Today’s topic is fear. It’s a hard one for me. I tend to try not to let fear stop me from doing too much in life.
I’ve left this post overnight trying to think of something scintillating for you all. Something to make you laugh (or groan) at my inappropriateness (is that even a word?) A post that will have you coming back again and again to marvel at my awesomeness. Alas, all I can come up with is the truth……….
Fear does not rule my life. I have cultivated a serious habit of self-talk that generally avoids any giving in to the possibility of fear.
I’ll get on that ridiculous roller coaster with my kids even though my legs will literally shake the whole time I’m in the line. I will tell myself “It’s only a ride – this is meant to be fun – imagine the bad press if they manage to kill me” over and over until the moment comes. Once I’m on the ride I will tell myself “just hang on for 15 seconds more and it will be over”. I will generally scream long and loud – if I’m silent you know my inner monologue is failing me!!
I’ll happily wander through shady neighbourhoods, park my car in dark alleys and forget to lock the front door!
Public speaking is another area I could come unstuck – but my inner voice always saves me. As well as the fact that I LOVE a good story and never miss the opportunity to be the one doing the talking. During training sessions I sometimes run at work the inner voice says “don’t worry – you know what you are talking about – you’re wearing a funny hat so no-one will notice you just said the wrong thing – is that guy up the back really ASLEEP?” and I manage to get through it.
Basically, if I’m afraid of something, I will “fake it until I make it” and my inner chat is a major part of my ability to get through without anyone else realising I was terrified!
There is one fear I’ve been feeling for a while however, and the inner voice has not managed to calm it one little bit. In fact there’s a second voice (can anyone say Schizo??)
I’m pretty sure it started on my 30th birthday and has continued a couple of times a year ever since.
There’s a new voice in my head…..one that whispers about everything I have NOT accomplished in life. One that reminds me that the years are ticking away and time is running out!!
I know it’s wierd to have that feeling. I’m not 87 – I just turned 39!!! But I’ve not managed to switch off the voice in a very long time.
Every birthday that rolls around (mine, or my kids) has reminded me that time is ticking by. Every time I’ve had to attend a funeral, I spend the days after reflecting on my own life and all the things I have NOT done!
I haven’t travelled the world, I haven’t helped to feed starving children (except for my own last night when it was a 9pm dinner!), I haven’t written an amazing book, I don’t have a building or a park named after me to show I was HERE!! I haven’t seen Twilight nearly enough times (sorry – that one just snuck in!!)
These may seem like silly things to panic about – after all, how many people do actually get a building or a park named after them? They are just examples that illustrate the mild sense of panic I’ve been feeling for many years now about the direction of my life. I never did much about it except make sure that I had an interesting work-life with lots of new challenges – I thought that would keep me fulfilled.
And I suspect I’ve been heading for a long time to the realisation that work is just work. It’s not your family or your real achievements (unless you’re a scientist who just cured cancer – then you can count it!) It’s not the thing you will be remembered for. What you will be remembered for is the person you were and the lives you impacted. The fact that your kids survived you and didn’t turn out too screwy!! (Sorry kids – I really do try!!) Not whether you were the one who’s filing was always perfect at the end of each day of work.
So to cut a very long fear-based post short what I’m trying to say is this. Since Gert agreed to these crazy life changing adventures for a year, and I knew we were really going to do it in 2012, that second voice in my head is gone.
Silenced. Missing-in-action. AWOL. Forever muted!!
It’s such a relief. That lingering sense of panic that I’ve been carrying around has gone. I didn’t notice when it left, I just realised when my birthday came around (and my workmates thought it would be hilarious to celebrate my 40th instead of my 39th!!) that I haven’t had the usual panic in the days afterwards. I’ve been calm and collected and not wondering where my life is going. Even with the pandemonium of packing up the house and planning our finances, doing tax returns, convincing the children to throw out their “stuff”, getting this site up and running, there’s not been one second of panic. When I take a deep breathe now, it is a deep breathe. Before it kind of caught in the middle…..
I think our 2012 adventure plans have cured that little negative voice for good. I’m finally feeling like I am doing something amazing and including my family in that amazingness makes it all the more worthwhile.
I’m back to just one voice in my head.
And it’s looking forward to life changing adventures!
Right now it’s saying “just a few more boxes to pack, don’t forget to do the mail redirection, exactly where are you going to sleep for the next 3 weeks while you are homeless?, make sure you book the gardener, how many trips to the homeless shelter do you think it will take to get rid of all that clothing?, DON’T WORRY – YOU CAN DO THIS – IT WILL BE SO WORTH IT!”
This post is part of a 30 day project being run by bootsnall.com. I’ll be posting for the next 30 days based on the subject of the day! Check back each day for my latest bout of rambling….
You may like these!: