I keep it to myself to such an extent that the person who's known me longer than anyone else - my dear old mother - doesn't know that I do it - in fact only yesterday in a phone conversation across the thousands of miles that separate us these days, she assured me that she KNOWS that I don't do it, unlike most of my siblings.
What is this life-shortening habit- nay addiction - of mine? Could it be a certain white powder which tends to dissolve the septum of its users? Perhaps a light brown substance burned upon a spoon into a liquid form and injected tin order to take away the cares of the world? Might it be some innocent-looking pills with a tiny 'e' or other symbol imprinted upon them? Prescription painkillers? Or - ah most likely, it's the commonest addiction of all: liquid depressants, otherwise known as alcohol. Nope: none of the above.
Well...my name is Liam, and I'm a...a...worrier. And I'm worried about worrying too much. Doh!
I worry about everything - or at least it feels that way on bad days, when I've slept badly or woken too early, and have had too much time to think as I lie in bed waiting for the world to join me. I worry about my health, about work that I need to do to the house, about money (specifically: the lack of it), about my family, the absolute nightmare of a car that I bought earlier in the year (maybe it will get so bad that I can write a book about it?), the state of our global environment and the legacy that we're leaving for our grandchildren, and so on. These are big things; things which, even if I sometimes worry about needlessly, are worthy of attention.
However, I also worry about other, slightly less important stuff:
* Is the toenail on my right big toe going to go that funny colour again, now that it's summer and I'm mostly wearing sandals (I also wear clothes: fear not)?
* Do other people notice that I have almost no hairs left below each knee?
* If so, is it something that they laugh about behind my back?
* Have my ear hairs grown long enough to be noticeable, and therefore require painful removal?
* Does my (large) posterior look even bigger in these shorts?
Lately, I have also been devoting a reasonable amount of time towards worrying about my forthcoming book. Although I wrote the book as the result of a wish to leave my children something tangible from which to remember me (hopefully without a need to do so for many, many years yet!), the process of publishing the work has slowly but surely awoken my competitive spirit, and I find myself worrying about whether people will like it enough to buy it. Suddenly, surprisingly, I find myself very much wanting people (other than my family) to like the book. I very much want people to enjoy it, most of all - and I worry about whether or not I've done a good enough job in order for that to happen.
I haven't heard from the publisher for a week, and I'm worrying about that now, too. Is everything OK? If I contact them, will I just sound like an over-anxious parent enquiring with the school about their child's lunchtime activities? If I don't, will it seem like I don't care enough?
Ohhhh...it's all so worrying...maybe I'll try to kick the habit some other time...yep, that's right: I'll try tomorrow.