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Worrying is like holding an umbrella up in the sun, waiting for it to rain

Think about that.

By Matthew GranthamPublished 2 years ago 5 min read
Top Story - September 2022
Worrying is like holding an umbrella up in the sun, waiting for it to rain
Photo by Osman Rana on Unsplash

And logically, that doesn’t make sense, right? Why does worrying feel normal and natural and needed?

I saw this saying once and I didn’t get it but then when I noticed people around me like my mum and boyfriend worrying for no reason, I realised that I was doing the same and we’ve been conditioned to welcome worry and yet, when we are to compare it something like the analogy above, it doesn’t make sense as to why this is a done thing but it’s done every day by us, sometimes without us knowing we are. Remind yourself of this saying, it’s saved me from myself a lot.

I turned 30 recently and as a gay man, who is joking told that 30 is ‘gay death’ the milestone really sent me west. The concept of something having power like that without you recognising it is wild to me but as I turned the corner down this road, I felt unhappy, unmotivated and unsettled. Then, my back conked out on my and I was unable to walk for 7 weeks so both my body and mind really told me ‘babes, you’re done. Sit down’ and from then I’ve never been the same.

I now have things in my life that I will be sad to leave behind if I die. Morbid but true and I get why people cry now at life events in films and TV programmes because I understand that it is sad when your child leaves the home and goes on their own adventure, I understand the severity and longevity of heart break and why mum has never re-married and I understand the impact a pet dying can have. I never got this when I was younger, I don’t think I had the space to even care about this stuff but when you get older and you gain that loved one, a pet, the perfect house, great friends and stable job etc, you start to feel lucky, the worry is right behind it saying ‘you could lose all this, don’t stumble’ and that’s scary AF.

As it goes, we’re all human and we can all make mistakes and so what if one of those mistakes derails your life? WHAT IF. What a lot of crap. Why think about the future when it’s currently the present? Why think about the past repeating itself, IT’S THE PRESENT. I didn’t turn up and be present in my life until now. Until I realise that’s the only thing should be on your mind, the now.

Yes, this is 100% easier said than done and it’s not always possible to truly believe in this. During lockdown I had anxiety and depression. I wasn’t diagnosed but that doesn’t change the fact that I felt it and I was suffering. I forgot about this saying and really got myself caught up in the worry. I couldn’t leave the house because I felt I had to be close to a toilet and what if I couldn’t go!? I wouldn’t want to socialise with friends, I felt I didn’t have the social battery to complete it. I didn’t want to work from the office because work people conversations are even worse that conversations with your friends. I didn’t want to have sex. I wanted to eat all day and sleep the rest. I didn’t want to do anything that made me happy. I couldn’t help but think of my worst nightmares coming true and I even created new nightmares to worry about just in case they happened.

Worrying is like holding an umbrella up in the sun, waiting for it to rain. Think about that. If it was sunny, you probably wouldn’t even have an umbrella and if you did, you wouldn’t be holding it up as it wasn’t raining. When you’re happy and life is going well, why worry? I mean, that’s a pretty big statement to say as there is always something that could be better but that’s the thing, could it? Or are we all just programmed to not feel happy and be cautious of what could be? ‘Hope for the best but prepare for the worst’, sound advice but thinking about the worst scenario too much can give it power, power that it doesn’t deserve and that power can shift quickly from best scenario to worst.

Thoughts are powerful and so are words. Use them wisely. Every feeling and situation is temporary. Even if your ‘worst’ thing was to happen, it’s not going to be forever.

This isn’t news, this isn’t something you don’t already know but what I find helps me is to read, watch or see or feel words like this and letting it enter my conscious and subconscious I’m able to remind myself of it when I need to. I’ve been happy recently because I’ve found something that makes me happy and I’m okay feeling that. I’m not looking for something else to fulfil me, I’m recognising that in my present, I have something I can do to bring my levels of oxytocin up and practicing that whenever I can.

To be present is to know yourself and your triggers of both good and bad. That takes time and I really feel that my 30’s are going to be my best years yet as I know myself better than I did when I was in my 20’s and I can now start to believe people when they said that they loved their 30’s more than their 20’s.

When you are feeling dark and your mind takes you to places that scare you, try to remember that it’s not real, bring yourself back to the present and focus on your breathing, focus on things you can touch around you, focus on what you can see and say them in your head. Shunt that fear of what if’s out of your mind and tell yourself you are here, right now, in this moment. Those thoughts are not your friends, leave them behind and remember you.

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About the Creator

Matthew Grantham

An aspiring writer from the UK

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (10)

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  • Pavlak Montoro2 years ago

    Looks great

  • Frosch Pernice2 years ago

    Well written

  • dewayne cheyney2 years ago

    Good article

  • Not bad, not bad

  • test2 years ago

    Praise praise praise

  • Shadow James2 years ago

    Great read. It reimbursed the right feelings I have about living in the present. Like you I like to read these things so I have them in my mind. Thanks

  • Good article

  • Well done on this piece! I enjoyed the saying. I am a firm believer of living in the present moment. It is so easy to worry about everything else except for the great things one has.

  • nasir uddin2 years ago

    Thanks for sharing the useful tips

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