Pack up your troubles in your old kitbag

Pack up your troubles in your old kitbag By Bob Karolevitz I've found a good way to cut down on my worries about national and international affairs.

I just save my Newsweeks and Reader's Digests for seven or eight years before I read them. By then almost all of the problems have gone away.

It's a cop-out, I know, but the fussin' we do about transient things can cause more gray hairs than the few things worth worrying about.

The O.J. Simpsons and Monica Lewinskys of the world soon fade into the woodwork. What is so big in the news one day is displaced in the next.

Ben Franklin � or somebody � said you should only get up-tight over stuff you can manage. Worrying, in other words, is a lot like going to bed with an elephant. You're bound to be concerned about whether the elephant might roll over � and if it does, there's very little you can do about it.

On the other hand, you can often do something to head off potential problems. For instance, I remember when Phyllis was worried about coyotes attacking her sheep. Instead of just stewing about it, she got a burro which chased everything resembling a wolf or a dog out of the pasture.

As somebody else wrote; "Worry is wasting today's time to clutter up tomorrow's opportunities with yesterday's troubles."

They also say that worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere.

Being a worry-wart or a fuss-budget, then, is counter productive, because most of the dire things you were so anxious about never happen. And even if they do, remember the elephant!

Consequently, I've learned not to fret about black holes in the universe, global warming, intercontinental missiles, Chernobyl, the jet stream and even the daily levels of Nasdaq and the Dow Jones averages. Any one of them can send you to the Valium bottle if you let them take over your life.

And speaking of Valium, I think we've also become too dependent upon pills. There are now so many of them that I can't remember their names or what they're supposed to do � but I hope the doctor does. They can be Proszac, Michach and Abednego, as far as I'm concerned.

Whatever happed to a good old dose of castor oil? But I digress.

Let's face it. It's possible to worry yourself into a booby hatch. That's why we can all learn something from Mary Crowley's famous quote: "Each evening I turn all my worries over to God. He's going to be up all night anyway."

Yes, there are lots of ways to keep from going bonkers, but I think my favorite is in the old World War I song which goes:

"What's the use of worrying?

It never was worthwhile,

So pack up your troubles in your old kitbag,

And smile, smile, smile!"

© 2000 Robert F. Karolevitz

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