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Anticipation vs. Reality

March 30, 2012

Posted by Molly Wilson – Tonic Philadelphia, US

I am in the process of learning that the anticipation of something is often far worse than the reality. This is a big lesson for me, as I am a chronic worrier. I worry about big things like global warming.  I worry about small things, like if I touch the door handle in the office bathroom will I catch pink eye. Yet, recently I have found that all this worrying really does me no good and (for the most part) is unwarranted.

I recently returned to work after being on maternity leave, which was glorious, as I spent three months devoted to my deliciously adorable baby girl. Yet, as my re-entry into work drew closer, I found myself planning a sit-in in my very own living room. How was I going to leave my daughter every morning? How was I going to manage life, motherhood, and working? How was I going to find enough clothes that fit for the first few weeks? It started to consume every inch of my being, and each day the worry grew stronger.

My first day back I got up in the morning, put on the outfit I had carefully selected a few days before, kissed my daughter good-bye and hopped on the train to work. Fast forward thirteen hours, and after putting my daughter to bed, I found myself thinking- what a great day I just had.

This is not to say that the anticipation of pink eye is worse than the reality or that I have figured out how to balance life, work and motherhood, but I do look back and wish I hadn’t spent so much time worrying about going back to work and spent that energy just enjoying my time at home. While I can’t do anything about that, I will certainly pause before I start worrying about small things… like whether or not my colleagues are going to think I am losing it for worrying about touching the bathroom door handle.