What’s Worth Worrying About

Aurel Schmidt, florid reveries,
Aurel Schmidt: Florid Reveries

The first three weeks of 2012 have been great. I’ve been fortunate to have had old friends visiting the city, taken on a few projects at work, and was able to not only  get to Carsten Höller: Experience at The New Museum  before it ended, but also snagged a ticket to Coachella 2012.

However, the  inevitable stress has started to build up again what with some bad family news, writing assignments piling up for Contently, and realizing that trying to fund the trip to Coachella means I’m living off of rice and beans for three months. I know the worst thing to do is panic and worry, since everything will turn out right in the end. One of my favorite blogs, Lists of Note, posted a letter from F. Scott Fitzgerald to his 11-year-old daughter Scottie written in 1933. The letter contains a list of things to worry about, not worry about, and simply think about.

Things to worry about:

Worry about courage
Worry about cleanliness
Worry about efficiency
Worry about horsemanship

Things not to worry about:

Don’t worry about popular opinion
Don’t worry about dolls
Don’t worry about the past
Don’t worry about the future
Don’t worry about growing up
Don’t worry about anybody getting ahead of you
Don’t worry about triumph
Don’t worry about failure unless it comes through your own fault
Don’t worry about mosquitoes
Don’t worry about flies
Don’t worry about insects in general
Don’t worry about parents
Don’t worry about boys
Don’t worry about disappointments
Don’t worry about pleasures
Don’t worry about satisfactions

Things to think about:

What am I really aiming at?
How good am I really in comparison to my contemporaries in regard to:

(a) Scholarship
(b) Do I really understand about people and am I able to get along with them?
(c) Am I trying to make my body a useful instrument or am I neglecting it?

With dearest love,



(Source: F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Life in Letters)

If I had to note anything, it’s the fact that courage and efficiency are both worthwhile things to worry about. Courage will definitely be handy when I’m writing overdue letters to family while eating rice and beans. Efficiency will be required trying to tackle all my projects and plan ahead. What are you going to worry about/not worry about from this list?

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