Monday, September 10, 2012

No Fear

Welcome to my blog.  For my inaugural post, I'm covering a topic I'm something of an expert on.  Fear.  I can't claim any expertise coping with, or overcoming fear, just ... you know ... feeling a whole lot of it all the time.

I know what you're thinking.  Sam, this is nothing .5 mg of Xanax three times a day can't cure.  But here's the thing ... I'm a big fan of high anxiety.  As a defense mechanism, fear can't be beat.  An immediate, internal danger warning system?  Sign me up.

Still, I can't ignore how something so freaking genius from a survival of the species standpoint plays out in strange ways on a day-to-day basis.   My son, who is 3, is terrified of automatic flush toilets, because they will "suck him down."  Like any good mom, I've demonstrated repeatedly -- to the point I have a permanent toilet seat imprint around my butt -- that this can not happen.  Doesn't matter.  The kid will hold it from It's A Small World all the way to Downtown Disney to get to a self-flusher.  This very same child wants nothing more than to open the car door while the car is in motion.  So, yes, I'm eternally grateful for the invention of the central lock feature, but where the hell is a little fear when I need it?

On the other hand, some fears are so instinctive, no amount of logic or education alleviates them.  Years ago, my husband and I took a vacation to an island on the Great Barrier Reef.  This was our first experience with an all inclusive resort, so we drank insane amounts of "free" booze and told our tired, wimpy livers to man up.  During rare windows of semi-sobriety, we snorkeled.  One such occasion, we blundered right into a school of sharks.  Despite many assurances from the dive staff that the only sharks around were harmless reef-sharks, despite these creatures looking exactly like the pictures of reef sharks we'd seen during our "safe snorkeling" class, we hit the shore with the urgency of troops storming the beach at Normandy.  I still have the bruise on my ass from where hubby shoved me out of the water, (or out of his way -- the secret to a 16 year marriage probably hinges on not seeking too fine a clarification on certain points).

I think the foregoing demonstrates fear's power.  When we feel it, we don't calmly sit back and question the legitimacy of the emotion.  But even a big fan of fear ought to do so every once in awhile, because sometimes the fear is just plain stupid.  Fear of technology.  Fear of looking like a dork. Fear of commitment ... to something as simple and pain-free as a weekly blog.

I may always have issues with automatic flush toilets and reef sharks, but here's my blog.  Enjoy. 

See you next week.



  1. Welcome to the blogosphere, Sam! Thanks for giving me chuckles with my afternoon chai tea. My daughter was around your son's age, well, maybe she was two, when I took her to the bathroom on an airplane. The huge, explosive flush scared her so much, to this day, (she's 28) she holds her water rather than use an airplane toilet.

    I have had anxiety issues on many levels over my life. I tell myself, this is a feeling, we humans are meant to feel things, and I try to use the "feeling" for future writing. Occasionally, I need to be relieved of that fear and that's when I resort to, well, other things to help me.

    You did great, so chuck that fear out the window, okay?
    And congratulations on all of your current contest wins/finals/places.

  2. I laughed throughout and I get your son's fear even though there is no way any toilet would be able to suck me down. My hind side blocks that hole.

    My big fear -- scorpions or as I like to call them minions of Satan!

  3. Ha ha. I love this Sam. Having only met you briefly, I'm impressed at how your voice shines through your writing.

    Blogs. Hey, they're yours. Write what makes you happy. Heck today I wrote about a stuffed lame is that?

    Congratulations on the contest wins and places, and especially your upcoming book with Entangled Publishing. That's awesome!

  4. Love the new website, and blog! And many congrats on the contest success.

    I can relate to your son's fears. I used to have a thing about public toilet stalls. I'd make sure the door was open before I'd flush the thing. Of course, the auto-flushing variety cured me of that since there doesn't seem to be a way to get out of the stall (properly clothed) before the darn thing flushes!

  5. What a cute subject for your blog! Your voice shines through from the first page of your website right through to this page. It's clear to see why your manuscripts are winners in the contests you've entered.

    It's interesting how some childhood fears stay with us our whole lives.

    Best of luck to you with your blog.

  6. Congrats on the blog, the website, the contract, the contest wins...hey, we should throw you a party!

    Seriously - terrific blog. You've taken to blogging just fine my dear!

  7. Nice way to kick off a blog - never would have imagined a link between reef sharks and self flush toilets LOL, enjoyed the post, congratulations on the contests!

  8. Hi Sam! You rocked this. I loved reading it. Huge congrats on all your wonderful news! *hugs!*

  9. Eight (now nine) comments on your first blog post?! Brilliant! If fear caused that, I should get scared-er. Actually, I think you mean taking fear by the horns and staring it down demonstrates fear's power - not just the raw, knee-clanking fright you profess to experience. Case in point: mentioning your new blog right off the bat, even though it terrified you. Congrats on your bravery.

    Oh, my fear - spiders (Thank heavens they don't fly *shudder*), and my son is afraid of giant squids. His is cooler.