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One of the major challenges in my life since getting a job has been coming up with new things to worry about. I realized that worry was necessary to my life the last time I visited The Girlfriend, when it became clear that in the absence of anything concrete to worry about, I began to experience full-fledged existential angst, which is not very compatible with a pleasant Sunday brunch.

In a major setback, this morning two worries — whether my direct deposit had been changed to my new bank and whether the laundry service was going to actually pick up my 45 pounds of dirty laundry — were solved when I made the mistake of actually inquiring about the issues and having my questions answered. Right now I’m really scraping the bottom of the barrel, as the best I can come up with are as follows:

  1. When I’m going to get my deposit back from my old landlord
  2. How to schedule my meals so that I get through the pasta sauce I made this weekend (artichoke-heart-based and not too great, sadly) and the leftover pizza from last week as quickly as possible while also avoiding pizza overload (there’s a meeting at lunch time tomorrow, featuring pizza)

Larger issues are the looming task of my Agamben translation and the question of whether I’m going to get an interview for AAR, but it’s still too early to do any serious worrying about the latter and the former will take care of itself by means of the “slow and steady wins the race” approach. Then there’s the general worry about conference papers and proposals still to write, but they’re factored into my “time management” already. All the other main candidates for worry are so vague that they would likely give way to existential angst — which only becomes a serious issue when I visit The Girlfriend again on Friday. Hopefully something will come up before then.


October 26, 2009 - Posted by | life of the mind


  1. I really, really couldn’t identify more. Especially: “I made the mistake of actually inquiring about the issues and having my questions answered.” Even better, your two remaining worries are actually identical to my current concerns.

    Comment by RobDP | October 26, 2009

  2. i’m worries ridden, but can’t name them cz they are too personal
    and i worry about my close others more than myself which i find is not very normal and the people which make me be worried about them find it annoying

    Comment by read | October 26, 2009

  3. The laundry keeps not being picked up, which makes me extremely anxious! SCORE.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | October 26, 2009

  4. This sort of logic is what leads to having children.

    Comment by Anthony Paul Smith | October 26, 2009

  5. Wow. I will bring that up the next time The Girlfriend mentions this.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | October 26, 2009

  6. When I wan adolescent and beset by much existential angst (as opposed to now, when I am only beset by some e.a.), my father told me that having me and my sister was what finally rid of such angst for good.

    Comment by transportinburma | October 26, 2009

  7. could you turn the artichoke pasta sauce into a pizza sauce? kill two birds with one stone?

    Comment by dave | October 26, 2009

  8. Try getting a crick in your neck.

    Comment by ben | October 26, 2009

  9. UPDATE: The laundry service did ultimately pick up my stuff. My anxiety over that was therefore, typically enough, useless, but it did get me through the day and kept me in a suitably foul mood.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | October 26, 2009

  10. Incidentally: 45 pounds of laundry? Isn’t that rather a lot?

    Comment by ben | October 27, 2009

  11. What ben said. Wash & Fold (where you bring your clothes to the laundry, not this fancypants pick-up service) around here typically runs $1-$1.25/lb, I believe.

    Comment by transportinburma | October 27, 2009

  12. That’s hilarious. I hadn’t made the connection between the lack of concrete things to worry about and general existential stupor, though. Maybe next time I find myself there, I’ll try to think of how I’m going to clean my dirty laundry or something.

    Comment by warbler | October 28, 2009

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