I’m so worried about the baggage retrieval system they’ve got at Heathrow

23 Jun

I worry a lot. At first, I thought it might have something to do with being a new parent. But then I realized I’m worried about a lot more than just my kids. I’m worrying about everything.

Sure, I worry about the usual things with my kids. Are they allergic to peanuts? Will they find a plastic bottle cap somewhere and choke on it? Have they figured out how to open doors? If so, does that mean they might run outside and get hit by a car? Have they figured out where my plutonium collection is and will they try to play with it?

But I also worry about other things. Just before I use my badge to open the door at work, I worry that it won’t unlock the door because I’ve been fired and/or laid off. Every single time.(I blame the layoff I went through a couple of years ago for that.)

When the phone rings, my first thought is, “Oh no, someone has died.” And then I worry about who it is who just died. I do this even when my mother-in-law calls from work to talk to my wife. She calls every morning at the same time. I know it’s her. And yet I still worry someone has died.

When I get in the car to drive somewhere, I worry that I’ll be in an accident. I worry that I’ll be killed. I worry not because I fear death, but because I fear leaving my kids without a dad.(Well okay, maybe there is a little fear of death too.)

I worry about crime, food poisoning, that the guy who installed our cable in the bedroom dipped our toothbrushes in the toilet while we weren’t looking, bullets fired in the air landing on my house and on me or my kids, global warming, a new global ice age (apparently the sunspot cycle is such that this might happen), high food prices, health care when I retire, my teeth falling out, terrorism, running out of baby powder. I’m also a little worried that I might be a bit neurotic.

When this first started, I thought it was related to my children being born. But clearly this goes beyond just my kids. It finally dawned on me that this is due to age. I’m getting older and I’ve had more experience, and it’s easier for me to see all the things that could go wrong. I think being a writer plays into this as well, because being a writer means I have a very active imagination.(But then I worry my imagination isn’t active enough!)

As there is very little I can do to control most of these possibilities (except maybe flossing and brushing more frequently to protect my teeth), ignorance truly is bliss. But as soon as I think that, I start to worry about the things that could go wrong that I haven’t thought of. And then I start to worry about the impact on my health of all this worrying.

(I’m also really worried that nobody’s reading this blog. And then I start to worry that maybe one of the people who is reading this blog will stalk me. Because with all my other problems, I really need to have a boiled rabbit left on my doorstep.)

What do you worry about? Do you worry about bloggers who worry too much? I worry that you do.


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15 responses to “I’m so worried about the baggage retrieval system they’ve got at Heathrow

  1. rbryant224

    23 June 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Okay, so I’m your first post. 🙂

    Here’s a solution–if you can train yourself. Learn to stay in the moment. Worrying about what has happened (and no, you can’t go back and re-do) does nothing) so it’s best to learn whatever lesson u gleaned from the experience, store it and move on. I’ll bet if you carried a stopwatch (or cell phone with one,) and decided to time how long you stay stuck in the muck, the amount of hours you’ve wasted will add up to days, weeks and more. (I did this once with a soap opera, All My Children. 1 hour, everyday= 5 hours per week=20 hours a month=240 a year. I watched approx 30 years. Do the math and figure how many days, total I spent watching the show.

    It does no good to worry about the future. There’s nothing you can do to control it, or life itself. The sooner you get that premise, the easier your life will be. In other words, keep your thoughts on what is in happening, right now, while it’s happening–so you can experience life fully.

    Have you ever wondered how much time your mind has spent spinning on these sorts of things. What are you trying to avoid by holding your self hostage? The mind is a good servant, but a cruel master. Right now, you’ve become enslaved, imprisoned, The bars are the constant chatter.

    Are you neurotic? Absolutely. I stay away from those people who aren’t. LOL.

    As far as your teeth are concerned, I practiced dental hygiene for over 30 years. Get yourself a soft electric toothbrush…even the oral B $24ish dollar one is good. Use that for 2 minutes. Floss each side of each tooth. If you have gum issues, see the dentist more often. Cavities? Get over the counter fluoride mouth rinse.

    Have you tried meditation? You can do that by sitting quietly and keeping ur mind quiet–you can stare at something if you want–like a dot on the wall or a candle’s flame. When the chatter begins, you won’t realize it at first, but when you catch mind reeling tell your mind to be quiet. Try to sit quietly again. Try this for a minute. Move it to 2 the next day and so on.

    BTW–I’m not a stalker. I’ve been a prisoner in the past, as well. If I had the pillows facing a certain way, I’m in control. If my underwear matched, I had control. If the towels were folded perfectly, I had control.

    And guess what. None of it worked. I lost my 21 year-old son 14 years ago. Another son was in a horrific motorcycle accident (many surgeries later, he’s doing okay.) Another of my sons went to federal prison for selling Ecstasy (10 months–and he’s a really good kid.)

