I went off-leash tonight. My apologies to those who worried about me or tried to reach me. I had permission to go to dinner, but I was pronounced “in the doghouse” when I returned. (Responsible adults aren’t supposed to leave their cell-phones at home, or spend three hours getting dinner.)
The evening didn’t start well. A favorite waterfront restaurant had posted they were closed for a private party until 8pm. I decided to wait and read on a bench outside, but the hostess regretfully turned me away at 8 saying that they didn’t know when the party was going to end.
Disappointed and cold, I took my book to another Italian restaurant on that side of town. They offered me a table immediately, and I feasted on pasta, a glass of wine, and a decadent chocolate dessert, staying well after closing time, and finishing my book in peace, and warmth.
It was a good book — Madeleine Albright’s The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs, and it expanded on a number of themes that inspired me in her speech at a conference earlier this year.
I dog-eared lots of pages, but one personal reflection stuck in my mind: “I’m an optimist, who worries alot.” I can relate to that. There are times when I worry what middle- and old-age have in store for me. I worry about problems at work. I worry about what kind of planet my daughter is going to grow up in. I worry whether I’m equipping her to be “part of the solution, and not part of the problem.”
But then I remember my great-grandmother, notorious for worrying, so much so that we kept secrets from her so she wouldn’t worry. So I try to not worry, but offer my worries up in prayer, and let Someone who can do more than I ever could, worry about it instead.
And occasionally I go off-leash. Turn off the news. Lose myself in a good meal and a good book. And find comfort in the company of other optimists who worry alot.