Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I'm an Old Dog, but I've Got New Tricks!

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative

Despite my fears, which induce kicking and screaming while gnashing and gnawing, I am in the process of conquering lots of them. If I can do it, you can too. A fear can be as simple as feeling overwhelmed by technology or as complex as agoraphobia and panic attacks.

When I began this blog, I had a standard joke: I married a geek and birthed two so that I don't have to be one. If my husband so much as changed one icon on my desktop, I couldn't tell you which one. None the less as my computer booted up, I was unhinged to the point of tears because my 6th sense told me he'd gone to meddling again!

The sum total of the many crises we have endured since 1999 resulted in my experiencing minor panic attacks. I had no clue they were slipping up on me and ramping up in intensity until my counselor identified the problem. By the time she did, I was on the verge of developing agoraphobia. I found I could only venture out of the house for basic, unavoidable necessities and then only if I could complete the chore within fifteen minutes start to finish.

This last year has been one of self-discovery. I've combated that agoraphobia thing pretty well as demonstrated by plane trips to New Mexico and DC for writing/blogging coferences. The panic attacks are still minor. I recognize them now as the begin to besiege me. I see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it's not a train. Well . . . if it is, do not send me the memo. Ignorance is bliss, and I'll keep it that way for now!

These last two months have been pivotal in my campaign against techno-phobia. I've even amazed my three geeks a time or two! My husband recently gasped, “ are doing HTML!” I think he resisted the urge to run look out the window to see if pigs had started to fly. When Son #1 realized I knew what a hashtag was and how to use it, let's just say you are rich now if you invested in smelling salts a few weeks ago.

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
I recently began an online Bible study re the Proverbs Woman hoping to address my weakness in life-planning. The truth is, I felt as if I might feel more of a failure by the time the study is over. I was a-skeert to try it. I overcame that fraidy cat and jumped on board. I'll let you know how it works out.

One of the harder things about the impact of living in limbo and crisis for over a decade has been the effect on my ability to plan and implement what I plan. Son #1 and I were discussing my frustration with me this morning. I have been praying about it a lot. In fact, my frustration in that area is one reason I signed on for the online Bible study!

Everywhere I look, there is a project waiting for my attention. It seems I will never catch up from the set back of falling and breaking my leg over two years ago now. I mean, goodness, I was only off my feet for 5 months. How could it take this long to catch up? I think the short answer is: every time we had a life setback, I began slipping farther and farther behind. So, between my fall, Jeff's near death from sepsis, and my mom's eight weeks of death and dying while in an ICU unit, I was done for.

It didn't help that I came from a family in which goals involved only what it took to get from one day to the next. My dad was a bi-vocational pastor. In the 60's that meant you worked for free as a pastor and then worked a 40 hour a week job on top of that for pay. Life didn't leave a lot of time for grand projects, goals, or to-do lists. So, we lived from one day to the next without much thought of the distant future.

The sum total of my life has me feeling as though I spend most of my time wrestling an alligator. If I'm not so engaged, its as if I'm slogging through neck deep wet cement as it sets up while carrying a 50# load of rocks on my back. I am a party animal. What can I say?

Today, I decided to embrace technology in hopes of helping me manage life with more productivity. My blogging friends introduced me to a nifty little thing called Evernote. I ran in fear. Today, I quit running, turned around, and faced my fear.

Courtesy A. Huges
I opened the program, began to explore it, and created 2 'notebooks' using the applications. One is to track my ongoing kitchen renovation. The other is to track a 30 day challenge I am doing to refine and improve my capabilities as a blogger. I am feeling pretty smug here in the wee hours let me tell you.

Here's the thing about fear. It is a harsh task master. If we give an inch, it will take a mile. Myself? I'm tired of being bossed around by that greedy tyrant. How 'bout you? I'm so glad you have come along on this journey with me. I hope, in doing so, you are taking the 1st steps to taking your territory back from the fears that haunt you. If I can learn a few new tricks, you can too. Even if you are an old do like me. I promise.
Courtesy B. Creasy 2010

Love you long and strong, fraidy cat. Don't you stay gone now, you hear? 
Isaiah 41:13 (The Message)
That's right. Because I, your God, have a firm grip on you and I'm not letting go. I'm telling you, 'Don't panic. I'm right here to help you.'


  1. Wow, Carol Anne. Has it really been a year? You've come a long way, baby! Seriously, what a joy it has been to see you grow and learn and slowly slip out of your fraidy cat persona. Can't wait to see what He has in store for you next!

    1. Vonda, time flies when you are running scared all the time. ;-) I hope I have come a long way. Lots of times I feel as if I've made barely any progress at all! I am thankful for encouragers like you who keep reminding me I am in process! Hoping to pass that legacy along via my "Monday Girls". Contacts I made w/ young women at BRMCWC, young enough to be my dtrs, for whom I'm praying each Monday!

  2. CA, I think you are a rock star! God is using you in such a powerful way. He is using your fears and hard times to show how trusting in Him really can pull anyone through anything. I believe wholeheartedly that writing is God's will for your life. It might have taken until you were 35 to discover it (you're 35, right?), but you're doing it! I am so overcome with happiness for you and I hope you are able to write for a long time to come.

  3. Sadly, no I am NOT a rock start, but I have recently met some young women I am SURE will BE rock starts of the writing world! I am so thankful you see the Lord using me and that you are willing to tell me so. But for friends like you, I would have thrown in the blogging towel MONTHS ago!