When I was a kid, I used to be terrified of tornadoes.
I grew up in Michigan, and it’s not like tornadoes actually were ever a problem in Michigan, so I am not even sure where this fear came from.
Yet somehow, that was one of my biggest fears.
Whenever there was a big storm outside, I would gather all of my favorite possessions, take them down to the basement cellar and put them on the shelves next to all the canned food,
To make sure they were safe. (And when I talk about my favorite possessions, I am talking about all of my Cabbage Patch dolls.)
Somehow in my head, I pictured my dolls being sucked up into a wind tunnel of a tornado and disappearing forever.
Truly, that is what I thought.
I honestly do not even think I realized the true devastation that a tornado could have because I was still so young. I was only concerned about losing my dolls.
Then once my dolls were safe, I would go upstairs and peek out from behind the curtains at the storm outside.
This was one of my first memories of anxiety and fear.
“What if this storm turns into a tornado…”
“What if that tornado is really bad…”
“What if that tornado finds my dolls and sucks them up and takes them miles and miles away to a place where I can never find them…”
And as I look back, the illogical reasoning is comical.
It really is silly.
And a little on the crazy side.
Yet even today I still have anxiety and fear
And those “What if…” thoughts that seem so real.
“What if the roads are really slippery and my son does not realize it and ends up not being to stop in time and gets into an accident? Car accidents kill people.”
“What if one of us gets really sick? Cancer and heart disease run in both of our families.”
As an adult, my anxieties and fears seem to be far more logical to me than the anxieties and fears I faced as a small child.
Yet they do have one thing in common.
Those things that I fear that may or may not happen…
Most of them I have absolutely no control of.
And I think that is possibly what makes them so scary.
Yet there is not a single thing that worrying can do to change anything.
Worrying and fretting was not going to change whether or not a tornado ever hit our Michigan home;
Just like worrying and fretting will never prevent an illness or deadly car accident in the future for someone I love.
Yet it is so easy to waste time worrying, isn’t it?
“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.”