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"What are your concerns today? Did you have a question about your child’s development that is kind of eating you up on the inside? Is there something practical, like the bus ride your first grader is taking to the museum... is that bus driver going to drive safely? Do you have a lingering question about your life—an old relationship—that keeps swimming in the back of your head? Worries are swirling around you... the world is spinning out of control, as we know so well, and we work every day to find our place in it. We want our little spot in the world, our nest, to be safe and calm and friendly and not too anxious.

I have a long history of worry in my family. I come by my worry honestly. I was carefully taught to put others’ needs first and to be sure to look good, to do the right thing, say the right thing and be the one who stays to clean up. I worry about things that I cannot do anything about and I worry about things that I have already done and I worry about how things are going to go today, from the most trivial to the big, big things. Despite my mother’s beautifully embroidered quote on her bedroom wall:

God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.

—Reinhold Niebuhr

I still work each day to talk myself down from the most trivial worries. I even worry that when my mom hears this show it will make her worry that she has taught me how to worry so well. But it comes from way far back, Mom, you’re just the most recent in a long line. Please don’t worry about that. We laugh, ha ha ha ha, and we go on.... worrying deep into the dark early morning hours."

—Nanci Olesen
from NOW YOU MOMbo, Worry

Fear and Other Uninvited Guests: Tackling the Anxiety, Fear, and Shame That Keeps Us From Optimal Living and Loving by Harriet Lerner, Ph.D., Harper Collins Publishers

I have interviewed Harriet three times over the course of the last ten years and we have always had great conversations. When she wrote The Mother Dance, (another highly recommended book) we were featured together on a show at KFAI (Minneapolis, MN) that was called "The Family Day Care Show."

This book came along at just the moment that I was starting to get my guests organized for the WORRY Show. I highly recommend it. From the book jacket:

"No one signs up for anxiety, fear, and shame, but we can’t avoid them either. As we learn to respond to these three key emotions in new ways, we can live more fully in the present and move into the future with courage, clarity, humor, and hope. Fear and Other Uninvited Guests shows us how.

The Shelter of Each Other: Rebuilding our Families by Mary Pipher, Ph.D., Ballantine Books
Mary Pipher is a peer of Harriet Lerner, and I have been lucky enough to interview Mary several times. When I think of the subject of WORRY, I think of the changes that have occurred in the American family in the last century, causing us to become a very anxious society. Mary Pipher is the one who laid this concept out for me in The Shelter of Each Other, and I came to understand what the American family is up against in terms of how quickly our culture moves and how disengaged we often are from our children. I suggest this book as a resource for the Worry Show because reading it provides understanding of "where we are" and WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT!!

Here’s something that has no intellectual value but I thought was fun to include:

The Child Anxiety Network:
Anxiety disorders are one of the primary mental health problems affecting children and adolescents today. Given the wide range of stressors associated with growing up, it is important that our children have appropriate skills for coping with anxiety and other difficult emotions.

The Child Anxiety Network is designed to provide thorough, user-friendly information about child anxiety. It is also designed to provide direction for those who are not sure where to turn when they think their child or a child they know may need professional help to cope with anxiety.


"Worries go down better with soup than without."
—Jewish Proverb

"Okay, here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to try not to make worry my hobby. I’m going to try not to borrow trouble. I like to keep abreast of a lot of environmental news. I’m going to still read up on my main concerns: global warming, extinction of plant and animal species, the pollution of the oceans, but I’m going to try to put my worries into action more by participating in positive changes, locally and globally. And what if I continue to keep myself in good mental and physical shape, by eating well, getting enough sleep and exercising? I might be prone to worry less. I would like to teach my children to communicate well with each other, with me and with their own feelings. I try to work on this everyday. I’d like them to be in touch with themselves from the get go. How am I doing? I want to wake my son up when I check on him at night: Hey buddy, how did I do with your childhood? He’s fourteen and onto a whole new tangent in his life. What are his worries? I guess that’s what I can do now. I need to share with you the tools of worry management, commiserate with you about how many worries there are to worry, and I need to keep trying to worry less."

—Nanci Olesen "Worry,"

1) Introduction: Nanci Olesen

2) interview with Harriet Lerner, author of Fear and Other Uninvited Guests

3) Julia Jergensen Edelman and Nanci Olesen talk about their FEARS

4) "When I’m Sleeping"
original song by Amy Finch, for MOMbo

5) comments about Worry: Nanci Olesen
"Telling Fred" commentary by Maria Rubinstein

"Powderhorn Mambo" by Steve Sabone Sandberg

"Angel on my Shoulder" by Madeline Hart, True Hart

"When I’m Sleeping"
original song by Amy Finch, for MOMbo

all music used by permission of the artists/ all rights reserved / © 2005 MOMbo, Inc.






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