Daily prompt: A hypothetical too far

Daily Prompt
Remember this prompt, when your home was on fire and you got to save five items? That means you left a lot of stuff behind. What are the things you wish you could have taken, but had to leave behind?

Having reached the venerable age of 71, I have now almost mastered the art of closing my mind to futile worrying – ie worrying about things that might never happen, and those things that no efforts of mine are going to change.

I am not in denial. I know they’re there. If you have two older sisters, a stepson, a son, three daughters, 10 grandchildren, limited finances AND you live in a country whose leader is a raving nutcase, there will always be something to worry about. In fact I can think of five things off the top of my head that could reduce me to pulp right this minute – but what use would I be to anyone then? And what a thoroughly miserable life I’d lead! So instead, I will shove them into my purpose-built mental cupboard, lock the door and sally forth for a swim.

It hasn’t been easy, this business of training my wayward mind to obey instructions. It LOVES anxiety: thrived on it for years. Scuttled around identifying potential disasters and teasing them out in minutest detail, each one more paralysing than the last. But experience taught me that most of them didn’t happen, the ones that did, I mostly coped with, and the ones I didn’t cope with too well, time took care of despite my failings.

So faced with the undeniable fact that I have less time in front of me than behind, I’ve finally embraced the position my father was so keen to teach me many years ago: Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Or to put it another way:

Happy the man, and happy he alone,
He who can call today his own:
He who, secure within, can say,
Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today.


Which brings me (at last!) to today’s prompt. This isn’t a subject I choose to think about. Why plunge myself into the depths of melancholy by contemplating the things of sentimental value I’d lose in the (hypothetical) event of my unit being gutted? Or, indeed, why tease myself with the euphoric fantasy of disposing in one fell swoop of all the ‘stuff’ I don’t need, and haven’t yet got around to chucking out?


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11 Responses to Daily prompt: A hypothetical too far

  1. If I lost it all in a fire, I would have to take it as a sign- it’s time to travel.

  2. Martha Kennedy says:


  3. bkpyett says:

    Love the poem by Dryden, so wise!

  4. Fran Macilvey says:

    Thanks so much for this post, Helen. Worrying seems almost to be fashionable, these days, and I am entirely relieved to discover that you are not a worrier any more. Me neither! Let’s just enjoy as much of life while we can! 🙂 xxxxx

  5. Alfred E. Newman had it right. “What? Me worry?”

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