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Fear Sandwich

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?
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12 Responses to “Fear Sandwich”

  1. Vered - MomGrind Says:

    I’m so sorry. This is a tough place to be at.

    I’m afraid too, and I’m not sure what to do about it, so I don’t have any words of wisdom.

    Vered – MomGrinds last blog post..Fear of Rape

  2. patricia Says:

    Vered,
    Thank you for coming by – fear is a terrible master, I think if you can pinpoint it and name it you can figure out new steps and new paths to take….I can’t help them being in the middle and being unheard.
    I wish you could have heard the speakers this past week…I will try to do justice by linking and writing about them, but they were right at the top of the game about ethics/boundaries, racism and culturism – I have a lot to think about.

  3. Jocelyn of I TAKE OFF THE MASK Says:

    Fear can really cripple us. One thing that works for me is to ignore it and to focus instead on the things I desire at the end of the road.

    Jocelyn of I TAKE OFF THE MASKs last blog post..How Do You Treat a Bad Person?

  4. Sara Says:

    Patricia,

    Even though this post is about our thoughts on fear, I felt you were moving away from it. I loved what you said about your drive…being out of the house and seeing the changes. It felt like you were in that moment, blooming, just like your desert.

    I also liked your closure very much, specially this line, “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.”

    It seems to me as moms this is a very important thing to say to our children and REPEAT to ourselves. There is a point where they must discover their own world and uncertainty or fear is part of that growth.

    One of my favorite quotes is “Courage isn’t the absence of fear, but the ability to move forward in spite of it.” I got this from Douglas Block’s book, Listen to Your Inner Voice:~)

    Saras last blog post..Story Photo Challenge: Two faces of the same flower

  5. Mark Says:

    Once one acknowleges fear it is important to recall past fears and the fact that few if any turned out to be as bad as preceived prior to it happening if if happened at all. When we live in the present and when we detach from outcome the fear dissolves. It is very important to understand that at the end of the day, we will not be changed by that which happens or does not happen unless we choose to change.

    Marks last blog post..Changes In A Relationship

  6. Patricia Says:

    Jocelyn,
    I was hoping that the distraction would refresh my two family members and allow them to move out of their crippled space. Good comments. Thank you

    Sara,
    I was profoundly moved by how when I got out of the house and away from the tensions there I could let loose and let go – it was very freeing indeed. Thank you for the new quote too – I think I will make it into a poster and put it up on my bathroom mirror for a bit…Thank you so much.

    Mark,
    I was thinking about your ideas that you share here, when I was writing about the notches in the belt. Good way to perceive and respond to change. I think writing this post opened the window for someone to call my daughter she wasn’t expecting and give her some new ideas – today she is making some applications and changing the inertia…
    My partner’s idea of change was to take another $1K off our paycheck – he is not choosing to change in my vision.
    Thank you for you comments

  7. Davina Says:

    Hi Patricia.

    Fear is a crippler, I agree. But fear of fear itself keeps us stuck. When I am in a fearful state, I’ve noticed that if I sit there and don’t explore what is next for me, I come to fear the fearful state itself. Then, I can’t even begin to move. I wrote about this on my first blog in a post called When Fear Closes in Take Action.

    Like Sara said in her comment, you were “moving” away from the fear. You came to realize that the fear wasn’t as great as you had believed.

    Davinas last blog post..Letter from a Proofreader with Edits

  8. Liara Covert Says:

    Writing about a subject is a great way to bring an issue to your conscious attention. Some people think not talking about fear is the answer. And yet, talking about it to enable you to understand self better is an effective way to move beyond fear. Each person has unconscous strategies that are unfolding. Awareness opens up whole new perspectives and experiences.

    Liara Coverts last blog post..What brings you back?

  9. Kay Says:

    Amid the tale of multiple Fears I heard Good news…Lael will be graduating! Congratulations to the Parents and to the Graduate -:)

  10. Patricia Says:

    Davina,
    I do believe that movement is the answer to fear and it is the only way to get unstuck. I remember your early post – it was good.

    Liara,
    Awareness is such a key and double checking on how it was handled previously is crucial too. Once we are stuck we need all the tools we can muster to get our momentum activated.

    Kay,
    Yep Graduation day is coming! 2 in 2009…the librarian will be graduating in December! I will be grateful to be moving on to new relationship venues and change

  11. Jannie Funster Says:

    A couple days ago I Googled “Fear Of Failure.”

    (I was a bit a-skeered of not doing well at something.)

    But the article encouraged me to action and assess…

    “(1) What was the mistake?

    (2) Why did it happen?

    (3) How could it have been prevented?

    (4) How can I do better next time?”

    …and bob was my uncle — fit as a fiddle and back on my fearless feet again!

    (Before the Internet and Google I would most likely have stayed in bed or said to myself I didn’t really need to succeed, anyway)

    Jannie Funsters last blog post..I Need A (Chainsaw) Man, Video

  12. patricia Says:

    Jannie,
    Looks like a good search result – and Bob is my Uncle!
    If we stay in bed then we get more stucker….I am sure of it…better to step out and give it sunshine…

    What on earth would you worry that you might fail at?

    Hmmm….I think I might ponder that