The Worry Gene


Nothing to do with anything, but makes me happy

My sister, Anuk Naumann, always says that the things you worry about never happen. It’s what you don’t worry about that comes and bites you on the bum.

No doubt there is a lot of truth in this.  Obviously during this lockdown, I’ve had genuine worries about how family and friends are coping, especially my mum, but these genuine concerns, about which I can do nothing, were becoming superceeded by more irrational obsessions.

The current one has been the car. As it is five weeks since Mike and I went into self-isolation Wilbur, our Rav4, has been standing on the drive. No one has driven it apart from when I moved it to make room for the window cleaners’ ladder. Having read on FB that car batteries are going flat from lack of use I became more and more convinced that this would happen to us. If it did what would we do if there was an emergency and we had to rush to A&E, or if when we were finally allowed out again we couldn’t go shopping, or to the doctors? There was an added complication to add to the list as Wilbur is a hybrid so would it be harder to re-charge the battery than on an ordinary car?

The fact that our neighbour Tom owns a garage and sorts out cars for a living made no difference, so as my sense of panic grew more and more acute Mike decided to put an end to it by starting the engine. We also needed to move the car to make room for the tomato plants in front of the store room window. Needless to say, it started first time.

A worry gone, I felt another beginning to rear its ugly head. What if….

At which point I had to switch off my worry gene. We are a family of worriers which given my parent’s experiences during WW2 is not surprising. Those of you who’ve read “We were Lucky”, Mum’s memoir will know what she went through and how she survived to become the resilient person she is today.HERE An offshoot of this, however, has been the ability to worry about the small stuff, which I’ve certainly inherited.

When things go badly wrong, we cope, so this sort of anxiety is counterproductive. Besides which stress is not good for the immune system. So the decision was made.  If I can’t do anything about it, I’m not going to worry. I’ll stop watching too much news and reading about the virus on social media. Instead I’ll concentrate on the next Letty book, communicating with people, and the garden.

So far, today, it’s working. Fingers crossed I can kick the habit.

Keep safe.




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