Friday, April 15, 2011
WORRYING IS SERIOUS STUFF
I have always been a worry-wart. It started early. About the time I was four or five years old I started worrying about fires. Every time I heard a siren I would run to the nearest wall and stand with my back up against it. It was a strange reaction but it gave me comfort. Handling the practice fire drills at school, where the bells clanged in short bursts, just terrified me. Luckily someone at that elementary school recognized my problem and took me to the office where they explained that a fire drill was planned and I was going to get to push the button on the wall that would set off the bells. They said I could watch out the window to see all the classes line up outside. I pushed the bell and like magic the worrisome problem disappeared.
In the third grade my teacher, Mable M. Atkinson, wrote on my report card, “Barbara does very strong work. She is sometimes overly conscientious and perhaps worries about her work, which is never necessary.”
Throughout elementary school I was just exceptionally conscientious, which often times made me seem like I was trying to be the teacher’s pet (which I probably was). Added to that was my mother’s constant admonition at home to “be good” as a counterbalance to my younger sister who was a tantrum-thrower, a yeller and screamer when she didn’t get her way. My mother didn’t want to have two problem children, and I seemed very adaptable, she thought. I tried very hard to be good.
I finally outgrew all those moments of angst, but I must admit that even in my adult life I still tend to worry about things. Actually, I had no idea that when my children were grown up with families of their own I would still need to worry about them – not all the time but more often than I would like.
What I hate the most about worrying is that it too often happens in the middle of the night. I turn over, check to see what time it is, and then my mind grabs onto something worryable and I might as well forget any more sleep. I hate doing that, but – it just happens.
So now I find myself worrying about the Decorah baby eagles. I am almost sorry I found the website. Luckily all three eggs had hatched by the time I heard of the site. Apparently one was a bit tardy. One of the news sites commented that if it didn’t hatch soon, it would be so far behind the other two in development that it would likely die because it couldn’t fight for its share of the food. So that is what started me off with the eaglet worries. I find myself needing to check on them several times a day to make sure they are all eating.
As with most worries, the worst doesn’t happen – and all three are now eating and growing well. However, Iowa just had a tornado – so next I had to worry about whether it was near Decorah (it was not). I heard on the news this morning that another storm is brewing in the Midwest, and I keep telling myself that it is highly unlikely that THIS nest is going to destroyed in a bad storm. But just so I could be sure where the storm was going, I went to Accu-Weather and added Decorah to my list of cities to watch. I’m not sure whether that is going to ease or exacerbate my worrying. But I did it anyway.
Luckily my kids seem to be at a good point now, so it is only the eaglets I have on the “to worry” list. However, something happened this morning in the eagle-nest that I think maybe has a message for me. The camera was aimed at the back end of the sitting eagle. One of the little guys was trying to back out from under the parent’s tail feathers and it was a struggle for him to do so. He finally made it, and quick as a flash he shot a large white blob of poop out from his tiny rear end – far more poop than I ever expected a baby bird to have – and it was aimed right at the camera lens. Of course the camera isn’t all that close, so it wasn’t affected, but I ducked!
And that made me laugh…at myself for being so damn preoccupied with those birds and worrying so much about them. I figure that poop was a message for me; I’m not sure exactly what that message meant, but I decided to assume the little birds will do whatever little birds do whether I worry or not…so just let them be!
I am still laughing. But hopefully not taking myself quite so seriously!