What to really worry about

I heard somewhere that of all we worry about only a little actually happens, and the vast majority never comes to fruition.
That doesn’t mean that life is boring, and that doesn’t stop us from concerning ourselves with events out of our control. Sunday morning I was concerning myself with a topic for my column, funding my adventures this summer back home and the weeds in my lawn. I was then blind-sided by my coffee pot. After four years of faithful service, it broke. Now I have this completely unexpected expense. Being that coffee is one of those non-essential essentials it is not something I can ignore. It sounds weird, but you get it, especially if you are a teacher or fisherman.
I stared at Mr. Coffee. It returned a blank, lifeless gaze. I can’t prepare for these moments. They aren’t really significant, but do leave a mark. I’ve endured far worse when it comes to things not going down as they should. For instance, fifteen minutes into a fight with a king salmon, I was worried it might spit the hook. I should have worried about the hungry sea lion.
When driving through Canada, you worry about bear, elk or crazed hockey players with mullets that have over-dosed on maple syrup. I ended up being stuck without cash and a debit card that wouldn’t work because though I called the bank to inform it I’d be out of the country and that I would still like access to my money so I could eat and, you know, survive the drive through British Columbia, the representative only cleared my credit card for use. You chalk that up to the typical chaos of travel – an expected inconvenience.
I had no worries at all one unremarkable weekday afternoon in college when I decided to put a mesh laundry bag over my head and flop around on the floor like a fish in front of the elevator. I should have. When the elevator doors opened, there stood one of the most devastatingly hot girls in the northern hemisphere. I quietly stood up, entered the elevator and rode down five floors.
“I was being a fish.”
“I saw that.”
When riding a bike on flat, controlled terrain, you don’t think about falling. There’s a chance, but it’s buried deep underneath worries about people texting while driving. What I had never worried about until it happened, was my back tire falling off. That was my third time over the handle bars, but the first that didn’t involve a massive rock hidden in tall grass, or a steep muddy chute leading to a footbridge.
My buddy Nate was sitting on my couch one morning before a fishing trip and his mug separated from the handle. It fell and splattered hot black coffee all over the floor. He looked down, still holding the handle.
You never, ever worry about that happening because it absolutely never does. Until it does. You then retell the story of the time you were completely worked over by inanimate objects; preferably over coffee, if my coffee maker worked.

See column at:

Leave a Reply