Thursday, January 7, 2010

Fear and Loathing in your 30's...

I've posted on growing up and maturing in the past... here and here... Beyond the folded fitted sheets, rapidly greying hair and anal retentive cleaning procedure, I've recently noticed another shift... this time, in my reactions and my behavior.  Not only have I come to fear things I've never contemplated as dangerous before... I've also become a real stickler for rules.

It's what I call the 'fear factor' - things that I'd do without a second thought only 5 years ago... I now approach with trepidation.  Here are a few examples:


The ocean... I used to swim out way past where my feet could touch the ground... I had no fear of sharks or getting sucked out.  These days, I kind of stick to around thigh height and don't venture out too much further - I'm going to try to rectify this in the next few weeks.  I really find I'm missing the freedom of being totally immersed in the water - rising and falling with the waves, rather than just standing there letting them belt into me.


Carparks - I will never go against the arrow.  If the arrow points to the left and from there winds around and around the carpark to the exit, I will alway go that way... rather than against the arrow and the 15 metres straight out.  Drives Micko nuts!



Crossing the road at the lights or the pedestrian crossing...  I will walk a few hundred metres out of my way to ensure I cross the road at the designated spot.  But hey, I'm in good company... even The Beatles stuck to the chosen path!

Clean underwear - I sniff my undies each morning, just to make sure I'm putting on a clean pair and a dirty one hasn't mistakenly found it's way into my draw.  When I do come across a sneaky pair, at least I don't have to pluck my nose hair for a few weeks (the scent burns them right out of their little nostril hair sockets).

I'm not sure if it's age.. or if I'm slowly turning into my mother  - a chronic worrier.  My Mum and I recently made a pact that if I was going anywhere or doing anything in which I might be harmed, not to tell her until I've done it... just to stop unnecessary worry.  As a baby, she hardly slept at all (even though I was quite a solid sleeper) because she'd be in every 15 minutes to check if I breathing.  As a kid she worried about broken bones... As a teen, it was broken hearts... and as a young adult - broken dreams - and the ability to have saved enough to pay my bills.

Often, these days, when I speak I hear my mothers voice... her laugh... and sometimes a little of her concern.  Micko has started calling me 'Rhonda Number 2'.  At this point I'm not as consumed by worry as she is... perhaps it's only a matter of time?  Unlike Mum, I'm not fearful of broken bones, broken hearts and broken dreams as those things are, in some respects, out of my control.

I instead fear the little things... being swept out to sea - even though I'm a strong swimmer... an old woman, winding down her window and yelling at me because I didn't follow the arrows...  someone spitting in my food if I send it back... accidently putting on a crusty pair of grundies...  these are the real things to be fearful of.  The things that keep me awake at night and send a chill down my spine.

Will this irrational fear continue to grow and grow until it's out of control like Lantana in the bush?  How will I react when I discover I've not a clean pair of undies left in the house?  Will I end up sitting in a camp chair, in the garage, roller door open, looking aimlessly at the street while I talk to myself about road rules?  What does the future hold for me and my increasing nerves?

and finally...

What keeps you awake at night?

18 comments:

Nicky said...

Sorry to get all depresso on you.....
I am completely petrified of everyone I love dying before me and then I'm alone, ALONNNNNNNNE.

Sorry!
RE: Herc's Voice - My animals only talk when there's less than 2 human people in the house. Herc has a surprisingly deep voice for a little fluff ball (normally fluffy!). It's really bland and he doesn't have any pitch changes LOL. The new Cat though, Pole, he is so funny he still calls us "Mister" and "Lady"

And
Guess
What.....

I'm completely nuts!

Sharnanigans said...

Since becoming a mama I have become a worrier too. I used to not give a damn about consequences whatsoever and had little - zero respect for outcomes of week long benders and things like that... I have spent the last 12 months checking if MOnte is breathing, comfortable blah de blah - it is exhausting!!! I am coming to the conclusion that excessive worry is something that increases as you get older. I am going to try and keep a lid on mine... as for your undies concern oh hahahahaha

Little Ms J said...

I like to worry for everyone. I like to think of it as a benevolent gift. You can sit back because I will be stressed out about our plans, who is on time, who is driving, etc. Not too worried about arrows on the pavement or underwear in general, but give me something I need to be on time to - like a flight - and I become totally OCD.

