By: Mary Fran Bontempo
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Earthquakes. Tsunamis. Floods. Famines. Pandemics. It smacks of apocalyptic predictions, but recently, it’s been actual headline news. And those are just the “natural” disasters. Add to them the plunging stock market, global economic meltdown and terroristic mayhem, and it can give a gal a headache.

Now, as if that’s not enough, I have to worry about the possibility of a school bus crashing down on my head.

Well, it’s not really a school bus, it’s just the size of one. I’m writing this at 12:50 AM Saturday morning, half way between the hours of 11 PM the night of Friday, September 23rd and 3 AM Saturday morning, September 24th, which is the approximate window provided by NASA as the time when a giant six-ton satellite will crash down to earth, showering some part of the planet with debris.

At first, North America appeared to be out of the debris-zone, which I’m sure gave the rest of the world another reason to be ticked off at us Americans. (Sure, send some six ton hunk of metal up into space but don’t think too much about where it’s going to come down; with any luck, it’ll land in some desert in Asia or something. Somehow I don’t imagine we’ll score any points with the Arab world if we start dumping satellite parts on them.) But as of this moment, the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS for short) has contracted a case of ADHD and decided to change course on a whim, so no place is safe. And the way things have been going around here lately, I’m just assuming it’s going to fall directly on my head.

Frankly, I’m not so sure that’s a bad thing. The slow, tortuous buffeting that life has been delivering to many of us of late is pretty damn exhausting. I’m all for positive thinking and everything, but this starting every day at the bottom of the mountain pushing a boulder uphill is getting old. Even when nothing awful is happening in my neck of the universe, I’m pretty sure something really crappy is just around the corner, encouraging a thriving case of paranoia and anxiety. My head just isn’t big enough for all of this worry.

So I’m thinking that if the end is in any way near, I want it to be quick. Let’s just get it over with. But at the same time, I’d like it to be spectacular. I want to make a statement.

Remember the T. S. Eliot poem “The Hollow Men?” The last four lines are downright creepy:

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but with a whimper.

Geez. What a lousy ending. I don’t want to go out with a whimper. I spend enough time whimpering as it is. So if it’s time to go, I’d rather have the bang, thank you very much. At least that way people will have something to talk about.

But if I somehow manage to miss this latest calamity, I think a change of attitude is in order. From now on, I’m going to stop anticipating the next disaster, natural or otherwise, and start looking forward to dessert. Or jewelry. Or our next vacation to Disney World. No, we don’t have one scheduled, but it’s my favorite place on the planet and just thinking about Cinderella’s castle makes me smile, as does dessert and jewelry and any number of other things I’ve given way too little thought to lately.

Hmmm…if it’s that easy to remove the worry in my head and replace it with something fun, maybe I’m not ready to be taken out by a flying school bus after all.

What’s your solution to non-stop worry? Click “comments” below and share!