Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tis the Season...

To be way behind on everything. Including posting today. Whoops. Sorry about that!

I found this quote today, and it seemed an appropriate one for me. Maybe you will find it inspiring as well.

"There is only one way to happiness, and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will." - Epictetus

I have said it before, I tend to be a worrier. I used to worry that I worried too much. The older I am, and the more things I "get" to worry about (two children, mortgages, bills, health, etc., etc.), I've slowly begun to learn not to worry so much. It was either that, or go insane. I can't control everything. In fact, there are very few things I can actually control at all. That are "within the power of my will." I have to focus on doing my best with the things I can control and have trust and faith that everything else will work out the way it is supposed to.

Even in writing, we have a lot we can control, but there is so much that we can't. Elana Johnson did a fabulous post about "luck" in the process of getting published and it really hit home for me, and probably a lot of you. We all have to keep working hard, honing our craft (no matter what stage we're at--querying agents, on submission with editors, or published author working on subsequent books), and moving forward. But there are always things we can't control that could cause us worry. Will this agent/editor love my writing enough to offer to represent me/buy it? Will my book sell well? Will I get another deal? Will I be able to write another book as good as my first one? There are always worries. But I'm trying to learn to let them go.

I've yet to read a study telling us how good worrying is for our mental or physical health. So I am consciously trying to worry less--to do what I can do, and let go of the rest. How about you? What are you worried about? And can you do anything about it or not?

8 comments:

Julie said...

When I first started the querying process, I let it own me. My first partial. My first full. My nerves were shot. And then I never heard back on my first full and had to let it go. That horrible experience (that I wouldn't wish on anyone) broke me of my obsession with worrying about what happens when I press send and allow my queries, partials, fulls out into the big world. And from that lesson, I've learned to worry less about the things that are beyond my control in my life as well. Even out of a yucky experience can come the guidance that leads us to a better and healthier future. Life is pretty fantastic that way.

Great post!

Shari said...

I was in a similar position once in my life. I had to learn to let go, too, or I would have been in a padded room. I would probably still be there.

It is very freeing to let go. It helps me to place it in God's hands.

Ann said...

I akin letting go of worry to giving up cigarettes. You try and try and try and some succeed and some don't. I found giving up cigarettes much easier than letting go of worry. Still it keeps me thin!!!

DL Hammons said...

I tend to go to the other extreme, and not worry enough. You've heard of type A and B personalities? I'm a C. Drives my wife crazy sometimes. I really could care less about those things I have no control over, and five minutes after I make a mistake I'm over it. And still I have high blood pressure and my hair is answering the disembarkation call. Go figure. :)

Melissa Gill said...

Sometimes I worry that I don't worry enough. Ha ha.

Colene Murphy said...

Awe Sara! I love your "new?" picture!!! (I just saw it just now today so I hope it's new) You're so adorable!

Worrying is easy. And painfully easy. BUT the thing I tell myself when I start spazing out is that nothing comes out of worrying. You accomplish nothing. You stress out. And you get STUCK in a rutty place. It does NO good.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

I know it! So hard to let go sometimes, isn't it? But truly, why make yourself sick worrying over something that you have no control over? Well, that's what the rational part of me says. But if it's something you really want or are afraid of? It's just tough not to worry. Best thing to do is perhaps to distract yourself!

Kelly said...

I try not to worry about things I can't change. My worries are mostly concerning my children, but other stuff I usually don't sweat too much!