Living Wright: Don't let fear be an obstacle
BY JASON ASHLEY WRIGHT World Scene Writer
Tuesday, January 08, 2013
1/08/13 at 5:34 AM
Go to Jason Ashley Wright's BlogOriginal Print Headline: Don't let fear be an obstacle
On rare occasions, perhaps for a church function or Amway meeting, Mom and Dad left my big brother and me home alone.
Usually, we behaved ourselves - except for that time I hurled the wood-covered metal handle from Dad's La-Z-Boy at my brother, who ducked, causing the handle to crack on the stone fireplace. Either we never told Dad about how that crack came to be, or I've repressed what happened when he found out.
Also during those rare occasions, I'd watch stuff on TV I shouldn't have - like the TBS broadcast of the BBC TV movie "Threads." It was about nuclear war and its aftermath - very bleak and quite lacking in the happy-ending department.
It also did nothing to quell my No. 1 childhood fear: nuclear holocaust.
Other kids fretted about bogeymen and monsters, but I was convinced my future was a scene from "The Day After," just more hot and humid because I lived in Mississippi, not Kansas. That made it even scarier.
Thankfully, my nuclear nightmares haven't materialized. Now, I fear - and that's probably too strong a word - things like unemployment and cancer and always having love handles.
Every now and then, an email pops up in my inbox, reminding me that fearing some manner of apocalypse is one of the least attractive characteristics of the human condition - particularly mine.
Panic via email
Monday morning, within the course of an hour, I read two frightening emails. The subject line of the first heralded: "Asteroid To Hit Atlantic, Tsunami Disaster Coming!" I assumed they were quite serious, what with the exclamation point. Had they used multiple exclamation points, of course, I would've laughed it off.
The second correspondence began, "Solar storm aftermath? $2 trillion in fixes." Well, crap. Superstorm Sandy isn't quite out of our collective consciousness, and now we have Solarstorm Whatnot coming? Are we naming these, by the way?
In 1999, it was panic about the Y2K bug. After 9/11, it was terrorist attacks.
Fear can be debilitating. I've let it keep me from writing fiction since 1997. I wasted 15 years being afraid of rejection or falling out of love with writing or whatever silly excuse I felt compelled to fabricate as a reason I wasn't blazing a trail home after work, where I'd written all day, just to write all night for myself.
Too often, we use fear of some intangible thing to distract ourselves from what we should be doing. Maybe the reasons why are laziness or some self-destructive tendency. Whatever, it's an obstacle to happiness.
Not that it's a chocolate-covered thought to savor, but any of us could exit life from any manner of accident or health trauma with little notice. Maybe that's a reminder we need when fear of anything starts creeping in: Don't waste the time you're given living in fear. Live today, and be thankful for it.
And, if you want to live tomorrow, kids, never fess-up about the crack in your Dad's La-Z-Boy handle. Just in case.