Xanga: What are we afraid of?

I woke up in the middle of the night with intense cramping and immediately thought to myself, “Oh crap, it’s Toxic Shock Syndrome! I don’t know how I’ll get to the hospital, who should I call, but I should pack extra clothes and what if my fingernails rot off by tomorrow and darnit, I’m gonna die because I’m falling asleep again…” All because of a Pulitzer Prize-winning feature news story I had to read in college.

Or like last week when I found mouse droppings in my apartment and started wondering who was going to take care of my pets when all my organs exploded and I perished in extreme pain from Hantavirus. Thank you “Virus Hunter,” the most intriguingly sick and scary book I’ve ever read.

I even remember as an 8 year old kid, crawling up into Caroline’s top bunk (the Crow’s Nest) and whispering to her that I’d found a lump in my breast. Turned out to be a nipple! But I didnt’ know! All I knew was that moms and dads everywhere were always talking about who had found a lump in her breast this week, and I just knew I was gonna be the next to die.

Does this ever happen to you? Maybe not specifically, but do you have ridiculous fears? It’s funny… but so truly human! I know Claire and Kristi in the office are always coming to me with some fear of a blood clot or a tumor… and it’s true, things happen and it’s good to be safe. But sometimes I wonder if all our technology and education curse us in the end?!? Seriously, people – we live way longer these days than 100 years ago, but we walk around terrified of saturated fats and freak accidents.

I guess we just live everyday as best we can. But even trying to do that can be exhausting! I didn’t talk to my Grandma this week! I didn’t pay my car bill! I didnt’ shave my legs! I didn’t work out! I was cross with a coworker! I was impatient with a neighbor!

Obviously, that brings up an entirely different set of fears – the fears that if you screw up, everyone will hate you forever (even if they don’t know or care) and you’ll die from the guilt. Ugh. I guess the only answer is grace? Grace with ourselves and grace with others, and maybe taking a few extra breaths to look around and laugh and find the good in whatever the situation. Be it a lump or a nipple.


11 thoughts on “Xanga: What are we afraid of?

  1. so why did you have such bad cramping? are you better now. thank you for your nice sentence on my xanga….we are completely human I assure you….I have had a dream about food EVERY SINGLE NIGHT….by the time the Christmas party gets here I can maybe eat real food!!!

  2. loved the part on toxic shock syndrome…. my husband makes fun of me because of this article. who thought that would stay with us more than other things we were to learn in class?

  3. I used to have nightmares about trains and elevators killing me and other people when I was young.  I was never afraid of them when awake per se, the fear was mostly that a whole bunch of people would die and it would be my fault.
    Now I am afraid of sunburns, stepping on something sharp in the sand, and getting too many phone calls from A-list celebrities.

  4. I’m still grumbling about you waking me up that morning. 🙂  hehe
    Good post.  It’s a funny balance.  Trying to take care of ourselves – eating right, exercising, being mindful of “lumps.”  Trying to make right choices.  But not freaking out.  And not hating ourselves when we trip up.

  5. I have always had an irrational fear of a house fire.  When I was little, I even kept a bag with clothes and some pictures, etc. in it in case it would happen and I would be able to take it.   That’s also why I insist on wearing matching pyjamas.  As for the shopping–I can hardly get Nick to go to Keystone, it’s pretty much a no-go when the word “outlet” is involved.  He hates those about like he hates Kohl’s and Old Navy.  He does need a haircut, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.  He goes to get “trims” but nothing more.  Maybe your description of the Decker weirdos will change his mind!

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