You Never Stop Worrying

Right after he had kids, the comedy writer Michael Schur (a recent guest over on the Daily Stoic podcast) took a walk with his mother. “You worry about one set of things when they’re babies and then another set when they’re toddler,” he told her. And then, as he writes in his wonderful book How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question, he went on with his worries about them as kindergartners and middle schoolers and high schoolers. “I guess that’s just the deal with parenthood,” he said, trying to make himself feel better. “You worry and worry and worry, until they’re finally grown ups and have jobs and stuff.”

It was only then that his mother replied, “Oh, it doesn’t get any better when they’re grown-ups. I worry about you all the time.”

It’d be wonderful if it were otherwise, but that’s just the way it is. You never stop worrying about your kids. How could you? They might be older but they’re still running around unsupervised!

If you’re lucky enough to live to be 100, you’ll still be worrying about what’s happening in the world and what that means for your children and grandchildren. You’ll still be worrying whether they’re taking care of themselves, whether they’re happy, whether they’re feeling ok.

So what does that mean? It means pace yourself! You’re always going to be fretting…so maybe you don’t have to fret so hard about this thing right now. It means you don’t have to invent stuff to worry about—life will take care of that. It means you better find an outlet, a hobby, a practice, a place to channel this worry too—because it’s never going to be resolved and you don’t want to make yourself (or your kids miserable because of it).

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