Be Anxious for Nothing
Anxiety? What is it? I think a synonym for anxiety is worry. Does it do any good? Does it accomplish anything? The last few days I have felt less than 100%. I am going to bed earlier, waking up about the same time—thus getting more sleep than usual, and I am still feeling tired.
Last night Dennis asked me what might be the cause this? He uses the word worry. Unfortunately, “worry” does not describe it. I am not fretting about anything. He started listing the things that may have me worrying—the house still on the market, my upcoming hip replacement surgery, wanting to be in Arizona, completing the furnishing of the house, deciding what to do with our stuff at this house, completing my quilt.
Well, none of this do I “worry” or fret about. As I am thinking about these things, I realize that there is a higher level of anxiety I am feeling right now. What usually helps me is talking through things to consider what I have control of and what I don’t have control of, so here I go:
The house still on the market – I love this home in Missouri, but I really want to sell this home. When we sell this home, we will rent an apartment or home in Mid Missouri to continue to stay near Dennis’s mom. Not everything in this home will fit there, and so there will be a second round of downsizing. Should I do the 2nd round of downsizing before we leave for Arizona? Do I make this house really look and feel empty? I always worry about how prospective buyers will view the house, and almost emptying it makes me concerned. Maybe it shouldn’t. I really want this house sold very soon. It would relieve a lot of my concerns. I don’t think I am losing sleep about this, but I also know that unconsciously or maybe very consciously, I really want to move quickly to the next new chapter of my life. As I am writing this, I realize that my breathing has changed—feeling the stress—so maybe I am worried about this. I just pray the right family will love this house as much as we have, and the right family will show up soon, and help me breath normally again!
My upcoming hip replacement surgery – I am due to have my hip replaced on Monday, November 5. I have full confidence in the doctor’s ability to accomplish this task, but I do not really know how I will feel when it is completed. It is painful now, especially when I try to sleep. Laying down is so uncomfortable. I cannot lay my leg straight when lying down—it just hurts from my hip to my knee. Standing up straight doesn’t hurt like that. I think that when I lay down, my pelvis must shift to being flat on the bed making me so uncomfortable. Although standing doesn’t hurt, standing for a long period of time, will cause aching. But, what does it feel like when the surgery happens. I will have an incision. That always hurts. The doctor will cut the bones—that can’t feel good after I wake up. I asked the nurse at the hospital the other day, when I was getting my pre-op bloodwork, etc, what does the pain feel like after surgery? I am sure it is a different kind of pain than I feel now. Her reply was that she never had this kind of surgery, but what she has heard from patients is that it feels like someone is sitting on your hip. Hmm, doesn’t sound great, but if it is short in duration, I guess it’s okay. If I can start putting weight on that leg going up and down steps, if I can lift my leg without help, I guess a short duration of someone sitting on my hip is okay.
Completing the furnishing the Arizona home – This one doesn’t not give me real stress—I don’t think! Most of the furniture for the interior is purchased, much of it delivered, and some waiting in a warehouse for us to return, and then be delivered. The outdoor patio furniture is selected, and I just need to make a phone call to order it. I am always afraid of ordering on the phone—I want them to be sure to fully understand what I am ordering. The patio furniture company knows I am going to call them around the end of the month to order. There is about a six week period for the furniture to be ready for delivery. I worry a little that it will all fit exactly as I envision it. The guy who designed our landscaping has seen what I plan to order, and he said it will look great, so what am I worried about? (So maybe I am worrying).
Deciding what to do with the stuff in this house – As I mentioned before, I am concerned about how much I empty the house out of its furnishings, and what to do with all the patio and pool furniture. I think I was kind of hoping the new buyer would offer to buy the pool furniture so I don’t have to figure out what to do with it, but I don’t have a new buyer. I need to let go of the idea that the new buyer would be happy to get fairly new great furniture discounted around the pool. We do have a plan for if the house sells while we are in Arizona. The plan will work better the less I have here. My concern is, what if our house doesn’t sell very soon? I surely don’t want to get rid of the outdoor furniture if we might need it next summer. I surely don’t want to empty out the guest rooms if we may need them next summer? Okay, maybe there is a bit of anxiety surrounding this.
Completing my quilt – I started a “stained glass” quilt a couple years ago. By starting it, I mean I made all the squares. Then I put it away, because other things became a priority. When I bought the new bed for the guest room in Arizona, I thought that this quilt would look great on this bed. I came home and decided to put the squares together to make it fit a queen size bed. I hope my calculations are correct, and I hope it turns out as great as I picture it in my mind. The other day I purchased the fabric to make the boarders, and the fabric for the back of the quilt. If you ever wonder why bedspreads are so crazy expensive, it’s because of all the fabric it takes to make one! This quilt is no different. I would like to finish the complete top before I have surgery. Then I can take it to the lady who I use to do the quilting part, and leave it with her, and hope she has time to complete it before I leave for Arizona.
None of these things are really a huge stressor, but the combination may be what is causing me to feel the way I do. Adding them all together makes me want to go back to bed! Okay, so I learned a long time ago about a few really important lessons about stress:
- One day at a time – don’t over think and go past today. Do what I can today, and let go of what I don’t accomplish today. Tomorrow will be another day—just repeat.
- There are only some things I can control. Let go of anything I cannot control. So, what can I control?
- I can control sorting through my things, and deciding what I can let go of today, and what I need to hold onto for the next round.
- I can let go of the whole surgery thing other than keeping myself healthy up to the day of surgery, and do everything in my power to help recover, and STOP worrying about the pain—the pain from the surgery will be temporary, unlike the pain I would have continually if I didn’t do the surgery.
- I can do nothing to get a buyer to make an offer on the house—even a contingent offer would be great, but I have no power to make any of that happen. So, I keep my house clean in case a buyer wants to see it, I keep letting people know it is for sale, because at some time someone is going to know someone who may be interested in purchasing it.
- I will get to Arizona soon enough, and I really need to be in Missouri to recover from my surgery.
- Once I call and order the patio furniture for the Arizona home, I can let that go.
- I just have to cut the border and sew it together. How tough is that? Not at all!
I have a favorite verse in scripture that really speaks to all of this. I need to reflect on that verse. In Philippians 4, the Apostle Paul is giving his final words in a letter to the Christian church in Philippi. He was probably in a Roman prison writing this letter to a congregation he helped established which is located in today near the border of Greece and Macedonia. This is really impactful when you realize he is encouraging others while sitting in prison. He says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
When I reflect on the Apostle Paul’s words, I realize what he is saying is to be thankful for what we have. Be willing to let God know what we want, with a thankful heart. For me the most important thing is what he says at the end, that if we do so, always remembering he said with a thankful heart (not demanding), that God will give me peace that transcends all understanding. Wow! God doesn’t promise to give me exactly what I ask for — what good parent always falls to the demands of their children. That would be bad parenting. The difference is, that God will give me peace about what I ask. It is a peace that is beyond understanding. Have you met someone who had real peace during a difficult time and you wonder, “Wow, how can they be so peaceful with what all is going on around them?” That’s the kind of peace God will give me if I ask with a thankful heart.
I guess I have been feeling anxiety, but not because of one big thing—because of several little things. Yes, they are all little in the scheme of things.
Thanks for letting me “talk” this out. I am grateful that I have a personal God, who transcends all these things, and can give me peace. On that, I shall stop, and start doing the things I can do, and let go of the things I cannot do.