FOR HIRE: Professional Worrier--Easy Rates, Friendly Service
Are Any Of These Photos YOU?
I do it. You do it. Every human being does it. I am not so sure that even animals do it. I am not referring to sex, but the most-draining, dreadful, formidable force in life: WORRYING.
Worrying. Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘worry’ as grieving over a future encounter; event or situation that has yet to be. Unnecessary expenditure of mental and emotional energy. No one is too high, or low to be immune to worry. Even the super-wealthy, powerful sheiks of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait worry. What about? I guess they all worry that one day the United States will become independent from oil and start using another energy source.
I am not presenting worry or worrying in a comedy light. I am just facing this topic with an honest, healthy attitude and insight that maybe will help you and I to cease from this invisible disease, yes disease, that affects all of humanity at large. I am serious. I personally, am so weary of worrying that if I could find “a” magic button to push, or an Aladdin’s lamp to rub bring forth a genie with one wish, I would push the magic button, ask the genie for my one wish: for humanity to stop worrying.
I suppose that if I were to look inward, I would see a rough image of someone from fabled stories of yesteryear, Don Quixote, who’s job in life was to charge and tilt whatever windmill stood in his way. Yes, I know that was masterpiece of metaphorical usage, but the principle still exists. We all, at one time or another, take on causes that we know in our hearts that cannot be won. We accept fool-hardy challenges that it is impossible to conquer. And I am no different. Taking on the issue of worrying is my windmill. My challenge that I can’t win. I can live with these truths. But I would love to leave this world knowing that I did try to tackle the ‘worry beast’ and at least, cause it to maybe slow down a little.
My theory of worrying is this: it all starts with only one, powerless, colorless, insignificant spark of a thought. Maybe this ‘worry germ’ bites you after you get home from a cocktail party at a neighbor’s house and a lovely girl named, “Jill,“ made an off-the-cuff, semi-friendly remark about your dress. Or a coworker in your office was talking to your confidant, “Betty,“ across the room and stopped when you walked by. Maybe your competitive sister planted some jealousy-based thought in your head about how your pot roast wasn’t as juicy as hers. It could be these or a thousand other powerless thoughts that silently enters your thought processes. And you are not even aware that your mind is being invaded by worry until you retire for bed that same night. Then, around 2 a.m., the ‘worry germ’ bites you. You awake in a cold sweat. You cannot shake this worry for the life of you. You quietly get out of bed leaving your husband (or wife), asleep while you tip-toe to the kitchen for a glass of hot cocoa. Yeah. That’s the ticket. Hot cocoa is the best-known cure for sleeplessness. Little do you realize that hot cocoa is not match for the ‘worry germ.’ Hot cocoa will be down for the count as soon as you get back into bed. Then more bites from the ‘worry germ’ and you just decide to get up and stay up. No use in trying to sleep with all of these worries on your mind.
Then, when you are awake and moving around, slowly and you can bet, surely, this infant ‘worry’ grows and grows until it becomes not one, but several worries all living and having a big time in our mind--making us miserable, dreading to take our next breath for fear of maybe the worry is true. Then we worry some about that worry. Worry breeds worry, my friends. And worry doesn’t have to be wined, dined, and signed. Worry is the most-recognized, well-traveled ‘mental prostitute,’ on the block. Worry is no respecter of a person’s weight, size, religious affiliation or race. Worry is not a choosy, picky guest who’s hard to please. Worry can take up residence in one person’s mind, then take over their speech, thoughts until that person shares with another person (who might be happy at the time), how they are, as they say, ‘worried sick,’ and then you have two people wringing their hands, pacing the floor--worrying needlessly about something or someone who may or may not materialize.
I don’t look to submit this story to the New England Medical Journal for publication, for I would worry if it were good enough for these gifted, enlightened men and women who choose medical papers on various medical issues to publish for the benefit of medical science. I will just be content with you reading this story and I will try not to worry if you like it or not.
Worry, since the days of Eden, and our first ancestors, Adam and Eve were evicted from paradise, has mostly taken over the world. I cannot prove this, but once I believed that animals and birds didn’t worry, but I think they do. Take a hungry pride of lions who haven’t eaten for days. Let me assure you here and now, these guys and girls are worried and worried sick about finding their next meal. Common sense says that if these created beings have the intelligence to celebrate a “kill” in the jungle, then they are equipped with the ability to worry. Right?
If worry and worrying are not forces to be reckoned with, then why are these two issues spoken of so many times in the Books of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and even Jesus, our Lord, had to remind His followers about ‘considering the lilies of the field and how they neither toil nor spin,’ to teach them to not worry about anything in life. But follower of Christ or not, we are all flesh and blood and we all worry. Might as well come clean.
