What are you worried about right now?
A strangely illuminating question
Last month, a new tenant moved in to the apartment I lease out in Thailand. They were late in transferring the booking fee and the deposit, but paid up when prompted by the agent.
Six days ago, the first rent was due. Nothing came in. I informed the agent who said they’d remind them. Nothing.
Yesterday, I gave building management authorisation to cut off my tenant’s water supply. Still nothing.
But strangely, I’m not worried.
Worrying for nothing
Only a couple of months ago, I was consumed by worry when my former tenant was late in paying their rent. I prompted them. I invoked the fines stipulated in the contract. I couldn’t stop checking my banking app to see if the transfer had been made.
I worried they’d refuse to pay. I worried they wouldn’t pay their mounting electricity and water bills and I’d be left liable. I worried they’d suddenly move out and leave me with a vacant room.
I worried endlessly.
In the end, my former tenant paid up and sorted out their overdue utility bills. But they did announce they were moving out that month, and my room was left vacant as feared.
But it didn’t turn out to be the major disaster I had foretold. We simply arranged for the tenant to leave the keys with building management. My dad went to pick them up and check the room. We listed the apartment with building management who doubled as agent.
A month and a couple of viewings later, we found a new tenant. And that’s that.
You could say all that worry was for nothing.
What do you worry about?
My former tenant moving out and the world not falling apart showed me the futility of worry. And that’s one reason why I’m not worried this time around.
If the new tenant refuses to pay, we’ll simply take whatever measures necessary. Building management will know what to do. Worst-case scenario: we kick them out and the room stays vacant for a couple of months while we find a new tenant.
But there’s a bigger reason why I’m not worried about the overdue rent: my mind is elsewhere, preoccupied with other, more important things—our website and newsletter launch, my first trip to the UK in 8 years, my absent-minded dad driving across the country to go visit his family in a couple of days.
Matters far more important than a late rent payment when I already have a full-time income.
My partner jokes that I always find something to worry about, and he’s not wrong. My mind constantly fills with worries, with whatever matters most to me at that point in time.
Which leads to the question “What am I worried about right now?” being strangely illuminating. Asking yourself what you’re currently worried about can easily shed light on what matters most to you.
And if you find your answer ridiculous, that’s probably a sign that you’ve lost sight of what’s truly important, that you’re occupying your mind with things you’d be better off putting to one side, even forgetting.
To borrow my boss’ no-nonsense terminology, you’re probably giving too many fucks about things that are not worth giving a fuck about.
What do you think?
I’ve told you what I’m worried about. Now it’s your turn:
What are you worried about right now?
Send a reply, leave a comment, share this with someone who maybe worries a little too much.
Until next Friday… Stay thoughtful,
Photo by Jonathan Cosens Photography on Unsplash
I’m worried about almost everything in my life. I know it’s unhealthy but I just cannot stop thinking about them. Let me share one of my worries. I’m worried about when I need to talk to other people, teammates, a boss, or even my friends. I’m afraid of hurting others or they misunderstood me. I’m afraid that a good turns to a bad intention. So, I need to prepare what I will talk to others. Yes, I have a high anxiety which is unnecessary.(refer to Chris’ comment) I’m still dealing with myself everyday about what I’m worrying🥲 I’m reading a book “The handbook for highly sensitive person” which makes me slightly understand why I’m this kind of person. I just want people like me... so I’m always worried like this.
There's two sides to worrying, I suppose: worrying can cause unnecessary anxiety, surely, and it is also a sign that you are considering possible future scenarios so you can be prepared for them. Perhaps the reason that the things you worry about don't turn out to be that bad, is precisely because you have anticipated them so you aren't caught unawares.