After a long, mild autumn, we’re in full-on winter where I live. The days are getting ever-shorter and the nights are getting longer and longer. Traditionally, this was a fearful time of year, a time to gather round the fire with the ones you love and keep the darkness at bay. I think it’s a good tradition.
After your response to my toenail post, I suspect that many of us harbour the same fears, some big, some small, but all with the power to make us feel small and alone. So let’s gather round the fire. I’ll tell you a few things that keep me awake through these long winter nights and if you’d like to share a few of yours, we’ll get through the darkness together.
I’m afraid of the dark. Summer and winter. Nighttime or just getting myself shut in the walk-in fridge at the bakery during the day, it scares me. It always has, but as a grown-up woman, I feel a bit silly, a bit embarrassed to admit it. But I am afraid. Because in the darkness, I don’t know what’s in front of me. I’m not in control and it seems like all the scary monsters of my childhood can roam at will, slithering over my feet to trip me up, crawling up my legs and fluttering around my head.
I’m afraid that I will never recover from this disease that has me in its grip. That, despite my daytime lists of ways I’m getting better (and I am getting better), maybe the doctors are right and it will just be constant pain for the rest of my life and my life will be woefully shortened because of it.
My finances are a constant source of fear for me. When times are good, I’m afraid they’ll end and when times are bad, I’m afraid they won’t.
I’m afraid that the people I’ve hurt will never get over it, that I’ve blighted the lives of the people I hold most dear because of a moment of tiredness or weakness. Despite the evidence that they are, in fact thriving and living amazing lives, I can still wake out of a sound sleep, heart pounding at the memory of my unkind words or thoughtless actions. Those memories will haunt me to the end of my days.
I’m afraid of beets. They can grow so big and their flavour gets stronger the bigger they get, unlike most other vegetables which seem to come into existence with a finite amount of flavour that dissipates throughout as they grow. And even biting into a tiny candy-cane or golden beet holds the taste of danger because when I was young, I had a tummy bug after eating beets and it’s always the last thing you ate that gets blamed and so for all this time I’ve suspected that those beets were trying to kill me.
Making phone calls scares me. Even to people I know. My father hated the telephone and apparently it’s genetic. People get sniffy about texting, but it’s a total life-saver for me. I am now able to go months and months without making a phone call and that suits me just fine.
I don’t want this post to be a downer. And just listing these fears out here in public has made them less scary for me. So thank you for allowing that.
And now, if you’d like to tame a few of yours, feel free to share. We’ll keep the fire going until everyone feels better.