The other day I was talking to a friend about the possibility that she will lose her job when my reaction went from empathy to eye-roll in the amount of time it takes to realize you put salt in your coffee instead of sugar.

What generated such callousness? 

She told me if she lost her job, it wouldn’t be for another year.

She was on contract so she was good for now. But next year, who knows.

The idea of losing your job is scary no matter what. I absolutely get that.

But a YEAR from now? 

If 2020 has shown us anything, we know that a year can change things. Shoot, my friend might not even want her current job a year from now. 

As I was on the phone trying to figure out a way to respond without using the word “ridiculous,” I froze.

I do this too.

I worry that I’ll run out of ideas, despite never experiencing an idea drought and believing creative is a renewable resource. My brain overrides this information and invents calamities like a wannabe Stephen King.

The best approach I’ve found is to question my worries. Do I have a real problem or an imagined one? How likely is this to happen? What if it did?

Putting my worries on trial pokes holes in my own logic. It’s like finding the foreboding figure was two kids in a trench coat all along. 

While my friend’s worry felt far-off to me, it felt very near to her. I see that with my own worries, and questioning them helps me find the space between the present and future.

And just like with my friend, I don’t mean to downplay life’s challenges. You’ll have many valid worries.  

But if you have enough real problems to worry about in the present, why invent more for the future?

To being better without fretting over the hitch in your five-year plan,