Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Worry Dolls

When I was in high school, my mom got me a set of these little hand-sewn "worry dolls." They're tiny dolls that you place under your pillow each night. You tell each one a specific worry, and they're supposed to worry for you while you sleep, so you don't have to.

They never liked to stay under my pillow in high school; those feisty dolls were always jumping backwards under the bed, or spreading out over my full-sized mattress like they owned the place. I don't know what happened to them when I moved to college. Apparently when I decided to leave town, they packed up too.

A few weeks ago, I went to visit one of my college BFFs in Tulsa for her baby shower, and I stopped at my parents' house on the way up. My mom presented me with a set of worry dolls and, assuming they were the same ones I'd had in high school, I asked where she'd found them — I hadn't seen them in years! And she told me that she got them in Honduras during a recent cruise. But they were exactly as I remembered them, down to the beautiful dress designs and hand-stitched faces.

(I'm sure the stitch lines are intended to be their eyes, but I like to think of them as eyebrows, to give them unique facial expressions.)

I don't know that I believe they actually work. But the idea is comforting to me.

It's no longer enough to hear that good things are coming. That something is going to happen soon. Soon is not enough anymore. Soon is no longer comforting.

So for the past week, I've placed two worry dolls under my pillow at night.

One for Matt's job search. And one for my little business.

And they've stayed there all night. Maybe this time they'll do their jobs. And perhaps be better behaved.


  1. I had worry dolls as a child too - I was a constant worrier (some things never change haha). I think the idea of telling your worries and displacing them in a physical way is helpful. I'll be thinking of you!

  2. My Mom got me some once when she went on a trip to Oklahoma. I forgot about them. Thanks for reminding me.

  3. I feel like I've seen these before, but didn't know the story of the worry dolls. They are so beautiful! I hope they work for you. :)

  4. I definitely had worry dolls as a kid too, they were really fun!

  5. I had those and loved them! I hope they work for you!

  6. Growing up, my father had worry beads and a worry stone that he got on business trips. I'm kind of bummed he never brought me dolls home!

  7. I've never heard of this before, but I kind of love the idea. It's actually a lot like what we're supposed to do with God: give him our worries so he can worry for us! I need to do a better job not keeping all my worries to myself.

    1. Yeah! Though, does that then make the dolls idols? Because it's not like I don't complain to God an equal amount, if not more. :)

  8. How interesting! I'd never heard of worry dolls before, but I love the concept!

  9. As much as I worry, I don't recall ever hearing/seeing any worry dolls. I think it's a great idea and I hope they work for you.

  10. Ah! I had worry dolls when I was in middle school - both my mom and grandmother got me the same ones. They were smaller than pennies, so I imagine my dog must've ate them. Now you've made me oddly nostalgic for them!

  11. Whoa, really small dolls! I probably would have lost them in a heartbeat. These are maybe an inch and a half tall?