Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ten Things I Hate About Me

I went back and took a look at the post I wrote briefly on Saturday night about the NPR piece on the bailout. And then I read Irene's post on coming to terms with having a special needs child. And it got me to thinking. I'm a little freaked out.

And I'm kind of a lot freaked out about a bunch of things. However, talking about them seems to make them just a little bit smaller. And a little bit more manageable. So here come my biggest fears. Ready?

1) I know that I'm going to die in a car crash. I know it will be someone t-boning me at an intersection. I just don't know what intersection or when. And every time I go through an intersection, I look both ways to make sure no one's coming. You can't imagine the relief I felt a year ago when I was driving home late at night and saw a car flying through the red light perpendicular to me. I was twenty feet from the intersection.

2) Mister Man has made so many strides in the past two years. In the past four years. The day a friend was over with her daughter and for the first time he asked someone if they wanted to play a game with him, I almost cried. And as he's getting older, the social interactions are getting harder and more complex. And the stakes are getting higher. And I'm so afraid that he isn't going to figure out how to navigate those treacherous waters.

3) And then there's Little Miss. She'll have no problems whatsoever socially. She's always had everyone wrapped around her little finger. Everyone loves her. And she's the most stubborn little cuss I've ever met. She's a handful now, and I'm so afraid of what she's going to do as a teenager just to prove someone wrong. What stupid choice will she make that will forever alter her life or someone else's life that, just like Humpty Dumpty, can never be put together again?

4) I dodged a bullet this week. My dad found a lump. It had to be biopsied, and the doctor wasn't encouraging. Thank God, it turned out benign, but it really made me think. My parents are older, and their health isn't great. I miss my grandparents so much, and my parents are so close to my kids. I couldn't bear losing them, and I fear that the day is coming sooner than when I'll be ready. And I know I'll never be ready. But the thought of my parents not at a graduation or a wedding or a birth or even just a birthday, the mere thought terrifies me.

5) The genes in my family and my husband's family aren't the greatest. We've both been blessed, but there are so many in both our families who have problems with alcohol and depression. They're only three and four, but we've already started talking to them about what's ok and what's not and how sometimes things and moods work differently for different people. I hope against hope that if I prep them now, I can help save them from a miserable future tomorrow.

6) Financially, my family is ok. Right now, anyway, and as a teacher, he's got more security than most. I work in the financial industry (not as secure obviously), and I see how bad it is for so many people. And I talk to people around where I live who are cutting back and struggling and changing what they do and how they do it. This isn't good. It's getting worse. And I'm afraid of how bad it will get and what people will do to cope.

7) Society is changing, and it isn't changing for the better in my opinion. People are ruder, they seem to care less about others, and morals seem to be disappearing. I look at how people acted when I was growing up, and I hear stories from friends of mine about how much worse it is now. By the time the wee ones are older, what will it be like? It's completely out of my control, and I don't want them to be the bad kids that follow the crowd, either.

8) When we went to the Fourth of July parade a year ago (not this past year), Mister Man wandered away from us when we said it was over and time to go home. We all started packing things up, and he just left. When we were in Minnesota at the Mall of America, a man was running around Legoland looking for his two year old daugher Natalie who had disappeared. The very thought of losing my child somewhere, somehow... it's devastating.

9) This one is a silly fear, but it's there nonetheless. What if no one likes me anymore? What if I say something that offends someone, and they tell someone who tells someone? And if I keep doing that, then what? I know I have friends, and plenty of them. But then I think of the women who "should" be my friends but we're casual acquaintances. What did I do that they don't like me? Yeah, I told you it was silly.

10) And my biggest fear of all? That one's easy. I so fear failure. As a child, things were easy for me. My mom and dad took great care of me, and school was a breeze. I had great friends, and my hobbies were fun and easy. It wasn't until I went to college that I experienced my first taste of failure. And when you don't learn about it until then, it's paralyzing. You'd rather not try than fail. And I recognize that and fight that, so I do get things done. On a regular basis, I sabotage myself so that if I do fail, it isn't my fault -- unconsciously, of course. The Pumpkin Fest next Thursday? I didn't "find time" to contact the grocery store to get our discounted pumpkins until last Thursday. That's two weeks to get them to agree, line up the pumpkins, and get everything in. It's all worked out (except the hay bales I'm still waiting on, but that's someone else's responsibility) luckily, but dummy, get your fanny in gear so you don't have to stress about it!

Reading over this, I sound like such a worrywort, a weak and whiny person. And I'm really not. I'm a very creative person. I'm strong, and I like to be in charge. These traits help me out all the time, but every plus has a minus. If you'll notice, with one significant exception, they're all worst case scenarios that I can't control.

