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  • Kristen Kehoe

Dear Worry: Take a Fucking Break, Please & Thank You

Old Man River, Liv, and I have started watching Limitless on Disney+. Liv and River love a good human interest story, and I love Thor, so there ya go. While there are moments in the series that lag, I've been entertained. More importantly, I've grown to understand that certain people are connected without knowing it. Thor and I...we will never meet (I'm certain he's just as devastated by this fact as I am). But after observing him confess his penchant for worry, and express how it often affects his daily life, I have come to understand that we, like many others, are connected in this.



I'm a worrier. To anyone who knows me, this is not a surprising revelation. This default emotional setting is one of the reasons I say no so frequently; easier to do things without an audience if all you're going to do is worry and wonder who you've offended or how much traffic there will be, or whether or not you can anticipate every unexpected thing that will happen...yikes, on paper that is not a pretty admission. Moving on.


My favorite subject to worry about is Olivia. A lot of parents can probably relate to this; why do they exist if not to cause us massive amounts anxiety as we consider how to raise them? My worry for my daughter stems from my own insecurities and uncertainties, so not only is the worry annoying as fuck, it is unproductive and unhealthy. It's also constant.


What does this have to do with chaos and interrupting my "no thank you" attitude? Well, not only is it important to reorganize my social life so that I am more willing to try, but I also need to interrupt the emotional chaos I carry around, and force it to, please and thanks you, give me a fucking rest. Worrying about Liv's overall health and happiness is one thing, but worrying that the morsel of red dye 40 she ate in her cupcake will cause lifelong diabetes is probably a bit on the extreme side (especially considering I practically snorted Kool Aid growing up and I seem to be a functioning, if not high maintenance, adult).


Learning from Thor himself, and some of my own 38 years of life-experience, I know that in order to combat the worry, and the weight it can cause me to feel like I'm carrying, I need to strategically say yes to social events or activities, so that my mind is too occupied to take a fabricated fear out of its back-pocket and spend all of my energy obsessing over it. But I also need to know when to pull back and just be. Balance, yea?


This weekend, instead of surrounding myself with people, River, Liv, and I went to Portland and spend half a day together, shopping for our T Swift concert and doing lunch. (This is huge for us, as every foray into the northern cities brings us back to traffic trauma from our days in Seattle.) It was an easy morning, with only one meltdown that came not from yours truly, but from Old Man River himself. Not to worry, I directed him to the nearest brewery and got him some tots and all was well.


As per usual, after being around loads of people (or even just a small load), we needed quiet time. Since Olivia did not, she chose the park and her friends, and River and I took Luna Love swimming with the ducks. Yes, she's a retriever; no she does not hunt. She swims, and sometimes, I think she races. Never in her goddamn life has she retrieved--she's an individual like that.



And then, not to knock your socks off with all of the fucking things we did, River and I took to the mountains on Sunday while Liv was at a birthday party, and we clocked our first mountain bike ride of the year. (On a side note: I have two apologies to make. 1) To the very quiet man who was sitting at the top of Lewisburg saddle drinking his coffee when I was schlepping my way up: I am sorry for calling my bike a bitch and then culminating that moment with "fucking get there." I hope you enjoyed your coffee anyway, and thank you for smiling and saying, "beautiful morning," when we made eye contact. That was very classy of you. 2) To the man who was on his way up the single track while I was barreling my way down, thank you for pulling off to the side when you realized I was not, in fact, going to see you before I domed you. I'm sorry for the "fuck yea I did" I yelled right as I rounded that sharp switchback.)


One would think with my worry-obsession I'd watch my mouth, and my volume, more, but it isn't so. What I feel is what you hear. Loudly. Obtrusively, some might say. Never appropriately. All of the apologies to all of the people, especially you, Old Man River, since you are always there to witness these spectacular moments.


On this week 7 of 52 interruptions, I learned that when I say yes, Old Man River says yes, too, and vice-versa, which means we're pushing each other to be better. Maybe it's not always with other other people, but sometimes we don't need chaos, so much as a break from it. And we learned that Olivia will always say yes to social engagement, so she is not allowed to be the decision maker. I wouldn't survive it. But, that also shows me that so far, she's happy, and maybe that can be what I remind myself as I worry about that red dye 40 or the boogeyman.



Happy three day weekend, loves. Here's to hoping your chaos was exactly what you needed, and your worry is non-existent.


xoxo

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