I am a lot like Charlie Brown in that I am a worrywart. A lot of us are like Charlie Brown because he is an effing metaphor for human insecurities.
I don’t know where my tendency to travel to worst possible scenarios comes from but it has always been with me. I love to travel, for example. Yet, the day before I take off I am a basket-case. If it is a road trip then my vehicle is going to career into a highway overpass at a great rate of speed. If I am flying then the aircraft will plummet to the earth in sheets of flame. If I am to find myself in an alien place then I will be mugged in a dark alleyway somewhere.
None of the aforementioned have ever happened, but it’s the possibility they might that puts burrs under my serenity saddle. Might just as well stay home is the thought that prevails the day before. And yet, once I am underway the angst dissipates rapidly. I just need to get myself in ‘process’. And then, once I have been in foreign parts for a few days or weeks, then I don’t want to leave.
I don’t want to leave because that means going ‘home’. And in our absence the house will have burned down; a tree will have fallen on it; burglars will have come to call; the pets will have died or run away.
Doctor’s appointments fill me with a great deal of premonitory agony. That mole on my back, is it benign. I indulged some bad behaviors in the past. Have they caught up with me? I have some friends suffering the rigors of very serious illness; is it my turn now? Will my blood pressure be over the moon? Will my cholesterol be in a ghastly state. Some people die; is it my turn now? Oh, and how long will I have to wait in the main reception area of the clinic with its shitty magazines before being ushered into the ‘little’ room wherein I will have to wait a further half hour at least sending my blood pressure even higher?
And in that context age alone causes me anxiety. I scan the newspaper obits (past a certain age you just do). It seems to be a compulsory behavior. If I spy somebody who died really prematurely it depresses me. Or, as my brother once said, you hope it was a suicide because that person made a choice and the reaper didn’t sneak up unexpectedly as he does with the rest of us. Other than that I prefer the obits of the really really old folks. “He/she got a good innings” is my catchall here.
Other than that, the sun is shining and no evidence of skin cancer so far – phew!