So what are your biggest fears?


Melissa October 9, 2008 at 9:18 AM  

Well, hipefully your car crash premonition is not true...that has to make it hard for you to drive on a day to day basis!!

Anonymous October 9, 2008 at 9:48 AM  

Take a deep breath....turn off the fear mongering TV news...and say a few prayers. You'll feel much better. :)

I too feel like I will die in a car crash. Aren't we weirdos?

katylinvw October 9, 2008 at 10:39 AM  

i can totally relate with a lot of these fears! thanks for being so open & honest! :)

AutoSysGene October 9, 2008 at 11:08 AM  

Quite a few of my biggest fears are the same as yours. I think you would be surprised to find A LOT of people worry about the same things.

I just try not to focus on them and stay in the moment. It's just about the only thing I can control these days! :)

tiarastantrums October 9, 2008 at 12:26 PM  

great list - I did fears as well - you layout is very pretty on your blog!

jenn October 9, 2008 at 2:01 PM  

Great list. I worry about things also. I try to not think about them, or I start stressing out.

Weeksie50 October 9, 2008 at 2:09 PM  

I didn't choose to post about my fears because I would be dwelling on them all day.. and now that I have read yours... I think that i am still going to be dwelling on them all

Lady Dorothy October 9, 2008 at 2:14 PM  

Thanks for coming by my place on our BATW tour!

Here's to living above our fears!

La Pixie October 9, 2008 at 2:48 PM  

your "silly" fear is a big one for me, too.

Jennifer October 9, 2008 at 4:36 PM  

I did fears as well! Great post and I think everyone fears failure at some point in their lives!

MaBunny October 9, 2008 at 4:50 PM  

Hmm, my biggest fears?

-something happening to my husband or daughter

- since I've already lost my father, I'm holding tighter to my mom and will be devastated when something happens to her

- something happening to me where I won't be around for my family

those are pretty ingrained in my brain - and very real to me and I'm not sure how I will handle it at all...

Your list is great, and no I don't think you sound like a whiney person - and reading any of your other posts you can tell what a strong, creative person you really are!

angela | the painted house October 9, 2008 at 7:07 PM  

I am SO HAPPY to hear the good report on your father! The fear of possibility is HORRIBLE. I can relate to a lot of your fears--except #1, girl, why do you assume this?

And, yes, current society continually disappoints. What can we do? Anything?

Karen October 9, 2008 at 8:30 PM  

Aren't fears strange? If only we could choose something to be afraid of, it wouldn't be so silly.

Michelle October 9, 2008 at 8:35 PM  

Melissa - I sure hope it isn't true, too (although it would at least be a quick death, right?). My POV is that I can't do anything more about it than I am, so driving doesn't bother me. I just look carefully at each intersection!

Jaci - I actually refuse to watch tv news for that very reason. But apparently we're weirdos together at least, and that makes it ok, right?

Katy Lin - Welcome! And thank you.

Melissa - Yeah, those are probably fairly common ones. They seem fairly primevial... and yep, it's ALL about staying in the moment. And I think my moment is asking for some fresh popped (on the stove) popcorn!

Tiaras and Tantrums - Thank you! And thank you! The unsolicited compliments are making me blush!

Jenn3 - Welcome! Yeah, it's definitely better to not think about them all the time. That would totally suck the joy out of life.

Weeksie50 - Oops, sorry! But at least they're mine and not yours?

Lady Dorothy - Welcome! And *that* is a good mantra.

La Pixie - Welcome! It does seem silly, since I know people like me and I have friends but ... it's still there.

Jennifer - Thanks! I agree that everyone fears failure. What distinguishes us is how we deal with it when it happens. That's one reason I fear helicopter parents and *being* a helicopter parent.

Mabunny - Ooo, I totally forgot something happening to me and leaving my family behind. Does that make me selfish? (And thanks for the nice words!)

Angela - Oh, so am I, so am I! I have no idea why I assume it, but ... the knowledge is there somehow. Society? I just focus on being friends with people who have the same values I do and who have the same ideas about raising their children that I do, in the hopes that we can somehow make a mini-island of decency that will insulate the wee ones.

Kellan October 9, 2008 at 9:19 PM  

I think I have many of these same fears and I AM a worry wart. I ope you are never killed in a car accident and that your children stay close by your side and that your jobs are safe. I'm glad your dad's test turned out okay too - !!!

Have a good weekend, Michelle - see you soon - Kellan

Irene October 9, 2008 at 9:41 PM  

OK, you sound like me in a way.

