Last night I was feeling stressed out. I've been working with our department's business agent to close out a grant, and she had let me know in no uncertain terms that it was a hassle for her to move $200 from the operating category to the salary category. She was going to have to confirm with the college that this would fly. (This is not a complaint about her. She does a fantastic job keeping a lot of different balls in the air. This is a complaint about my unreasonably anxious reaction.) Rational Jamie was saying, "Predicted grant budgets often don't line up perfectly with actual budgets. There's a clear rationale. It will be fine." Anxious Jamie was not buying it. (Anxious Jamie was a little stressed out after the late afternoon call from the compliance officer -- not because there was anything worrisome in the content of the call at all, but because he prefaced the conversation by booming "Don't worry! You're not in trouble!") Anxious Jamie was also worried about an equipment purchase that cost a little more than anticipated, especially since the purchase was happening after data collection was mostly completed.
Rational Jamie had it right. The college approved the category switch immediately. The equipment was ordered this morning with no fuss. I didn't even have to pay for it myself and then seek reimbursement -- the purchase price came straight out of grant funds, and the package will come to me already tagged by our property control office.
I spent too much mental energy fretting about the what-ifs for Thursday. What if the people in the college office thought I should have planned better? What if the people at the department meeting hated the egg bake I was planning to make? (Super-simple, plain but tasty. The business agent had thirds.)
I didn't know what the actual Thursday had in store for me. I didn't know that the day would start with a bang, when water leaking in through the upstairs roof would cause plaster and paint to thunk down next to my sleeping 14yo at 3am. I didn't know that there would be another bang coming later in the day, either. When the office phone rang at 2:52 it was my 14yo, calling to say that he had been in an accident with the 17yo. They're fine; the other driver and passenger are fine; the car is drivable. I am just struck by the preposterousness of wasting mental energy on thoughts like "Maybe something bad will happen tomorrow -- maybe somebody won't like my egg bake!"
We had our roof replaced in 2013 and so the leaky spot should still be under warranty. I'm hopeful that they'll even handle the inside damage since their roof didn't perform as advertised, but we'll see. And I am grateful beyond words for my kids' safety. Our van is uglier than it was, but when we were van shopping in the fall I specifically sought out a van that came pre-uglified. There's no point paying extra for an undented vehicle if you're sending it to a high school parking lot every day.
Maybe the next time I'm having a stressed-out evening I can remember: the odds are excellent that I am worrying about the wrong thing anyway. I cannot add a single hair to my head by worrying, somebody wise once said. And yet I still worry like it's my job. Hm.