Back in my previous life as a producer of TV commercials, part of my job was to anticipate any potential disasters that could occur on the day of the shoot and be prepared with a solution. As a natural worrier, I was really quite good at this. I spent much of my life imagining the disaster ahead, so getting paid for it was a plus. I don’t think of my attitude as pessimistic, I think of it as preventative. You see, from the earliest days as a producer I learned if I was prepared for it, it didn’t happen. It was almost a game. Had I thought of absolutely everything that could go wrong? Yes, plus some. Did I have a solution? Yes. Did anything I’d planned for go wrong? No.

Sometimes OTHER things went wrong that I hadn’t considered. But it was usually something we managed to fix on the fly, with no real damage. So why didn’t the really scary stuff happen? Because I had imagined the worst and was prepared. I’m sure of it.

Following this “Worry about it, have a plan, and it definitely won’t happen” rationale, I will present a few of the things I fear:

  1. Stepsons will finish college (or not), be unable to find employment, will return home to live on my couch watching TV too loudly for the rest of my natural life. In the end, I will die in the living room and they will simply step over me (if I’m lucky) for the next few months until neighbors complain about the smell. (A little extreme, but you get the drift.)
  2. At least one of my stepsons will make me a grandmother in the next 5-10 years. (In which case #1 now includes a daughter-in-law and baby.)
  3. I will never have enough savings to retire, and instead will be the oldest marketing director on record in an office where the average age is 30. I will be referred to with alarming frequency as “Ann-tique.”
  4. Barbra Streisand will move next door to me.
  5. I will never be 100% pain free again. No neck pain, carpal tunnel, back ache or muscle spasms. (Sometimes, I swear, my hair hurts.)
  6. My husband will leave me for his girlfriend, Scarlett Johansson.
  7. My husband will NOT leave me for his girlfriend, Scarlett Johansson.
  8. I will be at a fancy hotel walking through the lobby and a pair of underwear will fall out of my pant leg. (Oh, wait. That DID happen. At the Ritz.)
  9. That more and more, people will ask who is the eldest – my brother or me. (For the record, he’s 4 years older.)
  10. Did I mention that grandmother thing? Yeah. That is TERRIFYING.

Don’t get me wrong. I worry about bigger issues than these. Family, friends, terrorists, economy, the government… But I can’t control (or try to control) absolutely everything, no matter how much I’d like to.

So from here on out, you people are on your own.

Except for family and friends. You still scare me.

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