Friday, September 11, 2009

School Days: Day 10 (worries)

I'm participating in Travelin' Oma's School Days, a daily online free study course. Join me!

From Oma:

With age we get the face we deserve.

Homework: Choose any or all, or be inspired.

~Think about an old person you love or admire. Write a detailed description of the character and experience reflected in their face. Use a thesaurus if necessary to find the most precise words. (Ideas: conviction, spunk, wit.) What do you hope to look like when you're old?

~List your five biggest worries. Now imagine how each could become a blessing in disguise.

~Has your attitude been changed by your experiences or has it been the other way around? Write a paragraph that starts: "My outlook is more_____than______ (insert lemon and lemonade.) I grew up in a house filled with______."

My response (choice #2):

My five biggest worries:

1) Being out of control.

2) Something happening to my kids/E.

3) Letting people down.

4) Getting duped.

5) Failing publicly.

How are these a blessing in disguise?

Geez, I didn't think this was going to be so hard to write. Basically, #2-5 are all versions of #1, aren't they? But let's explore.

1) Being out of control. This started with ski lifts and now includes airplanes, being intoxicated around people I don't trust, or being in a life situation I didn't anticipate. I suppose this is a blessing in disguise (I'm stretching here...) because it means I care about safety? Geez, I really don't know. I am conscious of details. I like to manage things. And people. Oh my.

2) Something happening to my kids/E. Duh. This isn't a worry so much as I just know it would devastate me. I also know I can't control it if anything does (see #1). It would be hard, though. In a way, I'm super (and I don't mean in a healthy way) empathetic. I watch things on TV or movies where bad things happen to families and/or kids and I feel it on a level that is too much beyond what one should feel when it comes to fiction. But I do. So sue me. Blessing? I love my family. All of the trials of the last year and the separation have really allowed me to evaluate just how much I need E and our lil' fam of 4. Answer? A lot.

3) Letting people down. Totally. I don't like the idea that I disappoint people. I know I do, I just hate it. I worry about it. When I was a coach I made myself sick over trying to make all the parents and kids happy until I realized that you can't do that, no matter how you try. I don't know where this comes from. Probably it was internal, though one quote from my dad is something my sister and I still joke about: "We don't get B's." Nope. We don't. And when we do, we feel terrible about it (but of course, this comes from me putting that pressure on myself). This is a blessing because....? It means I have high expectations for myself. It means I hold myself to a high moral and academic and ethical standard. I might not achieve that standard all the time, but I sure try.

4) Getting duped. I hate trickery. Surprises give me a knot in my stomach. Go ahead and surprise me, but you better not let on that something's in the works because I'll make myself nuts about it. I also CAN NOT STAND when I can't tell if someone is teasing me. If you're going to be sarcastic, be obvious about it. Don't let me follow you blindly down the path like a trusting fool. It takes me a long time to trust people and when I feel like I've been tricked or fooled, it hurts me really badly. Blessing because? I value honesty. I don't mind sarcasm, as long as it isn't damaging. The people in my life that I know I can trust, I trust with my whole heart. I put a lot of stock in that.

5) Failing publicly. I don't mind failing at home, you know, like in secret. I don't like failing where everybody can see it though. This is why for such a long time when our marriage was difficult and not perfect, I didn't even tell my closest friends. I was afraid of what it meant that I couldn't fix it. I am afraid to try new things (like quilting!) I am afraid to meet people or to be in large groups where I don't know everyone. How is this a blessing? It's not. But it has helped me to force myself in new, challenging directions. LIKE BLOGGING. Hello, public life. Being open has brought me help for my marriage, connections with many people I wouldn't have talked to otherwise, new and honest connections with old friends, and it's helped me to push myself beyond what I'm comfortable with. So fearing failure? Not good. Knowing I fear failure? Bueno.


  1. Isn't School Days awesome?
    Your explanation on #5 is amazing. Here are some words from this complete-stranger-but-new-friend-in-a-blog-kind-of-way:
    Failure is nothing more than a matter of perspective. If you think you might fail, then you have even before you start. If you think you want to try but aren't sure of how things will go, do it. Do it with all your heart. You will someday remember all the "crazy things" you tried or thought or dreamed. You won't look back and reminise over all the things you wanted to but never did.

  2. When I come up with these assignments I think of them one way, and then when I read what you all write I see them a totally different way.

    Something happening to one of my kids (and now grandkids) is the scariest thing for me. It's too awful to think about. I think the only way to avoid that fear is to not love anybody, and that would be even worse.

  3. I'm catching up on your blog again! I just wanted to mention that I think it's a little funny that you're afraid of meeting people or being in large groups because it seems like people are drawn to you! I haven't hungout with you outside of you being coach or teacher but your writing is like opening up your front door and telling me to make myself at home!