My mother, rest her sainted soul, I loved her more than life itself, but she was what people (with more wisdom than I), called a chronic worrier. She would arise each day, go about her household routine and worry while she was doing her housework, cooking or even visiting with her neighbors. I never knew why she was like this. I have witnessed her sitting in her favorite chair with tears streaming down her face--deeply worried about her mom, dad, and sisters who had long since departed from this life.
I would ask, “mama, why are you worrying about people in your past who are gone?” She would come to herself, smile, and then reply, “I don’t know. I just do that.” See what I am talking about? I told my mother that I could understand her worrying about the present, but the past and the future, we mortals cannot change these dimensions of life even if we tried. We are helpless against the forward motion of life. And the swiftly-fading words and memories of the past.
With all of this worry-talk, I might go into a sideline job and make some extra cash by becoming a Professional Worrier. That’s
exactly right. People could pay me either by the hour or a flat-rate for taking on their worries so they can have a few hours of peace. I wonder if this might be a gold mine in today’s United States with so much strife, social unrest, war, shaky economy, and some shows being cancelled on CBS that they conveniently hid from us.
I could get business cards printed with, “Kenneth Avery. Professional Worrier,” on the front. With “bills, divorces, mind-boggling problems all worried about by me, Kenneth Avery,” also typed on the card. I would dress in a semi-expensive three-piece suit, carry a black leather briefcase and open up on main street. I bet in two hours I would be covered up with clients--movie stars worried about their careers; politicians worried about reelections; students worried about passing final exams and husbands and wives, too worried to talk to each other, letting me worry about if they are cheating on each other. What a landslide of a business.
I might have to open up a chain of “Avery’s Worry Studios” up and down the east and west coast. Hire a trained staff of worriers to staff each office. And I would go on television in an infomercial (like Ron Popeil, owner of Ronco) and talk about how easy it is for average people to live carefree, happy lives without worries if they just let “Avery’s Worry Studios” handle their worries. And like Ron, I might throw in a free steak knife for some word-of-mouth advertising by my studio audience.
I would be so wealthy that Bill Gates would come to me for advice on his financial investments. I would be an overnight sensation. Bigger than The Beatles. Kings and queens in Europe and the Middle East would clamor for me to dine with them. President Obama, ranking congressman, senators, famous musicians, Hollywood movie superstars, and professional athletes would have me at their mansions all the time. I would even get to tour the country with the Rolling Stones if they ever have another tour. Yeah. I can just see this dream happening--limo’s, private jets, yachts, penthouse apartments, champagne, caviar, limitless credit with American Express. I wouldn’t worry about all the fame and wealth ‘going to my head,’ for I would have a personal worrier to take care of what few worries I’d have so I could live life in the ‘successful lane.’
“But, Kenneth,“ you ask. “What about your high tax bracket?” What about it? No worries. I would just be honest with my buddies at the I.R.S. as they fill-out reams of tax returns, pay my due taxes on time and take them on as a client for we all know that these over-worked, under-appreciated I.R.S. agents do have their fair share of worries. You can bet the firm on that. I wonder, now that I bring it up, if I.R.S. agents have a happy family life? That’s something I will need to worry about in the days ahead.
And Lord have mercy, at the bales of cash I, oops, I mean my company, “Avery’s Worry Studios,” will rake in hand over fist by worrying for all of the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL coaches and players (who constantly worry about being cut from their teams). I will be known internationally. A household word. Prince William and Princess Kate would not only be on my private speed-dial but be on my “Royal Worry List,” among other European monarchs who let me take care of their worries so they can do charity work and help the needy. Hey, I have to tell you, at this point, I am slightly-concerned, not worried, if my company has the manpower and resources to handle all of the worrying business out there in the world. It’s a big job. An important job, I tell you. What will I do with my five Nobel Peace Prizes that I won in consecutive years? I almost fooled you by that question. You thought that I was ‘worried.’
And speaking of society, how many times have you been out and out, minding your own business, and heard one or all of these terms while you were in public:
“I told that new advertiser, let me WORRY, about your billing!”
“What? My girlfriend said what? Well, I can’t WORRY about her right now!”
“Tommy, get off of that rhino! Sometimes you WORRY me to death.”
“Why the sad face? What in the world can you be WORRIED about?
“That new girl in accounting really WORRIES me.”
“I hate to WORRY you, “Betty,” but I am WORRIED sick about ‘Bob’ working late with that new girl!”
“Dad, I’m WORRIED about what college to attend.”
“Get away from me you WORRY WART!”
“Buddy, you’d WORRY the horns of a billy goat.”
“Awww, ‘Jim,’ don’t let that vulgar insult WORRY you.”
“You are WORRYING for nothing.”
“Ninety percent of things you WORRY about never happen.”
“Uh, boss! I don’t have time to WORRY about that job right now.”
Yeah, you have heard these at some point of your life. I think that I have more-than-proven my point about worry, worries, worried, and worrying.
Did you like this story? Huh? I said, “did you like this story?”
No answer, huh?
Just something else to WORRY me.