Light Notes

I'm a poster child for needless worrying

I’m worried that I worry too much.

Oh, not about big things like the Apophis asteroid headed toward Earth and due to swing by in 2029.

And not even something bigger, like trying on swimsuits under fluorescent lights.

No. I worry about the little things.

It happened this past week while I waited in the dental chair, fretting whether the poor dental hygienist would quit her job because I forgot to floss after salsa and chips. Then, I realized she was eight months pregnant and could politely keep her distance.

But as I sat quietly, waiting for her to return — something about this job requiring another mask — uneasiness began to pervade the air. It couldn’t be my bad breath causing anxiety throughout the office. I had my mouth closed. Even so, something was bothering me.

Then my eyes met his.

I sucked in a breath and looked down.

I peeked.

Holy Moly! The man was still staring!

I could see him through the facing window of another building. He might have thought he was well-hidden a few feet from their mini-blinds, but I knew he was standing there motionless, observing me.

I began to worry.

My hygienist, Regan, reappeared armed with x-ray film, dental tools, and extra masks.

“Now, if you’ll just open your mouth real wide and hold this piece of equipment, I’ll get a quick picture,” she cajoled.

I could barely concentrate on what she was saying because the MAN was staring.

I had peeked again.

After two x-rays, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut any longer, “Regan, don’t turn around. I have to tell you something.”

“What?” she yelped as she started to twirl. “Did I sit in something?”

“No, no. It’s not that,” I assured her. “Just don’t look through our window when I tell you this. And then be subtle when you do.”

I started to explain slowly, and then gathered speed.

“Regan, I was looking out the window and I could see this MAN staring at me and he won’t quit looking…. and I can’t believe that he’s doing that….and it’s making me very nervous….but please don’t peek in an obvious way."

Ever so carefully Regan turned. She stealthily peered through the window. Then she stared.

“Do you mean that poster on the wall inside that building?” Regan asked as she bent down to my eye level. “Well, I guess from your perspective it does look like a wide-eyed guy standing there.”

Peals of laughter filled the air. The dentist came running, thinking there’d been a gas overdose, only to discover two hysterical women doubled over — a feat when you’re expecting or have “love handles” — in glee.

He soon put a quick stop to the merriment by announcing I’d need to pay for another crown.

With that sobering thought, I contemplated another: How could I have worried about something as innocuous as a poster? My anxiety was about a threat that didn’t even exist.

I guess when it comes to worrying, it’s good to change one’s perspective. What appears to be a potential problem may never happen — and losing sleep over it is unwise. Better to focus on God and see how worry loses its grip on little things and big ones, too.

The Bible says worrying won’t add a single moment to my life. In the dental chair, that could be a very good thing.