The Recovering Farmer

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Fear of the Unknown

What is it that scares us most? Something we know will happen? Something we think may happen? Or something that we have nightmares about? Something that in all likely hood will never happen? Often times that becomes the question. What happens that we lay awake at night feeling anxious? What is it that fills us with a sense of doom when we travel on the highway? What is it that when we are feeling happy about our circumstances we have this dread of something bad happening?

For example. Sitting here the day after the September equinox, no clue what that means, but thinking about what it might mean. What I do know is the weather is fantastic. Leaves are turning color. We know fall is in the air. What we don’t know is what is to follow. The Farmer’s Almanac calls for a worse than normal winter. Excuse me. Did we not have that last winter? Will it be worse? Can it be? How can I deal with that? I keep reassuring myself that our day to day forecast is inaccurate. How can someone tell us that the winter will be worse than ever?

But what happens? We plan on lots of snow. Should I get winter tires? It will be horrible. Do I need a snow blower? The questions fly and before you know it you have conjured up a vision of snow falling and blowing. The windows are opaque from the extreme cold. Or is that because of snow drifts? Not sure. How will I survive? Help. I can’t take this anymore.

Then I take a deep breath and look out my window and realize that I have grass to mow. Some weed eating that needs to be done. A tee time in a few hours. Where did that panic come from? It came from runaway thoughts. Thoughts out of control.

Last night, as I lay awake, as I have far too often lately, I was intrigued by some of the thoughts I was having. Thoughts of a conflict I was involved in thirty years ago. A conflict that came and went. In fact, if memory serves me right, it was dealt with at the time. Then I thought further to other events that happened during that time. I became upset. Those thoughts led to others. It did not take long and I was ready to confront someone.

Then I realized that these experiences have come and gone. Most of the stuff I was upset about had either been dealt with or actually never happened. Why was I now losing sleep over this? Does this mean I have underlying issues that I need to deal with? Do I need help? Do I need counselling? Oh my God. I am so screwed.

I stopped myself. I realized my thoughts were out of control. I tried to find my happy place. You know where that is. The golf course. Even that did not work. Not sure why.

Then I thought back to my last month. My one and only daughter got married. We went on a trip to the east coast. We came back to plan a Manitoba reception for our daughter and her husband. My mother died. Had a funeral. Back to planning a happy event. No wonder my mind is in overdrive. It is just trying to keep up to my hectic life.

So the choice is mine. I can bury my head and stew about all the bad things that are about to happen to me or think will happen to me. Or I can look out the window, enjoy what the day has to offer, and actually worry about the unknown when it happens. Who knows, it may not. Make it a good one.

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