Future Pain

Today I was at lecture with Gabrielle Hamilton, the author of Blood, Bones and Butter.
It was a great event, but one thing she said was so — well, thoughtful — that I wrote it down. (I am not usually a note-taker in my private time — I take plenty of notes during business hours and that seems to be enough.)

“I try not to worry about future pain.”

I do try to enjoy the present. I am not the type of person who counts the days down to Friday. I try to have fun every day. I don’t dread getting up to go to work and I don’t hate doing my laundry or washing the dishes. I believe happiness is (mostly) a choice and I choose to be happy.

But I do worry about future pain. The what-ifs and the what-if-nots. The ambiguity of the future. The chaos to come. The leaky pipe, the broken dishwasher. The end of a relationship, the death of a loved one — then another and another and another.

I think this is normal, or at least common. Things are going to break, people are going to break up and everyone’s gonna die.

So sometimes, I like to do my worrying in advance. But I try not to. I try to think about all the good that will happen, too. All the fun, the new experiences, the new places to visit. There’s plenty of love and joy in the future, too. Probably more joy than pain on balance — or so I choose to believe.

I guess I’m better at this than I think.

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