Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Wisdom of Young Wally

When Wally was nine years old, we made a big move from the Gulf Coast to the East. Ward and I were very absorbed in everything involved with that--getting the house ready to sell, finding a new place, packing, etc. But most of all we were involved in helping Theo, who was six at the time, deal with the coming change. He was very worried about everything and expressing that the only way he knew how--by acting up. Unfortunately daily notes from his teacher became the norm during this time.

After a few weeks of this whirlwind, we realized that maybe Wally needed some attention too. We sat down with him one day and said that we had been paying so much attention to Theo and the move, we hadn't even asked him how he felt about everything. This is the reply he gave us.

"When you first told me about moving, I was upset. I didn't want to leave my friends and my school. But then one day, I laid down on my bed and thought about everything. First I thought about every bad thing there was about moving and then I was done with the bad stuff.  Then I thought about the good stuff like having a bigger yard and seeing snow. And the good stuff is the only thing I think about now when I think about moving and it's okay."

I was inspired at the time with Wally's method on how he handled his worry and still am. Since then, I've tried to remember his example. When I'm worried about something, I try to think about what is really bothering me and causing the worry. Then I think about if there is any action I can take to change it. Next I try to look at the positives of the situation and focus on those. Or to paraphrase young Wally, "First I think about all of the bad stuff and then I forget it. Then I only think about the good stuff."

How do you calm your worries?