Back in April, Bruce and his horse-neighbour Winston broke their dividing fence, and hoolied around the field like a couple of youngsters. Things sobered up when Bruce got kicked on his hock, and I found him standing by the gate looking very sorry for himself.

The joint swelled and subsided, puffy became the new normal, and Bruce walked a tad stiffly but appeared unconcerned. Last week his displeasure at being out in the wind and rain erupted in an awesome acrobatic display, cantering back and forth with sliding stops and handbrake turns. Then he suddenly found he couldn’t put his hind leg to the ground, and what had been a ligament strain got a whole lot worse.

I’ve spent a week of worry on auto-pilot. The torn ligament, mega-swelling, and Bruce’s age, were all cause for concern and I was reluctant to have the joint drained because of possible infection, and the high likelihood of the fluid returning. I’m realistic about movement-limiting injuries and euthanasia, but Bruce is as much part of me as my own arm or leg, and I don’t know how I’d manage without one of them either.

Last night Bruce laid down in his stable for the first time, but more importantly he managed to get back up. He turned the corner to recovery and I breathed again.

Today is Thursday. I got up early to write my blog and sat with tea and toast wondering what to write. Then it occurred to me. How often do we actually worry about what we’re worried about?

I’ll let those words sit for a moment because they surprised me too.

At the moment we’re all worried about Covid, and that worry has given the green light for all other worries to become important. We’re on permanent alert lest a stranger sneezes, and making sense of government guidance (I use the word ironically) is like doing a cryptic crossword in Ancient Urdu. A lot of people met their own mortality for the first time, and even though they didn’t shake hands it wasn’t an amiable introduction.

Worrying about things out of our control makes us feel stressed, but stress has become such a dirty word it’ll soon be unmentionable. It’s overtaken smoking, eating or sitting down as something you Must Not Do, and soon we’ll have a government minister in charge of it. But without stress I think we’d probably crumple; just like tension on a high-wire, stress counter-balances all the blah emotions. If only life could be one long scented bath, but in order to get more hot water we have to get out some time and stoke the boiler.

Are we ignoring the real worry and worrying that we can’t control the outcome, which is change. Change is a ‘C’ word more graphic than the anatomical one we don’t say unless in the company of our sluttiest girlfriends. Change means facing up to fears of the unknown, and the unknown is the nemesis of mankind.

So, if the unknown is too immense to think about, we find something smaller on which to pin our fret, because worrying about something tangible is more controllable. We rant about things like chocolate bars getting smaller, or beat ourselves up for hugging a friend. We worry about our horses/dogs/cats eating properly, when really we’re wondering who will look after them if we can’t, and we worry about our sore knee when we’re wondering who will look after us if we can’t. Or our partner. Or both of us at the same time.

So let’s make time for small worries. Let’s recognise them as big worries in drag, trying their best to put some glitz into pathos. Let’s accept them, acknowledge them, and at three o’clock in the morning, try to let them go. We can’t change change because it’ll happen whatever. But we can cut ourselves some slack, eat two chocolate bars instead of one, and make the best of what we have in front of us because sooner or later that will change too. And that’ll be a whole new load of stuff to worry about.

The blog is short rambling and random this week with not much editing. Normal service will resume asap. Blame Bruce? Never.

20 thoughts on “worry

  1. Time for the little worries. Now I know why I’m so darned annoyed by the darned tick bites. It sure does save me from thinking about those even less controllables.

    Another straight to the heart of things post. Thank you.


  2. Just Wow!
    Your descriptions of the essence of worry, out of control and the intangible emotions of all of this stuff we are living thru … I vote for more writing from the heart and less editing … just you dear woman, please. And your dear Bruce lives to cavort another day…Yay!


  3. If I had made it to college, would there have been a conversational Urdu class? So well-timed, my friend. I’m talking about the same topic today… we do all stride this life together, from different corners of the world. I just know this one thing. I will not blame the horse.


      1. Teehee. It’s my job to not blame the horse!!! (I am the one who had an emotional breakdown when my Grandfather Horse needed an EMERGENCY sheath cleaning) Yes, urdu incase we ever need to communcate in secret and I wouldn’t mind us opening a fortune cookie business.


  4. How boring if life were one long scented bath! How amazing when the wonder of being alive doesn’t have to skip over the painful parts. The best part of being around horses every day is that it’s always different, they’re always different, I’m always different. I’m glad Bruce is doing better and that he got his injury while kicking up his heels❤️


  5. As usual, I spotted myself in your words, and I found it interesting that none of your worries included the other “C” word (that which I shall not name here and give it any traction). I will embrace my small worries today and think of you: my- never-met but- recognize a – kindred-spirit friend.


    1. I hope your week is gong smoothly Amy.
      TBH I don’t worry unduly about the other C. I used to, and when the Stage4 diagnosis came it was a great surge of relief that the most feared thing was actually here and no amount of worrying was going to alter a thing. Maybe its just to big a worry to fit in my diminished brain?
      Kindred spirits across the pond.


  6. Oh the painful pleasure of standing at the fence watching your horse doing zoomies around their field, smiling at their obvious joy but inwardly wincing knowing that with just one slip….
    I will never be that person who sails through life without a care, I am too inside my head and a real worrier but ironically the current C word situation has helped to a large extent, the world outside is too big and scary so I have shrunk mine to what I can cope with.
    Pleased to hear that Bruce is feeling better, I don’t think any of us should stop doing those zoomies though.


    1. You’re right Lainey, I love that he feels exuberant enough to pretend he’s two years old, but . . .
      The funny thing with Covid is that for me too, I’ve been able to create a smaller, pared down world that suits me to a T and no-one expects any more of me than what works within MY perimeter.
      And yes, zoomies are us!


  7. Oh,horses! Silly Bruce, poor you.

    Yes, life is far more “manageable” with a hundred small worries than one or two big ones — the art of letting go is a difficult one to master…still, even a solid attempt has its rewards.

    Wishing Bruce the speediest of healings….and let that be all the speedy he takes part in for a while. 🙂


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