Monday, January 12, 2009

I'm Not Paranoid, Just Very Observant

It may surprise some of you to know that I am a gigantic scaredy cat. Yes, an even bigger chicken than the chickens in my yard. (I'm actually terrified of the rooster, and not real crazy about the hens, either.) But wait, there's more! I'm afraid of...
  • heavy traffic in construction areas
  • food poisoning (my husband calls this salmonoia and it drives him crazy to see me washing the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher and giving two day old leftovers to the dogs, but I can't help it - I would rather have a root canal than throw up)
  • having car trouble at night
  • being pregnant again
  • never being pregnant again
  • mice (and living in this house, that's a problem because despite the presence of four cats, the mice are everywhere, I just know they are)
  • weddings (getting humiliated at one makes you want to avoid them)
  • surprise parties (control freaks do not like surprises, even good ones)
  • that someone will turn me in to that "What Not to Wear" show and that snotty woman will come in and throw away all my soft warm comfy clothes
  • that the SLE has done more damage than I have time left to repair
  • not spending enough time with my kids
  • spending too much time with my kids
  • opening up on the internet like this (it's really good for the author in me, but the paranoid crazy woman wants to go around unplugging everything)
  • the house burning down and I won't be able to get the Steinway out (speaking of unplugging everything)
  • being fat for the rest of my life
  • never ever finding a decent hairstyle
  • Don being in an ugly work/motorcycle accident (fainting when they ask you to identify body parts is really not cool)
  • someone snatching my kids (although they might bring them back in minutes, offer me some cash and their condolences...)
  • roller coasters and any amusement park ride that makes you go around in circles or up in the air
  • and of course, flying

Some of these are legitimate fears that involve my family and health, and some are irrational and can be traced directly to my control freak status. My goal for the year is to banish my fears, both real and silly. I recently read several books that I would recommend: Ask and It Is Given by Jerry and Esther Hicks, The Law of Attraction by Michael Losier, and The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. The premise of all three is that you create in your life the things you focus on, whether positive or negative. You perpetuate your own misery if you want to, but you can also psych yourself up by being grateful and appreciative of everything. I'm inclined to buy into this, because I do this with parking spots all the time. Anyone who has herded three easily distracted children across a busy parking lot can empathize with me. Before we get to the store, I see myself driving into the parking lot and pulling into a spot very close to both the door and a cart corral, and I say a quick thank you to the person who left the spot for me. It works almost every time. Almost, because the activity level in the car has a lot to do with my ability to concentrate. The presence of electronic devices like Nintendo DS and MP3 players seems to correlate positively to my ability to find a great spot, but that's a purely unscientific study.

I'm using the law of attraction to analyze my fears. Does this mean that Friendly the rooster is psychotically evil because I think he is? No, he's just being a rooster, protecting his hens. Does he know that I'm afraid of him, and act accordingly? Of course. So since Don is out of town this week and I have to feed the chickens and gather eggs, how do I prevent puncture wounds and peck marks? By convincing myself that the rooster is smaller and dumber than me, carrying a baseball bat and wearing gloves and two pairs of jeans. I will feel invincible and maybe they will leave me alone like they leave Don alone. Don feels invincible all the time. Once last summer, he got up in the night because the rooster was crowing which usually signals that something got into the coop. He went out in his boxer shorts and work boots and convinced a 4 foot black snake to find a snack elsewhere, came back in and went back to sleep without so much as a mosquito bite. If he had been out of town that week the snake would have eaten well. But if I feel invincible, and keep telling myself that I'm impervious to rooster spurs, and convince myself that I have every right to go in there and get the eggs and dump some feed in the tub and clean the waterers...

Wow, I'm kind of going to have to spend a long time in the coop. Maybe I'll call a neighbor to help with the chickens and I'll focus on my fear of food poisoning first. Yeah, that sounds good. I have a stomach lined with steel, just like the rest of my family. I do not have to eat the leftovers but they can safely be fed to the family. The dishes are perfectly clean...


Susan Raihala said...

Um, just the knowledge that a snake MIGHT be in the chicken coop would keep me out of it forever. Knew there was a reason I don't have chickens....

DH has always teased me about my fear of snakes. He was watching somthing about snakes on tv last night that said fear of snakes is no doubt an evolutionary advantage to our ancestors who rightly feared venomous snakes and avoided them all as a result. I yelled down from upstairs, "See, I'm right!" He just laughed.

Great post! And spot-on, I say. We do "create our own reality" so to speak, by what we choose to focus on...and by what we try to control. Ouch.

firecracker panda said...

Well, he certainly IS smaller and much, much dumber than you. So, I hope that helps!