We tell each other not to worry by equating it with fear and anxiety. But I recently came across a little book that made me rethink the whole concept of worry.
The book was called Tell Me Everything You Don’t Remember. Written by Christine Hyung-Oak Lee, it details a stroke she had at the age of 33. The writer lost her short term memory as a result along with other aspects of her personality.
This line arrested me:
Worrying is an exercise in memory.
Worry Isn’t All Bad
As homeschoolers, we are free from following the rules of tests and other paraphernalia public schools foist upon their students and the subsequently the parents. As unschoolers, we tell ourselves we’re outside of rules anyway.
… and yet, we worry. No matter how much we do and how long and hard we work and how far and deep and wide our search for curricula is, no matter how many conversations we have with our children, we don’t just throw all caution to the wind. No matter how much we try.
I’m beginning to realize that’s not all bad.
Worry Tells Us We Care
It helps us decide. The reason I chose homeschooling for my children was because I was an exceptionally good student, but I didn’t like classrooms. So today when I worry that my child isn’t getting a math problem or I insist that they memorize a history timeline, it is because I remember.
Granted, their futures cannot be guessed at, but because my concern for them is a function of my memory, I can help them navigate their childhood in a way no one else can. I can help them look forward as I look back.
While anxiety might be bad, worry has a real function. It would be foolish to abandon it.