So … maybe this is an addendum to the last entry about worrying. Apparently I have some kind of thing that happens to people when they live for five decades and this thing means that I have to make changes to my diet. I’m like, OK … I can do that.
This doctor comes in and she tells me I will need to make these changes right away and that it’s important that I do so. She hands me a piece of paper that has ‘good food’ in one column and ‘bad food’ in the other. If I can avoid the bad column and eat only the good column I live for a long time in good health … if I eat food in the bad column not so much.
Good Column - Potatoes (no butter), Fish, Poultry (not fried), Vegetables (raw or cooked; no tomatoes), Fruits (no citrus)
Bad Column – Caffeinated, Carbonated or Alcoholic Beverages, Fried Eggs, Peanut Butter, Chocolate and Bacon.
I’m going to die.
I didn’t really look it up but I guess you’d define ‘worry’ as the act of negative anticipation of a future or current event. I mean, that sounds about right to me…right? I’m not sure if it’s genetic or just what I’ve become but I spend an unhealthy amount of time worrying lately. This is beyond the ‘I hope my kids are OK’ worry that I’m probably supposed to have and into ‘this has to go right or I’m totally F’d’ kind of worry.
Part of it is family related. I’m having trouble coming to terms with all the changes that happen when kids grow up and they don’t need you anymore. Divorce sucks. I definitely haven’t recovered from that. Part of it is job related. I’m in a pretty complex situation where there are some pretty random dynamics in play. Love my job … but you really have to keep your head on a swivel or things go awry quickly. Part of it is health related. Like I really hope this headache isn’t a tumor kind of thing. When you get older like me you totally sweat health stuff you never thought twice of when you were young. It’s weird.
Whatever it may be I need to get over it. Worrying is not productive and it certainly doesn’t solve a damned thing. Now I’m worried about worrying too much. So for my own good I’m going to list 10 things that help you combat over-worrying. When I’m done I’m going to read it. Hopefully it works.
1. Exercise … I won’t bore you with statistics or data about how exercise works to relieve stress, we all know that. Maybe it’s good to do a little something every day as opposed to hitting it hard three times a week.
2. Wine … Notice how I didn’t say alcohol. I think wine is more relaxing than beer and tequila. Work to make wine a staple of every meal and limit it to a glass or two.
3. Communication … It’s super healthy to talk, write or text someone you care about.
4. Sleep … Don’t overdo it but a solid nights’ sleep helps.
5. Perspective … Probably should have been listed first. I have an awesome family, a dreamy girlfriend, a great job and a dog that gets my newspaper in the morning … what I don’t have is a good perspective on that.
6. Sex … Kind of like exercise but much more fun.
7. Entertainment … A good book, movie or even a TV show is a great escape from your worries. Sporting events can be both good and bad when it comes to worries.
8. Pets … My dog loves me and that’s a super good thing. Coming home to a loving animal is cool as hell and a real life-saver sometimes.
9. Water … Seriously, running water like a fountain or something is good for relieving your worries.
10. Vacation … Go on relaxing (and affordable) vacations on a regular basis.
After writing this (and reading it) I think I’m overdue for a nice 10 near the 9 with 3,2, 7, 6, 1, and 4 and when I get back I’ll see my 8 and have a better 5.
So by total surprise today my brother dropped by my house with a handful of books and an old photo album. He had been helping my mom with some old boxes when he came across my dad’s baby book, an extremely old photo album and a non descript little blue journal that turned out to be my dad’s diary when he was in the navy stationed in the South Pacific during World War II.
He thought it was pretty interesting. I thought it was the greatest find of all time. I spent the whole afternoon reading it.
My dad spent about two years of his life overseas. Up untill now I had thought he was more of a rear echelon supply chain officer due to his sharp mind and young age (17). After spending the afternoon reading his diary I discovered that dad didn’t necessarily fight the Japanese with a bayonet in his teeth but he did see a lot more action than I had ever thought.
Reading his words and his thought was beyond riveting … mostly because he’s my dad and partially because I have a great deal of interest in this war that he fought. Those of us who loved him never really heard the detail contained in this diary. Like many veterans, dad didn’t spend a lot time talking about the war.
Here’s an entry from November 17, 1944. My dad was stationed on the island of Moratai which is located in Indonesia. At the time the Japanese forces occupied about 60% of the island. My dad was stationed at an airbase that supported ground, naval and air operations.
We have been bombed every night so far. This base is about ½ mile from the front. Artillery and mortars we have for breakfast, lunch and dinner and at 3 in the morning “Washing Machine Charlie” will come a visiting.
I really would enjoy a full nights’ sleep.
It is muddy, damp, we t and the mosquitoes fly in squadrons.
It’s not the content for a John Wayne movie … but it’s the thoughts of the greatest hero that a son could ever have. Essentially, my dad was young, brave, scared and skinny. I’m glad I had this chance to read his words and even more glad that I can share some of them with you.