Oh It’s Tuesday: What is Your Greatest Fear? [Proust Questionnaire]

Fear and Hope statues at the 2006 Burning Man. Photo Credit: Herbert

Fear and Hope statues at the 2006 Burning Man. Photo Credit: Herbert

Of all the questions in the PQ, I think this one is the most liquid for me. For a very long time, my greatest fear was failing “to do anything big” before I died. The idea of a wasted life kept me up at night.

Then I got married and my greatest fear became something catastrophic or fatal happening to be husband. I tell him to “Be Careful” whenever he answers the door or gets out of the car on a busy road in order to get the diaper bag out of the trunk. I’m pretty infamous amongst my group for failing to return calls, but if he’s learned to return mine w/n an hour, so as not to worry me.

However, now, this all pales in comparison to the fear I carry around for my child. It’s constant and big to the point of cliche. So big, in fact that I think it has actually made me a more relaxed mother. I’m constantly reminding myself that I cannot allow my fear for Betty’s safety and well-being transform into restrictiveness. That helps no one. So I drive with her and I take her places and I don’t allow myself to fly into a panic every time she coughs.

Lately I’ve begun to think that great fear is a gateway to zen. Accepting my fears and learning to function within them has been my greatest mental health achievement, and I’m stunned how much less anxious motherhood has made me.

But that’s me. What’s your greatest fear, and how has it informed your life?