What are you afraid of?

We all have fears. Some are ones we might never share with another individual. Others we have no issue with telling the world about because in some ways it bonds us with others. Somehow over time our list of fears seemingly add up, and for those few of you out there that are daredevils and are willing to do and try anything, I bet there is still something that you are afraid of.

What is your greatest fear? I cannot necessarily say that I have decided what my greatest fear is, but I can tell you that I am absolutely petrified of snakes. Whether I see a small garter snake in the grass, or I am watching a movie with a massive snake I quake just a bit in my skin (okay not a bit, a lot). It does not matter where I am, I do not want to ever interact with a snake. Which means that on a hike, or even out for a run I will literally freak out if I encounter a snake. Forget looking at them at the zoo behind the glass, they still give me the hibbie jibbies. Maybe my fear is because they are so unpredictable, or they have a way of being sly and then striking. I have always been scared of them.

Your fears might be of talking in front of others, or the dark, or traveling on a plane. Sometimes our fears are because of something that has happened in our life, or because of something that has happened to someone we know. Other times our fears are about anticipation. We dream up all these potential scenarios of what could happen, or what should happen, and in reality we make it all up in our head. I am not sure if I can ever get over my fear of snakes, but I do know I probably make a bunch of crap up that keeps me afraid (the self-fulfilling cycle of fear).

Michelle Poler decided to not let her amassing fears overtake her life. She decided to live for 100 Days Without Fear. Take a peek at her website, where she posts videos that show her doing what she is afraid of. It is inspiring, and well I am not doing so well because I had to quickly scan past the video of her holding a massive snake. She did look slightly in pain doing it! So, what are you afraid of that you could maybe overcome?

Are you a nitpick?

Are you a nitpick? I am.

This article from The Washington Post titled: “Carolyn Hax: A wife who gets things done is judged by a nitpicking husband.” I am the nitpick wife. Is it my dad’s fault? He ingrained in me to do it right the first time.

Why am I a nitpick? I make quick decisions often based on my intuition, but also based on the facts I have. I completely relate to the very first line of this article, the only difference is 9 times out of 10 Chris and I both believe that if it is worth doing it is worth doing right. A house project, a work initiative, a trip, whatever it might be, we focus on the plan, and put time into selecting the right options.

“My wife and I live by two different schools of thought. I believe that if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right, and put lots of time, energy and resources into things I plan.”

We like to make sure we are both on the same page. If one of us researches, then we show the other our findings, sharing pricing, timing, likes/dislikes, and what we think the next steps are for the project. Yes, in essence we project manage our life, but it means there is no miscommunication. Take a weekend. Yes, this might sound sterile, but often I will coordinate all the different errands we need to do (and the list is usually long) and orchestrate where we need to go and when. It feels slightly militaristic, and yet what it actually does is allow for us to get shit done and the rest of the time is for relaxing. If we did not coordinate, we would probably not get what we needed done, and potentially never find any downtime.

I love the ending of the article too:

“As a person on the receiving end of this constant oversight, I can tell you the drip drip drip of disapproval is eroding your wife’s affection for you. I can appreciate my husband’s careful ways (we got a great mortgage rate!), but he has no appreciation for someone like me who knows when it’s just time to pull the trigger and buy some damn sheets instead of endlessly researching thread count. You’ve been warned, husband. Find a way to appreciate her ability to get things done or someday she will leave you.”

I agree with the author. I would never leave Chris and often I want him to decide on the damn sheets, but that is just a little conversation we have to move the decision along. We need someone in the marriage that reads the fine print, watches out for where we might be screwed, and keeps us on our toes. Maybe we are both nitpicks. Either way, I like us just the way we are.

Making shit happen

I am a planner. I like to think things through. Yes, I can still be a “fly by the seat of my pants” kinda woman, but it happens after I plan a structure into life. I will give you an example. When I travel, I like to research a list of places we might want to go. Restaurants, green juice bars, cupcake bakeries, boutiques, brunch spots, art galleries, local artists, you name it. I explore the depths of it via the Internet, blogs, and even old school books such as Fodor’s at the library. I still cannot give up how easy it is to research and learn about a city from one book, then the time it can take to explore all those different details online. It just is not the same for me.

There have been times in my life when I have been told I am an over planner, that I think things through too much, or that I need to relax and let life happen. Let me tell you, I can do both, but I find that life happens at times because of a plan. There is often so many things I want to see in one city. If I do not research or explore (and depending on the size of the city) I could wander from far east to far west only to realize later that there is a place I want to see at the far east side. Depending on how long that takes, traffic, cost, etc it might mean that I never go back to that other location. Having a list of potential exploration ideas helps to do bundles of a city at once, by neighborhood. It also helps to be able to know what to look out for in a given area.

So when I came across this Eleanor Roosevelt quote last week, it made me ponder my ways.

“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.”

Let me tell you, when you are starving in an unknown city, and your “hangry” vibe kicks in and you find yourself in a neighborhood where the food looks less than a wee bit appetizing, and your smart phone for whatever reason is not picking up 3G, you will be grateful for the research you did at home before you left. You also might find that even with the research you find a multitude of new options and places to explore that you never would have found if you had not known to venture to that neighborhood.

I am not a wisher, I make a plan, and I make shit happen.