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Monday, October 17, 2011

On Worrying: a Guest-Post by Katie of Chicken Noodle Gravy

My guest today is a dear friend of mine, Katie, who is visiting over from her awesome blog, Chicken Noodle Gravy. She is a talented, yet very humble, writer, who often doesn’t realize how authentic and profound her posts are! 
In a post where she explained the origin of her blog name, Katie described herself as “simple, old-fashioned, and cheers you up when you're feeling low,” just like her favorite dish: chicken noodle gravy.  I found myself agreeing with her, especially that last part, because really, Katie is such a sweetheart!  She is kind, supportive, and always let me know in her own way that she's there if I ever need a listening ear.

A food aficionado, she likes to cook and would gladly share her experience in trying to cook the 'perfect' meal.  She wrote about her successful (and failed) attempts in her posts such as Katie's Easy Peasy Mac-n-Cheesy and A Whole Mess of Greens.

Me being severely cooking-challenged, has found one recipe of hers that was truly captivating: the recipe that she put on her blog header:
I part goofy to
II part weird
a cup full of happy
a pinch of sarcasm
plenty of opinions
a dash of southern
mix well and serve with
laughter and wine.
Have I mentioned that Katie is a remarkable writer? :)  THAT recipe was what first drew me in when I came across her blog.  Surely someone who could conceive such a recipe would be nothing short of creative, not afraid to make fun of herself, not to mention well-versed.  And she has not disappointed me!  Katie's every bit of those and more!  Some of my favorite posts of hers:
To my delight, Katie has agreed to write a guest-post for Do Sweat the Small Stuff and she is here with us today!  Yay!  I'm ecstatic to be able to share this wonderful gem of a blogger with my readers as well as those who are already her loyal followers.  To Katie, thank you so much for writing this post for ol' Sweaty's blog.  I am very lucky to have you hosting here today, and please know that the pleasure's been all mine.  Take it away, Katie!
 On Worrying
by Katie of Chicken Noodle Gravy

The wildebeest stampede always caught the attention of my diabetic cat.  I would be watching The Lion King for the hundredth time in one day, and it would never fail that she’d stop whatever she was doing (usually either licking her butt or sleeping) and give the scene her full attention.  It was probably all the movement on the screen that caught her eye, but I like to think that she understood the significance of what was happening.

As I was watching The Lion King last night with my two-year old nephew and his entourage (Nana B, Papa, and Nonny), I couldn’t help but remember Kidden when the wildebeest stampede started.  I’m pretty sure that’s why I teared up…it certainly couldn’t be due to the fact that I still get all choked up when Mufasa dies despite the fact that I’ve seen the movie hundreds of times.  Nope, that couldn’t be it at all.

Nevertheless, after this famous stampede scene comes one of my favorite scenes of the movie: the introduction of Timon and Pumbaa and of their Hakuna Matata philosophy, which is where our real story begins.  When trying to think of something to write for a guest post for one of my favorite bloggers, Ms. Sweaty, I struggled.  I wanted to write on a topic that would be interesting and relatable, something that would do Sweaty proud.

The inspiration wasn’t quick in coming, and after staring at the title of Sweaty’s blog for a little bit and upon re-watching The Lion King, I began to worry.  And for once, worrying did me some good.  It gave me the idea for a topic.  Finally.

You see, unlike Timon and Pumbaa (like how I came full circle there?), I’ve long been a worry wart.  I worry over big things, over small things, over insignificant things.  I worry about things that could happen, that probably will never happen, and things that do happen.  You might say I’m a champion worrier, but I’m not quite as skillful a worrier as I once was.

As a teenager, I worried so much that I could barely sleep.  Even as a college student, I did a lion’s share of thinking and dreading and dwelling.  Honestly, I just had a hard time turning off my brain.  Zoning out wasn’t really possible for me, because my mind would be constantly playing out different scenarios and situations.  Sure, it meant that I was a conscientious and caring person, but it also meant that I was a pretty miserable person.  I longed to be impulsive and carefree.  To make decisions that wouldn’t send my neurotic mind into overdrive.  To not give a crap of what others thought of me.

I wish I could tell you that I’ve made that transformation now, that I’ve left all my worrying behind me, but I can’t.  I’m 28 years old and still a card carrying worry wart.  I’m worrying right now about how we’re going to get my husband through school and about my next public speaking stint at work and about what I’m going to cook for dinner tonight.  But despite the fact that I still do worry a little a lot, I have gotten a little better.

I don’t dwell and over-analyze quite as much as I used to, and that’s thanks to, in part, some wise words from my father.  One day we were discussing my worrying ways, and he said something to me that’s stuck.  And I’ve decided to share it with you, in case any of you guys are worriers like me.

He told me to visualize myself standing at the bottom of a hill.  At the top of the hill is a person pushing tires down towards me.  The tires represent my worries.  As the tires begin rolling down the hill, most of them roll off to the side…avoiding me completely.  He said that worries are a lot like those tires, most of what I worry about is never going to hit me, most of what I worry about will never even come to fruition.

For me, it was a comforting thought.

So yeah, I still worry.  A lot.  Far more than my fair share I’m sure.  But now, when I feel overwhelmed with stress and worry, I just imagine myself at the bottom of that hill, and somehow, I feel better.

Not quite Hakuna Matata, but I’ll take it anyway.

Pfft!  You've got nothing to worry about there, Katie!  (Teehee, being a master worrier myself, I think I can definitely use the advice that Katie's father gave her).

If you haven't followed her already, I really encourage you to do so.  You can find Katie:
At her blog: Chicken Noodle Gravy
On twitter: @chicknoodlegrav

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