My fears (30 Days of Blogging Prompts – 2)

Day 2 of my blogging prompts and I’m trying to get my Shared Journal Experiment going, too.  That project is taking shape, got the intro written up and set, but I’m having a problem getting the book together.  This is one reason getting started is sometimes the hardest part.  We’re supposed to circulate journals and write posts depending on the blogging prompt written by the previous swapper.  I’m joining the exchange 24 cycles into the experiment but the swap is simple enough that it is supposed to go back to its original owner/journaler after all the pages have been written on.  We can go on and on and on… I just need to send this off finally.

But back to my post tonight.

Prompt no. 2 in the 30 Days of Blogging Prompts Journal:  Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and describe how they became fears.    

This is a tough one that needs some pondering, not quite as random as the first.

It’s not so much not having anything on the list but quite the opposite, having too many.  At my age, I tend to be more cautious and less brazen and more cognizant of the things that are just beyond me.

[1]  In the present time, I seem to have a very active imagination about doomsday plots and catastrophes happening, no thanks to all the doom and gloom of futuristic shows.  Have you ever seriously thought what you would do if  The Walking Dead became a reality?  Or if something akin to what happened in Jericho or Revolution actually took place?

[2] I’ve thought about it and have different scenarios and “what ifs” running in my head.  I know we are ill-equipped in terms of defending ourselves.  My co-op unit has windows on all three sides except the firewall.  (Thinking of what I would barricade it with.)  I know I have arnis sticks, a baseball bat and a jungle knife in the house but that’s about it.  I have enough food to last two to three days at any given time after what’s in the fridge starts to go bad.  Etc., etc.

Blame it on the media.  But given all that’s happened, having been here during 9/11 and experiencing things firsthand as I was in Downtown Manhattan at the time, the fears are not necessarily unfounded.  I’ve played that scenario over and over in my head, wondering what I would do if something similar were to happen and I got caught in Manhattan again.  I think about how we would survive if everything shut down and we had to fend for ourselves if all order broke down.

How do we survive the harsh winter if we were to go back to the basics and lose our heat and electricity?  Questions of doom that only lead to more worrying, but which I cannot help but ask even if only in passing.

[2]  Contracting a life-threatening or dread disease.   We always hear that life is short.   I’m at that age where friends or friends of friends (more or less in the same age group) are being diagnosed with cancer or some other dread disease.  I have even seen some friends pass on after losing their battle.  It always catches us off guard, hitting even the healthiest of the healthy.

It’s not something I like thinking about but with a history of cancer in my family, it’s one of those “what ifs” that float in my mind.  I worry about what would happen to my son.  Although I know he will be surrounded by love, I cannot imagine how he would deal with the loss of a parent.  He has been one happy child who radiates that happiness back out into the world — it’s not so much what would happen to me if I were to get sick that I fear, but what it would do to him if I were to be taken away from him by illness.

It doesn’t help that I know I can do better as far as taking care of myself — but in the grand scheme of things, that’s not one of my top priorities.  Perhaps it should be.  I keep saying that I am trying to lose weight not so much for anything but because at my age, I have to take better care of myself.

It’s one of the uncertainties of life that we have to learn to live with — and one which is personally a fear that’s very real to me.  Even if I’ve got my memorial service planned out in two or three ways in my mind already, the getting there and when I get there is a big question mark.  I would want to hope it doesn’t happen anytime soon, but again, who am I to say?  I hope it won’t happen with a dread disease.. that I would just slip into the night and wake up in heaven.

[3]  Growing old and becoming senile.  I have always been very good with trying to accept that aging is something that I have to embrace gracefully.  Perhaps that’s one reason why people say I don’t look as old as I actually am.  (I always get a kick out of that.)  I know that makeup has a lot to do with it although it’s probably because I put on less instead of more.  And more importantly, my Asian skin is not as susceptible to wrinkles as badly as Caucasians.  I try to dress my age and other than chocolates and soda, I live clean.  (No smoking, no alcohol.)

I always keep myself busy beyond work and motherhood.  I’m always up for learning something new, and in fact am looking forward to going through an Itunes University course on American History from its Yale lecture library.  I have my hobbies and continue to push myself to learn and improve myself and my techniques.  I see myself getting old doing all this and more, continuing to be active to the day I drop dead.

I have a daily front row seat to seeing the effects of Alzheimer’s and Dementia on my almost 83-year-old mother-in-law.  A highly-educated hardworking woman who worked until she was 70, took care of two grand daughters for almost 4 years on her own after, now lost in the past through much of her waking moments.  I know that much of her condition is due to a big heartache she experienced around 5 years ago.  The mind has its own defense mechanisms which can will itself to forget the pain in its heart.  It’s as if she wanted to just “wander off”.  She has the usual geriatric ailments, but we have taken good care of her so she is for the most part in good health.  The hardest part is that we know that mentally, she is slipping away.

I hope that I end up like Betty White, still up and about in her 90s.   I’d like to be fully functioning and in possession of my complete mental faculties til I take my last breath.    But we really don’t know how we’ll go through the twilight of our years — if we’ll grow old and grow old whole, or if our mind will go before our heart stops beating.