Posts Tagged With: fear

Travel, change and solace

Readying for another road trip later today, I thought about how much things have changed over the years:

  • Remember paper maps?  Maps that unfolded with landmarks and highway intersections?  You’d need a companion to help navigate. Now – I rely on an iPhone or car navigation system.  I prefer the phone because one can listen for upcoming turns and still enjoy the radio.  My car system talks over the radio and I end up missing sing-along opportunities, political updates, and advice from Dr. Laura. 🙂

  • Packing for an overnight requires just as much effort as packing for four.  Vitamins, hair stuff, makeup, jewelry, pajamas/robe, in-room clothes, work clothes, travel clothes, computer, portfolio, shoes, phone charger and more.    And coffee, don’t forget the coffee.

  • I don’t sleep well in hotels.  Part of my packing routine involves a good book and essential oils; most times, I average 4 hours of flipping & flopping vs. the 7 solid Zs at home.

  • As much work as it is, I still enjoy going.  Meeting new people and getting out of my comfort zone.   Example, tomorrow I’m one of several giving a presentation to company peers and executives.  Now I make presentations on a regular basis but usually before total strangers.  Peers are far more daunting.  So I do what I always have:  prepare, know my stuff, and nail it!  (And a little self pep-talk never hurts.)

  • And as much as I love the going, the coming home is even better.  🙂

“Home is where you go to find solace from the ever changing chaos, to find love within the confines of a heartless world, and to be reminded that no matter how far you wander, there will always be something waiting when you return.”  – Kendal Rob


What do you enjoy about the going?   What do you never travel without?

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, fear, Fun, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Men, Personal, Thoughts, Travel, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Random 5 April Friday

It’s Friday – Good Friday – and here are my random 5.

1. Yesterday, with the windows open, I heard a sound I hadn’t heard in a while: birds singing. Lots and lots of them.  It had rained and their little chirps conveyed their delight at Spring’s arrival.

2. Tuesday my sister had a heart attack.  She’s stable and will be OK – but it was a very close call. Living on a farm, 25 miles from the hospital she nurses at, she realized what was happening, called ahead and had her husband drive her there (translate: drive like h*ll through hills and potholes!! ).  Life flight was soon on scene and she was transported to a bigger hospital with cardiac facilities.  How did I find out? My brother-in-law called his kids and emailed a few of us.  I got his email just before heading off to my grand-daughter’s Kindergarten concert.  I pulled in a few people and made some calls and waited.  The waiting, that’s the hardest part.

3. This little face was the perfect distraction from chaos going on elsewhere:

MJ's Beach-themed Kindergarten concert; an Emjayandthem (C) photo

MJ’s Beach-themed Kindergarten concert; an Emjayandthem (C) photo

4.  Chatting with my Mom,  we both cried while discussing how close we came to losing her and how grateful we are that we still have her in our lives.     Sissy is a nurse, the care-taker, primary caregiver to Mom, the sun in our family’s universe.  In her honor, I baked.  I baked a cake for my Father-in-Law because that’s what I do when I can’t do anything at all.

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Caramel icing

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Caramel icing

5.  This morning, I woke up to birds chirping, a cake on the counter, and the knowledge that He loves me this much:

We asked … How much do you love me? And He said “This much.”

And then He stretched out His arms and died.

For you. For me.For us. For them.

For the good, the bad, the weak and the sad.

For all of us. He loves you this much.


** Wishing you and yours a blessed Easter **

Categories: Faith, Family, Food, Home, Life, Personal, Seasons, Thoughts, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

The fear of the fear

I read a passage recently that really resonated with me. Loosely translated it reads that, “everyone has some type of post-traumatic stress, but many of us suffer from pre traumatic stress.” What is that?  The fear of a fear. We fear something that hasn’t even happened yet and may not ever happen to us.

When you think of all the things you accomplish regularly and how you manage challenges that show up in your life, doesn’t it make you wonder why we have such fears?   Think about it: most of the stuff we worry never comes true anyways.   I’ll forget. I’ll look stupid. They’ll laugh at me. I won’t know what to do.

I thought back to a former boss’ stories about attending community meetings and nearly being run out-of-town “on a rail.”  He was there representing the company we work for and, at that time, we weren’t thought of very highly. He talked of getting into red-faced shouting matches with officials.  Now, bear in mind,  I never experienced what he went through but, along the way, I picked up on his anxiety .. and carried it with me.  I listened to his stories in horror and developed a healthy fear of that happening to me. I developed … a fear of the fear.

After reading that quote earlier this week,  it dawned on me that, in my new job, I’m doing a lot of speaking in front of community officials. Guess what? I’m doing just fine.  Some talks have been delicate and some have been challenging but all have been professional.  There’s been no rails to be found anywhere.

I had no idea,  until I read that passage, that I’d developed a fear of the fear.   Unwittingly, new experiences have let me through most of it. Yes, I still feel a tug when asked to meet with certain groups, especially if a contentious history is known, but every time I do so, I get a little better and that gives me confidence to step past the fear.

Interesting stuff we do to ourselves.

Have you ever developed a fear of a fear? Do tell.

Some days I'm the mouse, other days the cat!

Some days I’m the mouse, other days I’m the cat!

“Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are our own fears.”
― Rudyard Kipling, The Collected Works

Categories: Confidence at any age, Faith, fear, Growth, Home, Life, Personal, Relationships, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Like I belonged there

Settling into my seat today, I took a deep breath and opened the packet of briefings for today’s meeting.

