Friday, October 21, 2011

Conquering Fear . . .

Over the past week I have been reading "A Year with Eleanor" by Noelle Hancock.  The combination of the main character's unexpected job and being on brink of turning 30.  Being unemployed with unlimited time on her hands, she decides to spend a year conquering some of her fears - something like a bucket list, but on a less grand scale.

In 2010, I wrote about my own bucket list here - it includes some very grand and expensive items that I'm sure I will not be able to complete for quite some time (until college is paid for).  After reading '"A Year with Eleanor", I've decided to development my own, less demanding bucket list since I have many silly little fears that may be easily conquered.

In no particular order:

1.   Fish - anyone who knows me well will verify that I am terrified of fish - I wouldn't even put my hand in the goldfish bowl when we had one!  Although I have snorkeled and can appreciate the beauty of seeing the sea animals in their natural habitat - it is not my idea of a good time!  When I snorkeled in Bermuda, they were nice enough to toss bread in the water to encourage the fish to swim near us - I could have broken an Olympic record swimming back to the beach!  I love to swim, I love to look at the ocean - but the thought of being in the ocean with them swimming around me is the stuff nightmares are made of!  Maybe a local scuba class would alleviate my fishy fears!

2.   Heights - A common fear among many and not one that I have to deal with much on a daily basis.  I take it to the extreme - I get nervous on step ladders when I have to paint ceilings (next time you are at my house please refrain from looking up - I shake when standing on the ladder and the ceilings are not my best work).
When I fly, I try not to think of how off the ground I am; when on a tall building like the Empire State or 30 Rockefeller Center - I concentrate on taking photos of the lovely view by looking out only - not down.  Today a friend posted a photo of a tall building that he will be repelling down for charity - I will be looking for one locally where I can conquer my fear and be charitable at the same time!

3.  Driving in Cities - This is a new one that has appeared in the last few years.  I used to drive to work all the time when I worked in Boston.  Yes - it was annoying and expensive, but the challenge of the city traffic and unruly drivers didn't bother me.  Now, I don't even consider driving into Boston when I have an appointment - train only!  The next time I visit New York City I will drive there to experience city traffic at it's best - if you can make it there - you can make it anywhere!

4.  Snakes - I blame this one on my Dad - he has always hated snakes and put the fear of them into me!  Living in a rather rural area, I have many snake neighbors living in my yard.  They are harmless, just small garden snakes - but they still terrify me!  I will not go near my hosta when they are in full bloom in the Summer - they one of the snakes' favorite hangouts!  Nothing will ever change my ill feelings towards snakes - I'm not even going to attempt to alleviate this fear!

I can't believe I couldn't come up with at least five - I'm braver than I thought!

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