By Carrie Grotz

I think I was born a worrier. I used to worry about everything and anything, especially about things out of my control: things that I thought would happen and especially the worry about what others thought about me. I’ve since learned that worry was a big waste of time and caused me low self-esteem and self-confidence.

As the years went on, things happened that broke my heart. I lost my grandmother who I was very close to. I loved my mother more than anything in the world and she was diagnosed with cancer when she was 50 and I watched her battle her disease for the next 10 years. The man who I thought I was going to marry broke up with me and married his next girlfriend eventually starting a family with her. The pain that I felt during these times was worse than all of the scenarios I worried about; however, the last ten years of my mother’s life where I watched her live so graciously, truly changed my world.

She had tremendous faith. She woke up every day, got out of bed, went to work and conducted her life as best and has happy as she could. After she passed I made the decision to be like her. I no longer wanted to be so unhappy and fearful.

One of the biggest fears I forced myself to face after she passed was when I decided to go tandem skydiving: I faced it! The moment they opened the hatch of the plane, I swung my legs outside and we were pushed out, changed me forever. From this point on, every fear I had, I lived through and I became better because of it.

I believe in a power greater than me and no matter what, good or bad, I will be ok. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in September but I am grateful for everything in my life that brought me to the day I found out as I have never been mentally stronger or healthier. I can say I have no fear. I am Stage 1 and curable; I’ve had surgery and I am fine; I may need chemo and I’ll be fine; I will need radiation and I will be fine.

I do understand I am not superhuman and there will be things that will hurt, scare or cause me to worry. I will work every day to strive for a grateful heart. I can clearly say now that worry is a waste of my time and happiness is a choice. I choose to be happy.


Carrie Grotz is the Executive Assistant to Managing Partner Paul Peterson at Wiss & Company. If you would like to speak with her, you may reach her at 973.994.9400 or at


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