I’m on a Shel Silverstein kick, apparenly.
The Whatif poem was one that resonated with me as a kid.
If you don’t remember it go here and read it real quick…
I’m pretty sure everyone gets the whatifs sometimes, but I remember feeling like this poem was me. I only rarely felt stopped from doing something I wanted to by worries or anxiety– but hindsight is funny that way– there were lots of things I didn’t do, of course (no one does EVERYthing!) and I do know that I had decided fairly young what things I was good at, what things “I Do.” And, don’t get me wrong, there were lots of things I was good at. Enough that I didn’t spend to much time worryting about the things I had (discovered? decided?) weren’t for me.
The thing is, right now my whatifs are so different from that.
Yes, here and there, there are some of the old anxious type — something awful and out of my control is gonna happen—(whatif Alden gets sick/lost/hurt… whatif Josh gets sick/hurt/bored…. you know the drill.)
But the whatifs that have a dance in your ear once you’re an adult (I think) are a different species. They say things like “whatif you tried harder? whatif you just stopped worrying? whatif you tried (fill in the blank— eating low-carb/getting up at 5/committing to going to bed at 10/shutting off all media at home/cleamning one junk area a week–whatever) for a month? whatif you just saved a hundred bucks a month? whatif you gave ___ a shot? whatif you only had a year? what would you choose then?”
Stuff like that.