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Misallocating Energy

out of the blue July 12, 2010

In this post: Jaimy recounts her missing luggage fiasco as a reminder that worrying is wasted energy …

Jaimy SzymanskiToday, I thought the airline lost my luggage. And when I say, “thought,” I really mean thought.

When the airline rep told me my suitcases were still “in transit,” I immediately convinced myself that all of my fabulous purses, shoes and summer dresses were now but a faint memory. I made an immediate plan to visit Target® tomorrow morning in an attempt to find something “work appropriate” for client meetings. And, don’t even get me started on the loss I felt over all my toiletries that I had so painstakingly siphoned into travel-size bottles.

Then, (spoiler alert) just when I got back from running a couple errands tonight … there it was.

I was actually on the phone with my sister, talking about how I would never be able to replace some of the wonderful strappy heels, when I saw my luggage behind the hotel desk. The first thing that came to my mind (after letting out a joyful – and likely eardrum-blowing – shriek in her ear) was a phrase my dad periodically says to me:

You’re too young to worry so much.

It’s true: I spent nearly 100 percent of my energy tonight worrying about something I couldn’t control. There was nothing I could do, but wait it out. Yet, my head was filled with countless images of my luggage being rifled through by airline workers, or dumped offshore Hawaii via a slow-moving conveyor belt (no, I had not been drinking – this is just my sometimes-irrational nature).

How many times have you done the same? In the end, it’s only wasted energy … energy we could be using to tackle things within our reach, things that we can control.

I’m hoping that tonight serves as a lesson to me (and, the rest of you worriers out there) in the future, when I begin to put my entire being into worrying. Whether it be a personal problem or professional issue, it’s time to stop trying to control what we can’t, and begin investing our energy into moving the mountains we can.

Because, if tonight’s self-made fiasco has taught me anything, it’s not that I’m too young to worry so much.

It’s that we are all too young to worry so much.