    Although I don’t worry that much any more, my underwear still matches, the pillows still face a certain way and the towels are folded perfectly.

    After all, why take a chance?

    • ianmdudley

      23 June 2011 at 10:33 pm

      Wow! You’ve been through a lot! Now I’m not quite so worried (which has me worried).

      Thanks for the reply! I see from your blog you’re part of the Independent Author Network. I need to look into that, and not just because I think of me every time I see ‘IAN’ on twitter or in a blog! (I wish people would stop shouting, I’ll be over in a second!!)


  2. rbryant224

    23 June 2011 at 4:01 pm

    PS Your blog was great. Humorous (sorry if you didn’t mean it to be.) and very well written, Check out my blog, The Carnival In My Mind at Followers welcome!!!

  3. mchaos

    23 June 2011 at 9:09 pm

    Hmmm…your wife must be awesome since you apparently never worry about her…

    • ianmdudley

      23 June 2011 at 10:34 pm

      Oh, I worry about her so much I’m afraid to mention those worries! I also worry that she reads this blog. 😉

      Naw, she is awesome!

  4. Antwon

    24 June 2011 at 2:07 am

    “Just before I use my badge to open the door at work, I worry that it won’t unlock the door because I’ve been fired and/or laid off.”

    Fun random anecdote: when I was a contractor, company policy was apparently never to extend a contractor’s badge’s permissions for more than six months. No one ever proactively considered this, though; instead, every six months, I got to have a white-knuckled “I CAN’T ENTER THE BUILDING, WAS MY CONTRACT TERMINATED, WTF” episode until (a) someone let me in, (b) we determined that I did still work there, and (c) Facilities could add another six months in the permissions database. (I was a contractor for something like 20 months; this happened repeatedly.) A fun story in retrospect; at the time, though, man, really tough on the ol’ nerves.

    • ianmdudley

      25 June 2011 at 8:26 pm

      One of my former employers had the same policy. ‘Cept I was on the other end of it, constantly having to renew contractor’s badges. It always seemed to happen when I was in a hurry to get them inside.

      But a contractor for 20 months? Come on, that’s cheating! At that point they should make you full time! (Did they?)

      • Antwon

        25 June 2011 at 8:52 pm

        “But a contractor for 20 months? Come on, that’s cheating! At that point they should make you full time! (Did they?)”

        They did! Took them long enough, but eventually they managed to scheme up some way for their multi-kazillion dollar international operation to create an open rec for me to “conveniently” fill, replete with stock grants and health care and all that rot. Which is where I remain to this day, umpteen arbitrary intra-company reassignments notwithstanding. (If you count contractor time as well, I’ve been there for 6.5 years at this point. That’s a Methuselah-grade appointment by Silicon Valley standards. Though my present boss has been there for a full decade, which I am quietly in awe of.)

  5. Erin Kendall

    24 June 2011 at 9:23 am

    I worry a lot too, but I try not to worry about things I can’t control (such as: gas prices, the world blowing up, global warming, whether or not my boss will be in a good mood on any given day…). And you know, every single time I come back from vacation I worry that my boss screwed something up horrendously in my absence (and will require Herculean effort to fix and I’m not allowed to blame him) or something went down and I’m actually fired. Every. Single. Time. Mistakes I’ve found over the years, but I haven’t been fired yet. But that doesn’t comfort me.

    And yes, I’m neurotic too. 😉

    • ianmdudley

      25 June 2011 at 8:30 pm

      That’s the one aspect of vacations I really hate. Towards the end, when my return to the rat race looms. Though at my last job, I’d be burnt out, go on vacation for a week and come back ‘normal’ (i.e., pleasant to be around). That never lasted more than a day or two, then I was ready for a vacation again.

      And, of course, towards the end there, as I was worried about layoffs, I didn’t want to burn any vacation time so I’d get that cash if they riff’ed me. Which they did, and I did. Shoulda taken the time off!

  6. Kit Campbell

    25 June 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Your nostrils do this weird crinkly thing when you sleep.

  7. ianmdudley

    25 June 2011 at 8:36 pm

    I knew it!

    Me: “Honey, I think there was someone in the room a moment ago, watching me sleep!”
    Missus: “You had a bad dream. Geez, you’re worse than the kids. Go back to sleep. Like anyone wants to watch you sleep. You’re boring enough when awake!” (OK, those last couple of sentences aren’t spoken aloud, but I’m worried she’s thinking them.)

    *Sigh* Time to change the locks…again. Damn dogs warm up to you too quickly, and I can’t keep adding a dog to the mix as a countermeasure. (I worry that the new dog will fight with the old ones.)


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