• Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I am a natural born worrier. I might even be a professional worrier.
Are there support groups for people like us?
I can picture this in my mind: I walk into the meeting, head hung low, other worriers seated in a circle, and I slide in between a nail biter and a jiggling-leg crosser.
When it’s my turn, I stand up, walk to the front, and say.
“My name is Ann. I’m a worrier.
It’s the first thing I do when I get out of bed in the morning and it’s the last thing I do before I go to sleep at night.
If I don’t have anything to worry about, I worry.
But, truthfully, that never happens.
Still, I worry that it MIGHT.”
They all nod in understanding. They’ve been there. They are there.
But somehow, I believe my case is worse than theirs.
And I worry about that because that doesn’t seem fair to them or me. I return to my seat, notice a light pat on my shoulder, and hear a soft “Amen.”

This is probably why I have insomnia.
I get in bed and more or less go over the worries of the day, then consider the worries of tomorrow.
I tried reciting the states, A-Z, but I get to the end and realize I’ve missed ten of them.
I worry about what they are and why I couldn’t remember them.

It’s true. Worrying is an art for me.
I worry will my newly planted tomatoes bear fruit?
I worry will I get to the gas station before the prices go up?
I worry will the gym cancel the one aerobics class that fits me to a tee? (Fit Over Fifty, if you must know.)

Two years ago when Katie said she wanted to go back to school to get a nursing degree, I worried.
She’d graduated with a master’s degree in music performance (flute) at LSU.
But she wanted to be in a helping profession and she wanted to be assured of a promising career.
I could understand that.
But I worried, still.
Will she get into the school that’s nearby and her first pick, with the highest passing scores in the state of N.C.?
It turned out she had to wait a full year to be accepted to that school.
In the meantime, she took necessary courses and received her CNA (certified nursing assistant) degree, in preparation.
I worried about her buying books, paying tuition, getting high enough grades.
We provided her room and board, good meals — okay, I should say decent meals, helped on a few bills and watched her grow as a person, while she cared for her patients and learned four and five syllable words with whole page definitions.
We watched her evolve into a nurse with high standards, professional conduct and amazing compassion.

In three days, we will attend Katie’s prestigious pinning ceremony, where she officially becomes an R.N.
I’m elated, ecstatic and emotional.
Déjà vu!

This brings back memories of my pinning ceremony of over thirty years ago when I became a dental hygienist.
(Did I mention her studying did the same for me? I have fond memories of those days and many of the medical/dental terms Katie studied, I remember well.)

But still I’m not through worrying.
Will the ceremony go as planned?
Will my family from out of town make it on time?
Will I have just the perfect outfit to wear?
That night we are hosting a dinner in her honor.
Will I pick the right menu for everyone? Will I remember to give a toast (or, her dad, Russell)?
Will everyone be comfortable and happy?

I’d like to say that after that night, all my worries will be gone.
Hey! If we can make it through two grueling years of nursing school, we can do anything, right?
Not so fast!
There is a huge upcoming event this October: Katie and Michael’s wedding.

Ann Ipock “Life is Short, I Wish I Was Taller” amipock@ec.rr.com www.annipock.com

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