Lisa Ricard Claro – Author

Romance is good for your heart!

Are You Paying Interest On Something You Never Bought?

Posted on Nov 2, 2016 by Lisa Ricard Claro   18 Comments | Posted in The Naked Truth

Nothing happens until it happens. Nothing.

How many times have you worried, perhaps to the point of making yourself ill, over something that has yet to occur? Speaking for myself, I can say that at least half of my gray hairs have come from premature freaking out over things which not only had yet to happen, but ultimately never happened at all. Because—say it with me, buttercup—nothing happens until it happens. Not the good stuff, the bad stuff, or anything in between.

Some things warrant premature freaking out, I’ll agree, such as the illness of a loved one or the threat of imminent job loss. How can we not worry about such life changers? Unfortunately, the worrying does nothing for the outcome while shaving yet another layer from our peace of mind.

As a Gold Star Worrier, I’m right there with you. Gray hair, remember? And lots of it. I earned every gleaming strand, fretting over every ‘what if’ that came my way. Some of the ‘what ifs’ came to pass. Most did not. For those that did, well . . . they did. And none of my worrying changed a thing, except to add a little extra fodder for the silver factory on top of my head.

One of the best quotes I ever saw was on a church sign: Worrying about things that haven’t happened yet is like paying the interest on something before you’ve bought it.

So how do we tamp down the fretting? What can we do to ease that sick feeling in our gut when our brain focuses on something with the potential to blow up into something real?

One of the methods offered up by author Amanda Chan in her article “9 Scientifically-Backed Ways to Stop Worrying” is to write about it. This one appeals to me for obvious reasons, but I already know from experience there is truth here, because I have followed the advice of author Julia Cameron—The Artist’s Wayand have written morning pages for some time now. (Thank you Lynn Obermoeller.)

Morning pages are three pages, written longhand, first thing upon rising. These are not for anyone’s eyes but those of the writer and should be stream-of-consciousness writing. Anything and everything is game. Think it? Then write it. I find that I scribble onto the page all the nasty stuff I’m worrying over that has percolated in my subconscious overnight. This takes up the first page or so, and after that it’s smooth sailing. The last page-and-a-half is positive thoughts—things I’m grateful for, planning to accomplish, stuff that makes me happy. The rest of the day is free to begin because all that GAK! craziness has already been projectile vomited onto the page. Everything I’m thinking, feeling, stressing over, etc. is expunged. And to quote Shrek, “Better out than in, I always say.” After writing the pages I shred them, a physical means of demolishing all the negativity. Sounds nutty, but it offers a certain psychological charm and sense of accomplishment. Writing morning pages allows for the acknowledgement of those things we’re worrying over and offers a vehicle by which to put them behind us and to start the day with a clean slate. I strongly recommend the practice. I’m still a Gold Star Worrier, but having an outlet helps.

Bottom line, we’re humans, so we’re going to worry. Potentials for problems, grief, life changes, exert power over us, even before they happen—especially before they happen, if you’re like me. Afterward, we cope, adjust, and turn the worry to other yet-to-be issues. What a routine, huh?

Prepare for the eventuality of worrisome outcomes if it provides a sense of control, but keep in mind that nothing happens until it happens, and the Universe surprises us more often than not.

I’d like to leave you with a quote grounded in hope and good sense:


Wishing you bountiful tides.

Are you a Gold Star Worrier? Or are you more of a hakuna matata kind of person? How do you manage your worries?

See you next Wednesday for more of the Naked Truth. Have a great week!

🙂 Lisa

Romance is good for your heart! To purchase your copy of Love Built to Last, Love to Believeor Love to Win in eBook or print, go to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Black Opal Books, Kobo, or AllRomance.

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18 Responses to "Are You Paying Interest On Something You Never Bought?"

  1. Comment by Linda O'Connell
    November 2, 2016 at 9:14 am  

    I once heard that worrying is like rocking in a rocker…going nowhere fast. Sounds like morning pages are helpful in ridding your active mind of what ifs.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 7, 2016 at 8:43 am  

      That’s a good metaphor, Linda, and very true.

  2. Comment by Pat
    November 2, 2016 at 9:22 am  

    I come from a long line of worriers, and am holding up the tradition. Maybe I’ll try your method. Assuming I’m not too busy worrying about things to remember it.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 7, 2016 at 8:42 am  

      Right. lol Morning pages take some getting used to. Three handwritten pages is a commitment there isn’t always time for. But you might give it a try one of these days. If you remember. 🙂

  3. Comment by Robert Robinson
    November 2, 2016 at 10:01 am  

    I just try to worry about things I can do something about. And that ain’t much. 🙂

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 7, 2016 at 8:41 am  

      Good way to be, if you can manage it. More and more I find that even the things I think I can do something about, I can’t. The Universe certainly has ideas of its own.

  4. Comment by Cathy C. Hall
    November 2, 2016 at 10:42 am  

    Love that tide quote. I don’t think I worry, but I can get stuck on something that annoys me. Funny, but the older I get, the more it takes to really annoy me. (That might have something to do with my kidders being grown up and living on their own!) 🙂

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 7, 2016 at 8:39 am  

      Haha…yes, empty nesting does have its advantages, for sure.

  5. Comment by Tomi Rues
    November 2, 2016 at 12:10 pm  

    Loved this!

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 7, 2016 at 8:37 am  

      Thanks, Tomi!

  6. Comment by Claudia
    November 2, 2016 at 12:18 pm  

    Great piece and yes I have wasted a lot of life worrying. I tried not to but it would slip in every chance it got! I tried morning pages too but never found them satisfying..obviously my own shortcoming.

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 7, 2016 at 8:37 am  

      No, not a shortcoming, Claudia. Morning pages aren’t for everyone. I’m guessing you prefer a nice hot cup of tea. 🙂

  7. Comment by Stephanie Trietsch
    November 2, 2016 at 1:25 pm  

    My daughter, the ER nurse, learned in nursing school to write stream-of-thought after a death or other trauma helps cope with the stress! She’s also a ‘colorer’ so we keep her knee deep in the fun (often bible based) adult coloring books!

    I just worry (and snack…lol)! Stephanie

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 7, 2016 at 8:35 am  

      That’s a great idea for nurses. My DIL is an ICU nurse, so I may suggest it to her. And I’m with you on the snacking. I’m a comfort eater. *sigh*

  8. Comment by ButtonsMom2003
    November 2, 2016 at 10:39 pm  

    I’m not sure if I’m a big worrier any more. I know I was when I was working but the main thing I can quickly think of is worrying about being late. Someone (you can guess who) seems to always make us late for things and I hate that. 🙂

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 7, 2016 at 8:34 am  

      Haha. Good ‘ol Buttons. 🙂 Hope he’s still doing well.

  9. Comment by Lynn M. Obermoeller
    November 3, 2016 at 9:12 am  

    If it weren’t for morning pages, I’d be nuts… okay, some might think I am anyway, but that’s okay, I don’t feel nuts by writing those pages. I don’t shred my pages even though I should… good grief, but I have put a note in my container of journals – warning: there’s a lot of venting in here, don’t take it personal. I could go on about this, but maybe I’ll save it for a future blog post, that’s long overdue. Thanks for sharing and the shout out!

    • Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
      November 7, 2016 at 8:33 am  

      You’re brave! I always told my girls, “If you don’t want the world to know about it, don’t write it down anywhere.” I like the act of shredding. It helps me put the negativity away. And stuff worth keeping I save.

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