Settled into the 19th floor of a prestigious law firm next to the State Capitol, I took a moment and looked around the room in wonder.

Wonder at how I – a prairie farm kid – got here.

Wonder at how I went from managing policy just three weeks ago to having a seat at the table affecting it.

There were moments of trepidation, silent sweats, and that feeling of oh-my-God-I-am-not-so-sure-about-this.

And then it happened:  Listening to the commentaries, I found myself nodding in agreement, in understanding. I got past my shyness and started asking questions. My questions were well received, and the best part?  The best part was my contribution was welcomed.  I belonged there.


“Act like you belong there, not just like you wanna be there.” -the Hubbs.

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” ~ Elbert Hubbard

Fear is a darkroom where negatives develop.”  ~Usman B. Asif

the view tonight :)

smiling at my view tonight 🙂

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Life, Quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Playing with fire

“Man may have discovered fire, but women discovered how to play with it.”  Candace Bushnell, “Sex and the City”

Sophia Loren and Jayne Mansfield;

Do you think women dress for the men in their lives … or the women?

When it’s date night, I enjoy dressing the way hubbs appreciates ….  all boom-chica-mow-mow and then some.  And he does the same for me.   (Without the boom-chica-stuff… makes most guys feel ridiculous).

But, I never dress that way unless he’s with me. No, when I’m with friends, colleagues or even family, I am non-threatening in my attire.  I dress to fit in; conservatively, tastefully, and buttoned-uppedy.

So, with that being said, can I just say that I love being a girl?

Can I just say that I love having curves that I keep contained for the Hubbs?

Can I just say that, for all the pony-riding, tomboyish days of my youth, that I love getting my nails done and fixing my hair and feeling pretty and foxy and all sassy-frassy?

Can I just say that I absolutely, without hesitation, embrace my feminine strengths, the ones who let me rock a pencil skirt and heels and a power drill all in the same day?

Oh, I think I can say it:  I do believe I just did.

image from

How about you?  Does your wardrobe change for the various roles in your life?

What makes you feel fine?

* * *

*This post was inspired by my closet and the various characters living within.

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Men, Opinion, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments


We get what we trust. Trust poverty and betrayal to be there,  they will. Trust abundance and love to be there, they will.
–Martha Beck

Categories: Beauty, Faith, Friendship, Growth, Life, Quotes, Relationships, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Because sometimes I just know

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where what you feel doesn’t match what’s being presented to you?  I have and I experienced it again this summer.

We’d been introduced to a new couple via mutual friends when I experienced something that gave me pause:  A feeling of unease. Butterflies. A sudden upset stomach.  Wooziness.  (and no, I wasn’t ill and only had 1 drink).

I acknowledged my feelings but attempted to shelve them; they were insistent and kept re-appearing as the evening progressed.  The hostess was lovely, their home was beautiful but it was him that I reacted to.  I took note of my body’s reaction whenever he addressed me. He was agitated and trying especially hard to be liked.  I felt for him in that moment but couldn’t help but notice how he frequently criticized and dismissed her .. in front of all of us.  I saw the sadness in her eyes and soon I really saw what my body had already recognized: a bully.

And then I felt it again; a primitive tug, pulling me away. I wanted to grab my purse and flee, to get as far away as possible.  Emotions washed over me.  Grief, sadness…  desperation. I had to get out of there and I found myself in the bathroom trying to compose myself.  I remember thinking, “I am truly losing it!”  But .. still, I listened.  I’ve learned to do that.

Thankfully, the evening ended soon after and before we were out of the driveway I said to everyone in the car: “I don’t ever want to see or be around that man again.”

That’s fairly clear, even for someone as direct as me.

I didn’t say, “I am not sure I like that guy” or “He’s not my favorite.”

I said, “I don’t ever want to see or be around that man again.”

Not long afterward, I heard that she was injured in a household accident and a shudder passed through me.   Because sometimes, in spite of the mask someone wears, sometimes I just know … better.


I am currently reading “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin de Becker and right after I started it yesterday, this post came to me.   

In his book, readers learn how to:

  • Recognize the survival signals that warn us about risk from strangers
  • Rely on their intuition
  • Separate real from imagined danger
  • Predict Dangerous Behavior
  • Evaluate whether someone will use violence
  • Move beyond denial so that their intuition works for them


Categories: Attitude, Faith, Quotes, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , | 42 Comments

I felt the earth move … under my feet

image courtesy of

Sitting in my West Michigan office earlier today, my chair started to sway. I felt light-headed, like I was experiencing BPPV all over again. Instant dread took hold.  But – as soon as it was happening, it seemed to pass. “That’s weird, I thought.”   Because I regularly battle low blood sugar, I immediately reached for a high protein snack.

Moving on to next task at hand, I didn’t think anything more about it until I read of the earthquake that took place in Virginia today around 1:51 pm E.T.   I knew that had to be it.

AP reports indicate that this was one of the largest ever recorded earthquakes in the DC area. The depth of the quake was only around a 1/2 a mile and that explains why so many felt it.

Immediately I thought of old friends .. and new blogging friends .. in and around that area.

I thought of all those who’d survived 9-11 in DC, New York and Pennsylvania and wondered if this caused instant panic in them, too.

I said a silent prayer that no one would be hurt or worse yet, killed.

How about you?  Did you feel the earthquake today?

Categories: Life, News, Opinion, Personal, Share, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

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