I am way more pessimistic than I should be. My husband is my polar opposite in that regard (thank GOD!).

I worry that we are going to into another great depression and will be living on the streets (even though we are really quite financially secure). I just worry that I am missing something and we are in more trouble than I think.

I worry all the time that I will die in a car crash, or my husband will, or my kids on the bus.

I worry that I will get cancer and die early in life leaving my kids. I watch Grey's Anatomy (just finished) and now think I shouldn't because all it does is FREAK me out! Every patient is young and full of cancer that can't be cured.

Whew. Luckily (I think) since I realize I freak out and worry too much, and realize I need to stop, I think it helps keep me somewhat sane. I seriously try to pray more and realize that most things we worry about never happen. And what good does worrying do anyway?

Lex the mom October 9, 2008 at 10:34 PM  

Woman - the more I read about you, the more you seem to have in common with my own feelings. So, quit it! ;)

You really went full bore here. I think the fear of losing a child (in any manner) is in all of us. That is one of my biggest fears. It would have topped my ten list.

I will be here to read & support you through your trials with your Little Man.

The economy scares my hub more than it scares me. I avoid thinking about it because it would definitely turn into a bigger fear if I don't.

I feel the e x a c t same way about society. People, me included, don't take the time they once did to be together. To learn from each other & to pass on good.

There's more I can say, but I won't. Awesome post. Thanks!

KatBouska October 10, 2008 at 3:10 PM  

Oh I'M scared!! No I think you're perfectly normal. So many of us can relate to your fears on this list!!

anymommy October 10, 2008 at 4:00 PM  

I fear a lot of these things too. Especially failure and offending people and not knowing it! I'm so glad that you're Dad is okay.

Gombojav Tribe October 11, 2008 at 10:49 AM  

I used to worry about number nine. Then recently I accidentally sent a very nasty email to someone. I was horrified. Well, there goes everything, I thought!

But, she forgave me and now maybe we have a better relationship than we did before.

Go figure.

btw, thanks for visiting my blog!

Amy McMean October 11, 2008 at 5:19 PM  

I'm noticing that most of us share a lot of the same fears.

Michelle October 11, 2008 at 10:44 PM  

Kellan - Thank you for the support. I do appreciate it :) I'm lucky actually. I grew up watching my mom worry about EVERYthing. It was exhausted and I think I grew somewhat immune to it, so much of it rolls off my back like water off a duck.

Irene - I think I'm one of those people who'd rather prepare for the worst and be pleasantly surprised than constantly disappointed. And I'm SO with you on being fine and set now but feeling like I'm walking on a tightrope blindfolded without a net AND not knowing what's on the other side of this tightrope -- how's that for a terrible analogy?

Lex - Hey there -- see more loving comments? Yay, you! Much appreciation for your support. The worst part of the economy is that it's a prisoners dilemma. If we all keep moving forward, we're fine. If I go into defense mode and everyone else keeps moving forward, I'm fine. If I keep moving forward and everyone else goes defensive, I'm in trouble. Soooo everyone goes defensive and it's bad for everyone. Just how bad is the worry....

Mama's Losin' It - Oops, sorry! Don't mean to scare you, too ;) I was really intrigued as I poked around to see how many of the fears were common amongst many of us.

Anymommy - Thanks! And it's interesting to see that we're not alone in our fears which sort of makes me feel that in a way maybe they are silly?

Gombojav Tribe - Welcome! So glad it went well for you in the end. Mis-sending an email is definitely something I'd not want to do.

Amy - Welcome! I love the McSunshine! And yep I noticed the same thing. Guess this is what makes us human, huh?

Angela October 12, 2008 at 9:20 AM  

I so totally relate to this post, because I am a constant worrier (probably much worse than you, so don't worry!) I too tend to worry about things that are totally out of my control, which saps my joy for the day and just leaves me wiped out in general. But I'm trying to turn loose of those worries and leave things to God, as I do believe He's in control of everything, even the details. I know that nothing in my life is a surprise to Him and He's not up in heaven wringing His hands over anything; none of what's going on is a surprise or out of His control (not to say that He approves of it, as there's a difference). But I am working on remembering that it's His job to run the world, not mine, so it's not up to me to worry about everything under the sun. I'm making progress, but I can't say I'm completely over being a worrier...yet :-))

Hope you have a great week!

Ashley October 12, 2008 at 8:46 PM  

As I read your number one, my chest tightened up. I have that same, exact fear. I cringe everytime I go through a green lighted intersection. I have a massive fear some jerk is going to come out of nowhere and t bone me. The fear has become even more heightened since becoming a momma!
I can definitely relate!

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