June 9, 2011


As most of you know, I am a worrier. Not to brag, but pretty much, I am world class. I could out worry most people with both hands tied behind my back. On Memorial Day, we took a walk and I decided to go into the Moira Cemetery, which we always pass when we are doing the big loop. It seemed fitting to go in there and see all those memorials on Memorial Day. As we went in, I wasn't sure it was a good idea, since seeing the graves of various infants, children, and younger adults was sure to set my worry-wheels going in high gear.

Instead it was incredibly peaceful and seemed to put all my worries in their proper place. The Moira Cemetery is a beautiful place with huge maples and pines and locusts, mossy gravestones, limestone markers, some dating back to the 18-teens. I know you could say this about ANY place you are, but it was very real to me while I was in there that I was walking where people have walked for hundreds of years. I think just seeing the dates, etc makes it a little more apparent in a cemetery. And like picking leeks, it sort of pulls you into that kinship with women/people through the ages and put me and my silly worries in their proper, ridiculous place.

It also helped that I had been reading in Ecclesiastes 9 about the dead whose "love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished." And I realized how silly it was to spend so much energy on things that are just going to pass away, namely, my worries. I would say a good 99% of my worries never come to pass. And the ones that do, are generally the milder ones. And when things happen, like Gilbert getting West's Syndrome last spring, it totally blindsided me. I had been totally negligent in worry about that possibility. Now, I am sure to include neurological worries, just to be an equal opportunity worrier.

As we left the cemetery, I felt very inspired to stop worrying and to live. All these people have died. And I am alive. Why do I waste so much of my time? It is all precious. I should treat it like it is and do something worthwhile with it. Another verse from Eccl 9 "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave whither thou goest." That could be seen as morbid, but to me it was encouraging. LIVE life. Don't just exist and get by--do it with thy might.

I have noticed, just with walking, and keeping the house neater, how much less I worry. I still occasionally dabble in a worry here and there (what was that twinge? Is O/L/G's cough lasting too long? Is Justin being safe while roofing? and so on) but it is no longer the gut clenching, paralyzing worry (I have an aneurysm! I am going to die in 10 minutes!) that I used to have when I wasn't as busy. Now when I get those thoughts, I think "If I am going to die, I really should get that laundry folded/dishes washed/project done." Which is terribly more useful than being paralyzed.

I know I will always worry. It is something I am genetically pre-disposed to do. But I appreciate the times when I can step back, get my priorities in line again and realize how wasteful worrying is. There is that saying "Worrying does not rob tomorrow of its troubles, but it robs today of its strength." And it might be cliche, but it is true.

I will leave you with some pictures of this here beautiful cemetery. I really hope this doesn't come across as morbid because I am not meaning it to.

PS I don't normally write about verses, etc, but I figure anyone who is reading my blog knows exactly where I stand in that regard and is not going to think it weird or preachy.

I thought this one was a bit ostentatious until I got over to it. This man, Meeker, buried 3 daughters over a 15 year span (all under age 10) and two wives. If ever a man should have a monument to grief, I think he should be allowed to.


Virginia said...

Well, first, I would love to see a worrying contest that involved hands tied behind backs. Please invite me if that ever happens. :-) Second, think of all the grieving that has happened in that cemetery through the years. Most of that grieving eventually evolved into peace w/ the loved ones' life and death. So it makes sense that the cemetery would be filled w/ a very pervasive sense of peace. You're not morbid at all. I haven't anything astounding to say here, except I'm glad you've got a sense of peace and calm and purpose. I would say those, combined w/ love, are all you need for a successful, satisfying life. Life is good, eh?

Lisa said...

Wait, you worry? Since when? ;)
Tyler heard at convention that we need to delegate more. It is freeing, to delegate worrying about things to the people who can actually change them, and start focusing more on the inner-man that we can change. And must! =)
It is beautiful there, glad you are enjoying walking!

Verity Earl said...

You are a champion worrier! You worry so much, you're worried we're going to think you're morbid for writing about a cemetery. :) Oh, the irony.

But on a serious note, I'd like to say that contemplating death and recognizing it exists does not make one morbid. In fact, it makes you very normal and human. Cemeteries are strangely peaceful, and I think you're right, it's because everyone there has passed on. They don't carry the same concerns we do, being alive. The trick is to not carry so many of our concerns during life.

I'm right there with you, Bet. Let's get to living and leave the worrying behind! And thank you for the bible verses. I really enjoyed them.

Cathy said...

Hi My name is Cathy and I also worry WAY TO MUCH! I need to come up with something else to do, besides praying to stop my worrying. You know? Maybe I need to take up something crafty that I can focus on when life gets a little too overwhelming for my over analyzing mind. Glad you have overcome and realized that worrying is wasting time.

Evan and Clover and Co. said...

Okay, I'm kind of overtired, because Mr. Meeker makes me want to cry. Those are beautiful pictures of the cemetery, very green. And I hope you don't die of an aneurysm before you come next week. (I don't think I ever turn into Target when I don't think of that lady you saw with the aneurysm. Not that you should worry about them. ;-)