I'm a Worrier
Most people might consider me to be fairly ‘chill’ or easy-going, but I am a worrier. I worry about many things, especially when we travel.
On our trip to the Great Lakes, I worried a lot about Annie. She just seemed off her game the first week. When we reached Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore on Lake Michigan, she made it half way across the beach and just stopped, laying down on the sand. Over several days, she scratched like she has never done before—so much so that we stopped at a Tractor Supply Company store near Munising, MI to buy more tick and flea treatment (even though she had been treated a few days before). She was drinking a lot of water and panting during those days as well. Due to her behavior, we didn’t take her on any major hikes this trip. After a week or so like this, she returned to her normal, royal self. Maybe she was just missing home and decided to go on strike.
In the preparation I did for this trip, which wasn’t much and was another cause of anxiety, I had read a couple remarks about filling your fuel tank before leaving the eastern edge of the Michigan Upper Peninsula headed west. The posts cautioned about the lack of fuel stations. So, of course, I fixated on the fuel gauge and tried not to let the needle go below half full. This was, it turned out, ridiculous. There was always a gas station to be found as long as we were willing to pay the price. Maybe those who had written about such things only got 5 mpg in fuel efficiency compared to our 17 mpg.
Camped somewhere in the forests of Wisconsin I worried that the banjo-playing young man with a large chained dog, whose camp we used for a U-turn, would walk through the woods and find us while we slept. I’m not sure if I was concerned what harm he might do to us or if he would just play his banjo all night. And then there was the thought that a tree could fall across the road during the night, blocking our escape. (We now carry a saw larger than the one on my Swiss Army knife).
I have shared here, and in my books, how I stress over our battery power while traveling. I once resorted to plugging into an electrical outlet of a closed hospital while traveling through the Midwest. But just as much, on our first couple big trips I worried about our headlights. Moisture accumulating in the fixture was a major problem and the bulbs would stop working and then come back on a day or two later. We spent a major part of our time in Wyoming and Utah with one dim light and no brights! Being stopped by a friendly Utah Highway Patrolman did nothing to ease my concerns about the headlight situation and I knew it wasn’t practical to think we would never have to drive in the dark. Finally, before this last trip, I was able to remedy this chronic fear by replacing the entire light fixture on both the passenger and driver’s side. I did both for a fraction of what a dealer had quoted me for doing just one and it brought incredible peace of mind. We could now drive at night and actually see the road!
History has shown me that 90% of what I worry about never comes to fruition. Now, is that because my level of concern caused me to more cautious and seek out solutions? Or is it just the way things typically go?
I worry that I may never know for sure.