What do YOU worry about?
How does life change once Permanent Residency is granted? Mr O is the best placed person to write about this and maybe after we move he will – right at the moment we are in a whirlwind!
As Mr O’s wife, I can make a few observations.
“Nothing more to worry about” is one statement Mr O made. This puts Mr O and Mrs O in very different places as far as worry is concerned. I panic if the gas bill is a day overdue. Of course, to a man who slept in a staircase in India and had to wake up before anyone stepped on him, the gas bill being a day overdue is hardly worth worrying about.
“Oh shit”, I cried on the train into the city the other night.
“What?” Mr O asked.
“Did I lock the car?”
“You’d give a person a heart attack,” he replied. I might add the car locks itself.
“That is not worth worrying about.”
To a man who was nearly beaten to death, who didn’t know where his children were for several years, it isn’t worth worrying about. He is right. What is an unlocked car compared with worrying about your children every day, not knowing if they were OK?
The one thing he does worry about is the kids doing well at school. He often says to them he missed the opportunity of a university education due to his father’s death: he wants them to have what he couldn’t have.
When Mr O says “nothing more to worry about” he is looking at life from a very different perspective to most of the readers of our journey. He now has a safe haven, a home for his children, a family life, a job and a career. He has not been late for work or taken a day off: even when I thought he was too sick to go to work, he went. He values this opportunity greatly. So in some respects, yes, he does worry about some of the normal things we all worry about: doing a good job, employment security, being on time.
Other things, like paying a bill on or before the due date, a broken statue or a torn jacket, he sees as nothing to worry about: not quite the same way I see them. I understand why: these are not life and death situations and Mr O has certainly seen enough of those in his time. Enough to know the difference between something life-threatening and something that is important but not worth having a panic attack over.
Which brings me to the question nagging at the back of my head. Do those if us raised in our nice and comparatively SAFE environments worry about far more than we really should? We talk about living each day as if it is our last, but we don’t, do we?
Mr O is right: all his past life threatening worries are over. Now he just has normal ones, just like the rest of us. He just handles them better than I do!
What do you worry about, that when you stop and think about it, you realise is not worth that panic?