~KS said...

I am so, so scared of sharks. Have been ever since I was small. I will go in the ocean, but if my feet can't firmly touch the bottom, I am not going any deeper!!

There's a lot that keeps me up at night... but I do try not to worry. On the top of my list though is failing out of law school (a nightmare really) and growing old all alone.

bananas. said...

make that four hot brunettes walk into a bar...the fourth being you when you come visit? yes?! haha.

i do the same thing. i fear things now that i never did before. sky diving...oh hell no! ocean...NEVER!

carissajaded said...

What is it inside of us that makes us start fearing things?? I worry about pretty much all that you said.. except maybe the underwear thing (that cracked me up) (I usually don't wear any, bc I they are always dirty).,.. Lately I've been thinking a lot more about my health, the health of my family, the health of my car...

And I used to be able to go on any ride-I went to the state fair a few months ago and I'm pretty sure I will never go on another ride again!!

Visiting from SITS btw... love the site!!

HeatherLynn said...

my fears include: Did I unplug the curling iron?

I don't' remember stopping at that stop sign on the way to work, did I stop at the sign or did I run it? (and why the eff I'd worry about this i have no idea..i mean it's over now right? I can't undo it!}

I have a fear that my house is going to burn down...soon as I drive away from it...(another reason i freak out about that curling iron), but it's not an irrational fear, my house did once blow to smithereens from a natural gas explosion and leave me homeless...

I sure hope my car keeps running while longer...the old washer keeps washin...the furnace keeps heating....

I fear things breaking....

so you're not a lone, the older we get, the more focused on odd things like this we become.

I mean, one could leave a curling iron on ALL DAMN DAY LONG, and it probably wouldn't burn your house down....yet...at 32, it's a guarantee that it will?! Why? I have no idea...other than that in our 30's...we've lived and LOST enough to have things we fear losing...our way of life...friends...homes...relationships...

we worry, cuz we've become accustomed....and don't want things to change. that's my theory.

xoxox
~hl~

Summer (BisforBrown) said...

dying laughing over here!

Masala Chica said...

Visiting from SITS and glad I did. I think it's a really astute post - your example of how you are in the ocean hit home for me. Is it experience and the stories I hear that make me fearful? Is it my own mortality and realizing how precious life is, more with each day? I don't know.

What keeps me up? Fear of things like cancer. death. not for me, but for my family. hmm. whether my daugther will ever listen to me. (granted she is only 2).

anyway - your not alone sister.
Kiran

drollgirl said...

dude! i totally relate to this post! i am getting OLD and fear a whole lot of things right now. it is not so good. it is debilitating if you let it get the best of you. i want to travel to many places but the HORRID PLANE SCENE is so awful and stressful. gah! wish i could teleport, but i am afraid of heights! wish i could take a cruise, bu the water petrifies me! yeesh. one of these days they will find me hiding in the closet if i don't get myself together!

livemorenow said...

ha ha ha, just wait until you hit the 40's if you are starting to be a chronic worrier now!

I have turned into my mother - full of sage but unwelcome advice.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

so funny about your underwear! lol

pixelhazard said...

Call it self preservation. Lol
ur just smarter now. I'm still not that smart

WhisperingWriter said...

I'm anal about my undies too.

And what scares me? Well, I always think ghosts are lurking in our room. That's pretty freaky.

heart charlie said...

Haha! I love these, I have always felt a slight fear of the ocean, the vast unknown! As a child I would shake the fear and dive in, now I'm like "AGH!! I felt something trying to eat my feet!" I have also, out of nowhere, become afraid of heights!

DesBisoux said...

dude...now i'm worrying i don't age as i should!! to be honnest, the older i get, the more laid back i get!!

"Seattle" Heather said...

I have to keep my dirty undies away from Gauge because he has a problem we don't like to talk about...he has a fetish of licking dirty underwear.

He's such a sick bulldog. I think he needs more therapy than I.

Amy said...

Hilarious!

It's true though. The older we get the more safe and cautious we become. Perhaps that's why I thought all adults were lame when I was a hell raising teenager!

I don't fear as much as I acquire new things to be anal about. Like cleanliness and order. I'm OCD to the max about order.

My poor husband.

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