Monday, February 8, 2010

No worries mate

Several years ago I worked in a residential college at one of the local universities. I managed the 32 students who lived in the building, looking after the daily running of the housekeeping, kitchen etc, and I also booked the rooms out during the semester breaks, a bit like running a b&b, only for academic visitors. One phrase which I found myself using often, much to the amusement of the foreign visitors was "no worries." You want to extend your stay? The phone isn't working? Extra towels? You're vegetarian? No worries!

The truth was that I worried ALL of the time. I worried that I had double-booked a room, that I misfiled applications, that I gave wrong change, that I was working too slowly. I tend to worry all the time about everything. Most of my worries....OK...all of my worries...are usually about imaginary things that only exist IN MY MIND. The real stuff that happens to me that's not so good, well...I just take action and deal with it as best I can. But the imaginary future is my downfall.

So now I have decided to list the ridiculous things I have worried about today. It's a type of blogging-as-therapy if you will:

That the librarians at the Film School (who I see almost every day, and for whom I baked alphabet cookies for Christmas) are irritated by me. I like to chat with the assistant (if you remember, the one who is intellectually challenged) and one time last December I didn't realise that he wasn't on a scheduled break and I heard him being told that, and I felt guilty and now I think the librarians think I'm a distraction to him, and that may lead to him losing his job and it would all be my fault.

That I'll be the odd one out in my screenwriting class and all of the other students will be really chummy and will go out to dinner together and have fun and I will end up crying in the toilets like I did in Year 6 when I didn't have anybody to hang out with at recess and lunchtime.

That I didn't walk Blue for long enough this morning, and my jogging husband is away, so Blue will pick up bad habits because Cesar Milan says dogs need exercise first and affection later, but I cuddled him a lot and gave him little exercise.

That I may have been too strident in voicing my views in a commentbox of a blogger who was discussing the moral implications of Bella's lack of premarital sex in "Twilight". She thought premarital sex was a good and healthy and beautiful thing and should be described in young adult fiction. Then I worried that I gave the wrong impression in that commentbox, I'm really ambivalent about the premarital sex issue, I really wanted to say that I don't like criticism of stories on moral grounds, stories are entertainment. I'm going to stop now and go on to the next worry. Sorry.

That I am spending too much time worrying instead of actually doing stuff, such as looking after the house, the family and my future-as- yet-to-be-discovered-money-making-career. That's right, I worry about worrying too much.

I bet you can't wait to read tomorrow's list.


Frogdancer said...

How about... "She'll be right, mate!"

Because she will...

Snooze said...

You're not alone ... I'm a worrier myself and it leads me to talk too much at times. (PS Re the no sex in Twilight ... google this book and look at the many reviews. It's a tortured story about not having sex before marriage, 'different' people not marrying and one having to convert if they do ... it has quite religious, conservative themes. Whis is not surprising given it was written by a Mormon woman.

BabelBabe said...

Dearheart, as a librarian, I can assure you that any sign of friendliness, the least bit of appreciation for the work we do, AND cookies - those librarians LOVE you. There is always a supervisor or some stickler for the rules, but most of them are happy to be greeted, chatted with, asked questions -- and no one is going to lose a job over it. I promise you. We LOVE patrons like you, you make our day!

also, re: Twilight - but Bella couldn't have sex with Edward - he has a Magic Sparkly Vampire Penis and he'd KILL her. All the religious fundamentalists KNOW this is so true re: premarital sex, and well, I guess the rest of us aren't having sparkly vampire sex. (Altho I'd risk a little harm to have sex with Edward...I am JUST saying...YUM)

The Coffee Lady said...

Wow. You worry at least half as much as I do.

Anonymous said...

::jumps up from keyboard to go give dogs their medicine::

Thanks for the reminder! (See? Sometimes worrying out loud/on the keyboard is a GOOD thing!)

MsCellania said...

Hey -

Everybody worries. All the time. Why do you think we read so much? Watch TV? Watch P@rn? To Escape The Worries.

Nice people worry more. Asshats do not. You, therefore, are a Nice Person.

KPB said...

1. I love this idea as a blog post and am going to so copy you. Because you know that while you may have the religious and therefore genetic predisposition to have cornered the market on useless worrying I can so give you a good fight for first in class in this subject.

2. I thought I was the only one who cried in the school toilets for having no one to sit with at recess and lunch (and that Sascha Costello teased me for having Saladas for recess).

3. Exercise first, affection second - WOW -so that's where I've been going wrong with these children all these years. Oh wait. What was that? It was for the dog. Ahhh.

