Previously I wrote about my fear of driving a long distance to a meeting. It was primarily a fear of making left hand merges onto freeways because the torn ligaments on that side of my body are better, but still painful.
As is often the way, what we perceive to be a problem quite often turns out to be nothing of concern. I made all 5 left sided merges with only one truly painful response and I enjoyed the 5 hours in the car all by myself.
Alone! Out of house experience! Down time! Time to listen to my own music, to sing along without any accompanying comments; it was a new and different focus from the regular routine.
The weather, the desert blooming flowers and cloud formations were all absolutely fabulous to enjoy. The mountain pass was clear and displaying the still snow covered peaks to perfection; it was a lovely experience.
I think just calling the fears name was helpful in relieving and adjusting the experience.
I think now I have another accomplishment to notch onto my belt and that will reduce fear for the next endeavor.
Getting away and doing something different also gave me some new perspective. I could be visionary.
I wanted my partner to have some time away, so I carried his bike gear with me and he flew in Friday evening to do a bike ride in a new part of the State with his “Seattle to Portland” teammate (204 miles in one. Because the terrain was new, they ended up doing 115 miles, more than the 80 they had originally thought to accomplish. Both were so exhausted they could hardly eat dinner – they were truly physically worn out and happy for their experience.
Now my partner is a really good Woolly Mammoth hunter, but I would not say he is very good at Saber Tooth Tigers. Hunting for projects (he is an architect) in this economic situation has left him in the unknown terrain of a new prey. This makes for a heightened fear response.
The safety net was enough for six months of survival but that is now nearly to the limit of the resources. He knows he has lots of “green” and award winning notches on his belt, not to mention he made it through the last economic depression cycle, but the depth of this fear is surprising.
A long drive home through childhood turf and the slower Mountain Pass allows for the denial of reality just a bit longer, one remains in “escape”- flights of fancy mode.
I also spent time with my youngest daughter, who is just about to college graduation day and is job hunting. I was able to see all of her friends supporting her through encouragement and enthusiasm finding positions for her and making presentations of their lists. Almost all these friends will be leaving her and going on to graduate school or work experiences of their own. The unknown has become a debilitating time as she wants to spend every minute with her terrific friends and “Peter Pan” her way into adulthood.
The unknown is most frightening when one cannot venture the mind into the realms of the future.
The fear is so real it lashes out with mean slashes several times at her grounding element. She wants to hear nothing from me, “Do you think I am not applying for jobs M UH TH ER?”
And Dad grumbles in my ear, “No more money after June first.”
I have to listen to them separately as their collective FEAR is profound. My words of wisdom are this and it is the same to each one: You are a person who gets everything you want; I have no worry that when you figure out what your head and heart truly WANT, you will achieve that with creative flying colors and flags waving. You will also achieve this one step at a time, just like everyone else on this planet. Put on your shoes, tie up your laces and get going, I will be here cheering you forward, but I cannot do this for you.
Now I have to figure out how to get them to listen!
How do you handle fear? What is your first step? And does is often turn out to be a pleasant ride with nothing to fear?
I collected a few more Champagne Stories for the blog – have you got one to share?
The due dates for the writing contests are rapidly approaching – May 15th, and there are lots of ways to enter the contests. Check it out!