Return of the Worry Doll

My friend Rufus co-wrote a brilliant play called The Shakespeare Conspiracy.  A director on Broadway fell in love with the script and picked up the play; it was slated to open on Friday.  And I thought: how could we miss this!?  So my husband and I figured out childcare (thank you, grandparents), put the restaurant on hold, and made the trip. 

It was one of the best trips of my life. 

But it didn’t start out that way.  The week began with at least a dozen mishaps at the building, and true-to-form, I internalized every one of them.  Really, there is no mishap too small for me to stick in my worry bank and let fester for days, weeks, even years.  That’s just how I roll.  I’m still mulling over transgressions from grade school. 

(I'm not what you would call "laid-back.")

Anyway, I called my mom on the way out of town and started telling her all that was weighing on me. And she said, "Honeybun—" (some nicknames never die) "you’re going to ruin your trip if you don’t figure out some way to put these things out of your mind."

So true-to-form, I then began worrying that I couldn’t stop worrying. 

I worried all the way to Brooklyn, where we were headed for dinner.  Next to our restaurant was a little record store, and I stopped in to check out some vinyl.  I found a great Gladys Knight album and brought it to the check-out clerk. At the cash register was a worry doll. 

Remember worry dolls? They used to be everywhere. Made of cloth and wire, these matchstick-size cloth are used to help relieve folks of their worries. You tell your troubles to the dolls, put them in a woven bag, sleep on them, and let them take care of the concern for you. 

I didn’t need to buy the dolls to pick up the lesson.

Reader, there are a lot of tricks to de-stress, and whatever works for you, I hope you're able to figure out a way to put worries out of your mind this week.  My trick in New York was to close my eyes and picture a house on a hill; inside the house is where all my worries lived, and I could decide to address them one-by-one at a later time.  Silly as it was, it worked, and I had a great time out east.  

Controlling our stress is the most responsible and kind act we can do for ourselves.  Being calm and at ease is not only good for you; it's also good for everyone around you too (just ask my husband).  I hope you're oh-so-kind to you this week, Reader.  Stuff your worries in a sack.  See you next Sunday. -Em

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