Life is absurd. And life is precious. Family is a lot of both.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Whistle While You Worry

I worry. Though I am a capital-O optimist pretty much all of the time, there are things that get to me. Maybe they are the same things that get to you:

too many kids; not enough money

too much work; not enough time

too much to do; not enough motivation

too much political; not enough spiritual

too many "What's for dinner?"s; not enough ingredients in the fridge for anything good

I'll admit I even worry sometimes about the the small stuff:

Can I get one more season out of these flats?

Think people can tell I cut my own bangs?

Did my kid really just say that?!?

The year of our Lord 2011 was the year of my Worry as well. In addition to our regular old worries, we faced my husband retiring from the Army and starting a new career, a cross-country move, the graduation of our oldest, the birth of our youngest, and five months living apart in the midst of it all.

Yes, I worried. I planned for a lot of what ifs, I whined some, I ground my teeth while sleeping (hello, brand new crowned molars), I snapped at my kids, and I prayed a lot. But I also found myself whistling.

I specifically remember standing at my kitchen sink, fretting about all of the above, and suddenly realizing that I was whistling. I started to pay attention and realized that I whistled almost all day long. In the shower, in the car, folding laundry, brushing my teeth. Okay, not brushing my teeth since that would be impossible. But you get the idea. I was whistling ALL the time.

It's something I get from my father. I honestly cannot think of my dad without hearing him whistle. He's been whistling my whole life. 

He whistled in the car. He whistled while working around the house. He whistled while in the midst of his own late-in-life career change. He whistled while rebuilding after a freak storm literally blew the roof off of my parents' home the very week he'd finished construction. He whistled while driving miles and miles to the different places we've lived and he whistled while helping us with projects, grandkids, tough questions, and whatever else we've needed from him.

Mom and Dad finishing a chair project for me after driving to Georgia from
Texas. You can't tell,  but he's whistling.

When I caught myself stress-whistling that day at the sink, I realized that I'd caught hold of my father's legacy. Whistling is a form of prayer. At least for me and Dad. Especially when we're whistling his favorite song, Great is Thy Faithfulness.

I hope I can pass this legacy on to my own kids. Worries will always be around. Learn to whistle.

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