The Sum Of My Fears…

Kathy and I signed our revised wills yesterday. Nothing has really changed except we are now residents of the Sunshine State and they do things a little differently down here. Mortality gives you a quick jolt to the system, when you create a living will. Not maudlin but sobering. This is how you decide how you want to go out. 

I don’t know if it is my work in hospice or that I feel lucky I have gotten this far, but death does not scare me. It is what it is. But as I look at the world around you and me I do have fears. Not only for me but for my family and the rest of our big blue orb.

Dr Webster tells me, fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. He goes on to say it can come from real threats or imagined dangers. Interesting.

We take risks all the time and some more than others. Coming back from DC, we were on I95, doing 85 and getting passed on the left and the right. If you really stopped to think about it, this 4000 pound piece of metal is hurtling down the macadam with little or no chance of stopping in time if the situation deteriorates rapidly. You don’t dwell on it because it is a fact of life like riding in a plane or train. Some people do.  freak out.

As I look back over my life I have taken chances. I have done things some might consider dangerous. I assess the odds and hopefully make a rational decision to either take another route or plunge forward. The real secret is having control over the situation. Things of late run a little contrary to that prospect. 

This gun and violence thing has gotten totally out of hand. Back on the Interstate, you may have really pissed somebody off by switching lanes.

This dude or dudette is coming up to full boil as he or she pulls alongside you. The window rolls down and all of a sudden the business end of a 356 Magnum is aimed at your head. Nowhere to run. No where to hide. 

Recently a woman had dropped her son off at the US Naval Academy for his plebe year. She was back at the hotel chatting with fellow parents and she was shot and killed by a random bullet from a drive by shooting. We saw the mayhem as 30,000 fans were watching a Nationals game and a drive by occurred just outside the stadium. Shots rang out between two cars and three people were hit. Random? Yes. Rare? No.

What could be more tranquil that sleeping in your apartment overlooking the Atlantic Ocean at 2:00 in the morning? Then in an instant lives and concrete vaporize, reminiscent of 9/11. Incredible in every way but something went terribly wrong. 

COVID has struck more swiftly and stealthily than any other disease. Entire families and neighborhoods are under attack without any weapons in sight. A baptism or wedding turns into a “spreader event”. Rich and poor are hit with equanimity. 

On the gun thing you can’t run or hide and this galls me no end. There are no safe havens and I do not choose to live my life behind triple bolted bulletproof doors. But the chances grow every day that it could be me or someone dear to me. How did we let it get that far?

As for condos who knows? But if you are on an upper floor right now you have to be wondering if the contractor cut corners to make more money or the building inspector turned a blind eye. Maybe the condo board does not want to spend the money? A lot to think about. 

And finally, we have the opportunity to get vaccinated but we don’t. For some it is fear of what might be down the road as a side effect. Others want to make a statement about their rights and good for them. Lastly some are just afraid of doctors and needles. All valid but can you just stand in the middle of the tracks playing chicken with a freight train? 

All of this seems so implausible to me. You can get shot at walking to the store or the guy behind the counter chose not to get vaccinated and you catch COVID. You got through that gauntlet only to sit down with your takeout and a glass of wine and the building crumbles. How much of this is bad Karma and how much is avoidable? 

History is littered with bad actors and their aftermath. Yet we have always had faith in our systems and failsafes to get us through. In our seesaw of life we have always loaded up good and decent people to offset the miscreants. It was just the way we did things. I keep asking myself if this simple dogma still holds true. 

Fear is a reaction to a particular occurrence It is both physical, emotional and healthy. It keeps us on our toes. Anxiety is more lasting  and tougher to beat.

You feel overwhelmed by situations, events and personalities. You just worry a lot….about most everything. You say it is your nature but it is a learned trait

The sum of my fears is simple. I worry we are less and less able to handle problems head on. We look for magic pills and silver bullets. We look the other way. We don’t want to get involved. It is all about ME and US never enters our minds unless it is to our favor

Sorry kids,I can’t sugarcoat this. You can visit Disneyland but you can’t live there forever. Whether it is in gated communities or hardened barrios, we have problems that have to be addressed or they will eat us like a cancer. I fear but I am hopeful that we get our act together.

As always

Ted The Great

Factoids:

A study in 2016 showed there were 327 disaster events. 191 were natural and 136 were man made. 

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year.

Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment.

Concern motivates to help others with goal of solving it or to minimize the issue. Whereas, Worry is something which stems from negative thoughts about future with assumptions that is driven by fear and anguish. This fear then creates an emotional disturbance and there is no peace of mind. Which describes you?

MY HERO

4 thoughts on “The Sum Of My Fears…

  1. Far too few are willing to face facts and act and far too many are that way because they insist of sustaining ignorance. Sigh!!!!!!

    Robert L. Crandall Robert L. Crandall
    May to October October to May
    114 Eastern Pt. Blvd. 5016 SW Inverness Ct.
    Gloucester, Ma 01930 Palm City, Fl. 34990
    978 281 3179 772 463 6785

  2. Right on!!! Finally got to this. Good one. In the AF, we had a poster with the me worry? goofball with crossed eyes on it. It said something like—misspelled of course— I didn’t even know how to spell pilot and now I are one. Cheers

    >

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