour or two after finally arriving and I was packing to go home.
As I drove down the mountain, my mother’s words echoed in my ears, DON’T BORROW TROUBLE. Now I am not saying that I quite believe I have the power to bring on the bad, but one thing I do have the power to do is control how I react to a bad situation. My friend Jen suggested that we make lemonade out of these damn lemons and that is just what we did. We decided we weren’t going to give up on camping and regrouped in my back yard. Urban Camping was on followed by a day at Sauvie Island Beach, both not quite as sweet as being on the mountain all weekend, but very worthwhile activities. John and I even topped off the weekend with a trip to a gorgeous mountain lake (on the other side of the mountain) and dinner at Timberline. All in all it ended up being a greatly salvaged weekend with some amazing shots for our memory book.
So as I approach my future I say damn you to the worry wart in me and hello to the reckless abandon (well, maybe not that reckless I do have kids now) and just so I am not borrowing anymore trouble, starting now I declare that rest of 2011 and 2012 will be the best damn year in my life yet! I will have an amazing career, healthful life and family, keep and make amazing new friends and have whole shitload of fun along the way. Current Status: Borrowing Luck.