I’m not much of a worrier. I keep a lid on it. The key is to begin triage at two in the morning.

You can start anywhere. For instance, you can remember that you need to transplant certain shrubs before winter sets in—preferably first thing in the morning. Give that a few minutes, mentally charting out what to dig up and where to put it, and from there you can move on to items of urgent home repair, such as water damage, rot, or clogged gutters. Next you can review ongoing frets about family members, friends, and other loved ones. These are unlikely to have solutions but there is no point wasting perfectly good wakefulness by not wallowing in pointless worry. Besides, from there it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump to extinction, Republicans, and other matters of dire planetary consequence.

By this time in the protocol you should have pulled out every available loose thread of anxiety and dejection and stomped it into felt, and then you move on to the semi-dream state in which you can pull it apart again into manageable wads that take discrete shapes and can only be solved by finding certain combinations of letters such as one might (possibly) have been working on for hours the previous day with the New York Times Spelling Bee. This will all make sense to you at the time, and as you ease back into full wakefulness in the morning, you have the comforting notion that all will be sorted out as long as you remember what the right letters were.

This particular version of serenity evaporates before you get to your toothbrush.

On the other hand, it is sometimes replaced by a recognition that some things are more worrisome at two a.m. than they are six hours later. This is good!

Transplanting, for instance. Clearly this is the right time of year for such activity, and clearly there are perennials out there that are sulking in their current positions and would benefit from being moved to a more congenial spot. What was so complicated about this in the middle of the night? Something about…where you should start? Start anywhere! This will be fun! The world is your aster!

So go out with your shovel and head straight for the Number One Item most in need of a new home, a stunning gold azalea you dropped a not-insignificant amount of cash on two years ago, and which is now a bleak stick sculpture with one pathetic leaf on it like the banner on the mast of a sinking ship. Dig. Dug. Done! And you know just where it should go. You haul its sad carcass to the new location. Problem: there’s really no place to put it until you dig up the pulmonaria that is not thriving there.

So you stick the azalea in a bucket of water and go find a place to put the pulmonaria, but the best spot is where the hardy fuchsias weren’t doing well, so you have to dig the fuchsias up and move them around to the south side. Which is jammed with bear’s breeches that have really got to be whacked back if anything else is going to go in there.

That takes a shovel and a mattock and you’re pretty sure it’s all going to bounce right back next spring because the roots are something else, but you do have a nice chunk that could be transplanted, so you walk around the house with it, twice, and finally settle on a shady spot that would work if you took out the coreopsis that is no longer doing so well now that the snowbell tree has grown up. Which should go…where?

At this point you have about ten holes dug and buckets of struggling plants and another bucket of indecision, and maybe it will all become clear tomorrow, although none of this would have been necessary if certain things hadn’t been fatally fried by that heat dome event brought on by irreversible climate change.

But not to worry. You’ve got all night to think about that.