A true worrywart has more than a touch of the ADD. Mental stimuli buzz around me all day long, like a swarm of cicadas or a steady stream of darts, each pricking me with a new idea of something that could go wrong.
This trait was useful for my cavewoman ancestors, but as I have probably written previously, I wish I had advanced (worrywise) beyond the stone age, which reminds me to say that memory is overrated and I have learned to accept that I remember nothing; there are so many other things to worry about that it’s pointless to squander worry on memory loss, yet I wonder whether I should take up Lumosity’s brain training program the same way, after seeing Deepak Chopra and his amusing brother on Book TV, I started doing a droplet of meditation each day from a link I found of Deepak on The Dr. (Mehmet, which backwards is a very satisfying temheM) Oz Show.
Where was I? Oh yes, ADD and how it helps me to worry creatively, the same way it helped me be good at thinking outside the box when solving math problems.
Do you know what the physical therapist I went to while going through my divorce said to me? He said, “If you don’t stop worrying so much, you’ll give yourself cancer.” Even though he apologized the following week, still it is hard not to allow that thought in—15 years later—every now and then. (He died a young man, suddenly, from a heart attack.)
I just took a break to jump around the Internet and read a New York Times article about a company called Coffitivity, where you can listen to the buzz of a coffee shop. The article referred to research that shows “the whoosh of espresso machines and caffeinated chatter typical of most coffee shops creates just the right level of background noise to stimulate creativity.”
This explains why every time I go to New York, I get more work done than when I’m home, writing on my quiet porch in Washington, D.C.
Weirdly, I once went into a coffee place at around 92nd Street and Lexington Avenue, and they didn’t allow laptops! So I sat on a nearby stoop to work.
In New York, my favorite place to work has great coffee, a bathroom, wifi, and a bench for sitting outside, same things I have at home, but the coffee place has the hum and people coming and going. It also has electrical outlets, so I keep an extension cord in my bicycle basket.
I also work well in Union Square. Maybe Coffitivity can make a Parkativity tape for us outdoor types.
In the evenings I do my best busy work to the pleasing pitch of Chris Matthews’s rants; sometimes I circle the MSNBC shows twice.
Hum aside, what’s missing chez moi is the community; maybe that’s why I pause from my work regularly—when in my quiet spaces—to hop around the Internet, as I was just doing.
Do send a comment my way, as I’m home and a bit of company would be lovely.
MARRIAGE, RELATIONSHIPS, PSYCHOTHERAPY AND MORE IN MY NEW MEMOIR . . .
Confessions of a Worrywart: Husbands, Lovers, Mothers, and Others
Readers of all ages will relate to this deeply personal story, told with comical sensibility by a quirky, startlingly honest mother, daughter, ex-wife, and dog lover, who—à la Nora Ephron—will feel like a dear friend. Confessions of a Worrywart: Husbands, Lovers, Mothers, and Others will stay with you long after you finish reading it.” (adapted from Amazon description and culled from Amazon reviews)
The perfect book for worrywarts or anyone who enjoys a “neurotic, hilarious, poignant,” deeply personal story.