4. Valerie said Magic Sparkly Vampire Penis. Snort.

5. Dude, you know there will be someone in your screenwriting class who is loud and obnoxious, needy and puerile who will be intrigued by the quiet girl with glasses and good hair and just have to get to know her and will love her instantly. Ask me how I know.

6. You were strident in a commentbox? About premarital sex? In a box? You.are.awesome.

7. I'm still giggling to myself about the whole bird lice story.

8. My psychiatrist has a word for this tendency: catastrophising. Um yeah.

Julia said...

I predict you will have your own fan club by the time you finish the semester. Who could resist Eleanor?

By the way, I am oddly prone to using "no worries" myself these days. Should I blame all you Aussies or give you credit?

alice c said...

Dear Eleanor,
Other people think that you are warm and funny and full of joie de vivre. If you don't believe me, ask bb or Suse or Mary or any of the other people that you have met since you stepped out of the commentbox. The trick is to accept this and relax and enjoy being the person that you are.

(If you are ever afraid of killing the dog with kindness or speaking your mind about Twilight or chatting to librarians, think of your grandfather who would also have done these things, and I am sure that the fear will fizzle out into the puff of nothing that it really is.)

Duyvken said...

Darling E,
No wonder we get along so well, I am well practiced in the art of worrying.
"too easy" is my current favourite response.
I am sure you will find many kindred spirits in your screenwriting course. I can't wait to hear all about it and I hope that you will share it with us.
And, if you happen to stumble across my not-yet-discovered-money-making career while you are searching for yours would you please send it home? I dropped it 10 years ago and haven't been able to find it since!
Now, I am too distracted by thoughts of magic sparkly vampire penises to continue commenting, I think I need a drink :-)

BabelBabe said...

btw, i am stealing this too.

BabelBabe said...

Kim, I once had a friend who has no children but lots of dogs and lots of experience fostering dogs, give me a book about dog training, saying, "Um, I know it's dogs, but you'll find it applicable to children, too." And she was RIGHT.

RW said...

Oh. E. This is a great post. I may just have to copy it too.

I too worry about the craziest things. And if I wake up at 2.30 it is like a faucet opens up in my brain and everything tumbles out and I must work very hard to not worry/ fret/ in the middle of the night.

Anonymous said...

Oh, which sensible person (ok, usually woman!) doesn't worry ...
Worry all the time, about everything, and most of the time there is NOTHING to worry.
But we do!

Jeanette Nord said...

Oh boy, this was a great post! Of course I must steal it too....So now you can start to worry about setting a bad example among other bloggers.....making them want to steal instead of creating a good post on their own! Way to go Eleanor!



eurolush said...

But Eleanor, if we didn't have imaginary things to worry about--what would we DO with all that extra time???

Soft Rock Mama said...

I liked your list. Quite human.
No worries on what others think, you were able to speak your truth. That's rare. And very refreshing.

Jodie said...

have you seen 101 Dalmations where all the dogs howl and bark across the country side to send a message....We librarians are like that (but without the howling and barking)
The librarians love you, they look forward to seeing you and in the staffroom at lunch time they make up stories about what you are writing. Current favourite is that it will involve a magestically sweeping love story !

I am scared that if I started a post like this , I might not be able to stop and then my head would explode...

Suse said...

Just give it a few days before you mention Sparkly Vampire Penises in your screen writing class, ok?

Stomper Girl said...

Eleanor, I have met you and it is impossible not to like you so you can scratch off our screen writing class crying in the toilet scenario, m'kay?

Also. You should read Clarice Bean by Lauren Child. All about a pre-teen worrier. It is really good, and boy did the Climber connect which makes me worry he's going to turn into a worrier like me and then what will he... No wait! Stop that. Stop that right now.

Kaviare said...

One of my friends has a theory that everyone is born with a set stress level, and they have to fill it up with things, whether those things are legitimate concerns or not. I am also guilty of ridiculous worries about nothing much - certainly nothing I could control!

I've started saying 'no probs'. Except it almost always is.

Red Dirt Mummy said...

Oh my gosh. You must be reading my mind. I'm a world class worrier. Yesterday I worried so much I ended up feeling sick, so I blogged about what was making me smile instead. It did the trick. For a while.

Mary said...

I worry so much I am medicated!!!

Can you feel the kiss and hug I am sending down to you on the coast?


fifi said...

to know you is to adore you.

my last message disappeared.
ooh, did you erase it??

Lauren said...

Sign me up for the "Worry Club". One of the reasons I couldn't start a blog of my own (apart from the fact I'm lazy) is that I'd be forever worrying about the possibility of upsetting someone.