I was raised by an anxious and depressed mother. She came by it honestly; her life was hard in ways I can only guess. In the manner of her generation, she did not share many details. I do know that she dearly loved my father. She lost him suddenly when he was killed in a car accident on his way home from work. I was five.

I can’t count the number of times I heard “Your father didn’t come home one night” as I tried to weasel my way out of curfew during my high school years. At the time, I felt it was her effort to repress me. I get it now. It was her expression of the painful truth that at any time, anything can go horribly, catastrophically  wrong.

I have, perhaps predictably, lived a fearful life. I have been afraid to be hurt, afraid to be disappointed, afraid to be afraid.

As a result, I have missed opportunities. And fun. (Probably lots of fun.) And I have been hurt, disappointed and afraid anyway.

None of the worrying or avoidance protected me. And I have been gobsmacked by things I never dreamed of worrying about. And survived it all, so far.

The last five years have been particularly challenging. There were the three years of bi-coastal marriage. The Kid went to college, and came back early. There were health issues. Our darling Maggie dog died. My mother died, and my brother and his family were cruel and deceitful. I have been under-employed, and uncertain about what to do about it.

There is not that much left to be afraid of.  Rather, there is not much to be afraid of that I can control.

I am afraid that I will regret not taking more chances from now on. And I can do something about that.

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