A man ninety years old was asked to what he attributed his longevity.
“I reckon,” he said, with a twinkle in his eye,
“It’s because most nights I went to bed and slept when I should have stayed up and worried.”
Dorothea Kent, writer
Like a lot folks I know, I own a rocking chair. Here’s how it works. Two pieces of curved wood attached to the bottom of a chair. Give yourself a gentle push and you’re in business. I use my rocking chair to sit and read, gaze out the window, and sometimes meditate. Along with a whole bunch of other things; swim fins, bifocal glasses, the lightning rod, political cartoons, the first library in America, the concept of a volunteer fire department, Benjamin Franklin is sometimes given credit for inventing the rocking chair. But no one seems to know for sure who came up with this idea.
Humor writer Erma Bombeck made this discovery, “Worry is like a rocking chair, it keeps you busy but you don’t get anywhere.”
Worry – “allowing one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or trouble.” It seems to me there’s a lot of this going around. Why? I’m not sure. The words “Fear Not” appear 365 times in the Bible. That’s a bit of advice for every day of the year.
October 11, 1984 – the world was celebrating the 100th birthday of humanitarian and former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. On that same day I was celebrating my 33th birthday. And I enjoyed seeing a traveling exhibit displaying some of Eleanor’s awards, letters, and personal items that was making its way across the country. My last birthday cake had 70 candles on it. And this is what Mrs. Roosevelt had to say when she turned 70, “At seventy, I would say the advantage is that you take life more calmly. You have that ‘this, too, shall pass!’
Humorist Mark Twain made this observation, “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened. And here’s some advice from Mother Goose.
“For every evil under the sun,
There is a remedy or there is none.
If there is one, try to find it,
If there is none, never mind it.”
* * *
Worry doesn’t change a thing. In fact, it’s a waste of time. As a wise man said, “Worry is a misuse of the imagination.” I’m a marathon runner. I have good shoes, practice yoga, lift weights, and put in the roadwork. Now on race day it’s time to enjoy the sites and sounds of the course and crowd. Worry won’t help my finish time. I’ll focus on the fun.
* * *
“I don’t know whether my life has been a success or a failure.
But not having any anxiety about becoming one instead of the other,
and just taking things as they came along, I’ve had a lot of extra time to enjoy life.”
Harpo Marx, comedian