Don’t Worry So Much

I am a lifelong, born worrier from a long line of worriers, on both sides of the family. I think I worried excessively about when my next diaper change would be. “What if something bad happens?” could have been our family crest. Subtitled: “What will people think?” Now my own crest says, “Don’t worry so much.”

I  was taught (like many of us Boomers) to be fearful of others’ judgements. Fitting in, being accepted, was paramount, and to be fair, that’s a normal characteristic of youth. Standing out from your crowd was not a safe position. It doesn’t have to stay that way though. Fashion is fun, self-expression is freeing and joyful. Perhaps we’ll address the more serious worries in another post, but style should be fun.

It wasn’t until my 50’s that I became more fearless in fashion. I missed a couple of great decades when I could have been experimenting like crazy, but it’s not too late! I could’ve been wearing this (not to the office), but I was too timid to express myself:

I do admire the Iris Apfels of the world, who dress in riotous color and patterns. That’s not me, but I love to see it. I’m not comfortable in a costume-y outfit, like head-to-toe vintage for example. It draws more attention than I feel happy with. But a vintage maxi skirt with modern top (like here) is right up my style alley.

If worry starts to creep in, here are some of the reminders I give myself:

1. People mostly don’t notice. My own husband couldn’t tell you what I’m wearing right now if he closed his eyes. We are much more concerned about our own appearance than others are.

2. Don’t give much thought to what they are thinking anyway. Approval seeking (you’re OK, I’m not OK) is at the heart of much worry.

3. Be yourself, and one of the advantages of being over 50 is we know what that means. It means, for one, don’t worry so much.

Pieces like these do express who I am now, and I wear them happily:

Be as bold as you like, and stay fabulous,

 

 

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patti

31 Comments

  1. My mother was (and is) a very anxious person, but she did manage to ingrain in me to not care what other people think. It was hard to do back then when I was a kid and I just wanted to fit in and found it impossible. Now I don’t even try, and I’m much happier.

  2. We must be from the same family tree! I’m not a boomer but was raised pretty much the same way. I was very body conscious when I was young though, and just saw flaws I wanted to hide. I suspect the things I wish I had worn then would not have appealed to me anyhow. I like your current motto! In some ways, how outrageously one is dressed is a matter of comparison to the others around you and there isn’t really an absolute standard for what is crazy clothing or unsuitable clothing. You might be normal for your social group but stand out at the grocery store. Or the other way around.

    • true – our environments make a big impact on how “crazy” we dress! thanks for reading, xo.

  3. Great wisdom about both fashion and life. Leaving the worry behind is difficult but not impossible. May sound polly-anna-ish but investigating the bright side (or going towards it) has helped banish the worry somewhat. And usually the worst the could happen is never going to.

    • The worst that could happen – that’s a great therapy technique! If we can handle the “worst”, which doesn’t often happen, we’re OK.

  4. I have loved reading every comment here.
    There are some spot-on observations.
    You are right Patti!
    We should try to worry less.
    I used to be a HUGE worry-wort, but now I try to be proactive.
    If I can fix it, I give it my best shot.
    If it is out of my power then I try to put it out of my mind.
    As for fashion…it is NEVER too late, you are so right!
    Living for the moment (as Suzanne said) is the best advice.
    Life is so short, each day is a gift.
    XXX

    • Being proactive is a wonderful fix for worry – and also knowing when it’s out of my control! (stock market, weather, and more : > ). xo

  5. I’ve found that people often only notice you in public if they are afraid you’ll hurt them or ask for money. For me the feeling of “normal” is a very slidey thing, yellow tights that made me feel freakish one year feel boring the next. My tolerance for attention works in a similar way. Overall, it’s absolutely true – it’s never too late! There are no mistakes. I’m glad you’re having fun with style.

  6. I wear those Born boots every day! Love them. Don’t care what anyone thinks, either!

  7. I used to be a worrier—then I married my husband and he took over for the both of us. It’s a hard trait to kick—even about clothing and fashion. But you’re exactly right about the fact that no one really notices —at least everything. I think they notice the overall impression—either you look nice, crazy or sloppy—along those lines!
    So let’s be happy and wear happy & fun clothing!! jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

  8. I was just thinking about this myself, how I sort of prefer not to stand out too much. But I still don’t want to be the same as everyone else. Like you said, though, most people never notice, so what they hell!

  9. It’s always so much easier to tell someone “don’t worry so much” than it is to actually do it yourself.

    Living in the moment helps for me. That and not having any current personal or family health issues. Those are the worst for worry I find.

    I agree fashion can be whatever you want it to be, and hopefully it is fun.

    It is 100% true that people are more focused on themselves than anyone else. Unless it’s my Mom…Ha ha!

    bisous
    Suzanne

    • Your Mom is focusing on her kids, eh? I agree, health issues are a bear. Hope you are feeling well, xox

  10. You’re so right. Most people don’t even notice what we’re wearing so, as long as it makes us feel happy, why worry?
    Cats do rule the world! xxx

  11. Wise words. I used to worry intensely about what people thought of me until I realized that most people are more concerned with what people think of them. That takes off much of the pressure. And it’s joyful to express our individuality.

  12. Thanks, Tiina – very well said. We all do have enough on our plates without adding “fashion approval.”! xo

  13. Fashion should definitely be fun, and comfortable, and make you happy. I’ve been a worrier my whole life, but never about my clothes or looks. Quite the contrary, as a young fashion student I was experimenting with all sorts if crazy outfits (pink fake fur, see-through neon green shirts and really short skirts come to mind…) But I also found some of this experimenting a bit contrived, as in all fashion students were competing on who could put together the craziest outfit. These days I’m more interested in staying true to myself, feeling good in my clothes while looking presentable. But I don’t worry about what other people think of my outfits; that’s their problem. I have enough on my plate worrying about everything else in the world…

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