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Things I Worry About In An Irish Way

There's plenty to worry about, and I do.

I’m a worrier. Being close friends with Mr. Murphy and his “If something can go wrong…” Law, I have come to know that charmed lives are for others, and that constantly chewing on the probability of things falling on or hitting me brings with it a twisted comfort befitting someone of my ancestry.

Irish people tend to worry about things beyond their control. Famine. Viking raiders. Whether the Guinness truck will make delivery to The Stags Head without tipping over. That sort of thing. Add an enhanced probability of an asteroid strike, global warming, unfettered population growth, increased stress on the world’s dwindling resources and whether or not that delivery truck will make it or not and we’re happy as pigs in mud. Well, not really, but you tend to put a rosy spin on things when all you know is the dark side.

And, yes, there’s that darn SuperVolcano lurking under Yellowstone Park…

I know, I know. The “regulars” around this little Internet Cafe of ours are going to chide me for “worrying too much” and “spending too much time on the negative” and “worrying about things outside of your control” and all and I get that. I do. But I’m wired to ponder whether that glowing, 12,000-ton chunk of space rock hurtling towards earth at more than 50 times the speed of sound is going to land in my front yard or not. Especially after I’ve just tidied up. It’s just the way I am.

One of the nice things about coming up half-Irish (the other half is Italian, which explains the unprovoked bouts of free-form dance and penchant for pasta) is that all that fretting tends to steel you to the moments when your worst fears are realized and all that worrying you’ve done proves you right and that space rock does come down and scatter your landscaping all to hell.

“You take bad news really well,” a colleague once observed over a raised eyebrow after an antique painting we both thought was worth about $25,000 proved to have been done by a student of the artist – and turned out to be worth about $300.

“Yeah, well, the more bad news you get the better you get at getting it,” I said, and I remember he looked at me a little strangely then.

I believe it’s genetic. A predisposition like some people have for speed in flight situations, or a hoarder’s super-accelerated “hunter gatherer” predilection. The Hibernians, long used to bad news, worried about what might come but learned how to put it in its place when it did.

It’s an elegant self-protective mechanism. So far, it seems to be working… and at least I have something to do in my spare time.

How about you? Given to worry? Or prefer not to think about when that space rock comes for us? And what are you worried about?

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