Monday, January 23, 2012

Days 47 - 49

I recently wrote a story about fear (when it'll run, I'm still not sure). Given that I'm pretty much an expert on the topic, I certainly could have reached my 1800 words by simply listing all the things I'm afraid of. But like any respectable journalist, I spoke with a dozen experts, read a bunch of journal articles... and interviewed many women. I learned a lot (none of which immediately alleviated any of my fears ... though I'm working on a bunch of them.)

In my reporting, what struck me the most was the fact that we use "fear" to describe all sorts of different things: panic, worry, anxiety, anticipation, stress, lack of confidence. I'm quite well acquainted with all of these guys.

For example, when I'm about do something physically scary, like snowboarding, I anticipate (exiting the ski lift), then I worry (about failing underneath the lift and getting hurt), then I panic (when it comes time to exit the lift), then I fall, then I stress about looking like a jackass, then I feel like a loser because I live in Vermont and can't ride like everyone else. Feeling like a loser = lack of confidence, which makes me anticipate/worry/panic the next time. Vicious cycle. (Fact is, I'm much better at snowboarding then I am at getting off the lift.) So anyway, this weekend, I started anticipating taking Jules ice-skating by myself... I don't totally suck at skating but I live in Vermont, where everyone is seemingly hardcore and often current or former hockey players.

Then I remembered something I'd heard that morning on Dino Train (um, yeah, the PBS cartoon): The anticipating of [trying new foods] is harder than actually eating them. Or something like that. It was spoken by a (cartoon-version of a) wise "Confucius" bird.  And this Confucius quote was totally true for the skating. Relatively speaking, among the other "public" skaters, I was pretty average, perhaps slightly above. Jules didn't break a leg. He didn't cry. And once he got a post-skate cocoa (which he sipped while we watched an awesome women's hockey game), he claimed that ice-skating was his new favorite activity. It was a fun date.

Later in the weekend, while stressing/worrying about my lack of a censor (am I annoying? offensive?), my lack of Vermont-appropriate interests and skills and feeling generally anxious about, well, all of the quirky traits that make me me, Jules walked in with Ri's iPad and said, "look Mama, here's that song that you love" and showed me this video:

Totally just what I needed. And hmmm.... maybe I should quit worrying that my kids get too much screen time and watch a little more myself.

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