“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Franklin Roosevelt

Whenever I felt frightened about a new venture, my mother would share her favorite quote by Franklin Roosevelt “ The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. That has stayed with me through many a scary time. It made so much sense but unfortunately I think the times have created a new metaphor around fear. Essentially, we are now in the midst of a culture that seems to love to dole out fear as if it were candy for the masses.

Not a day goes by without some news that informs us that we must avoid something that might be detrimental to our well being. If you watch any of the 24 hour news channels, you’re more than likely to discover something frightening every few minutes. Even if the anchor person is discussing a subject that is somewhat tepid, you can rest assured that they’ll be a scroll underneath them reporting on a murder or a new salmonella scare. Our bodies are programmed to help us to “fight or flee” if we are under siege. This mechanism is at the ready whether it is real or imagined.

If our perceptions are such that we feel under attack many times during the day, the constant flooding of cortisol throughout our systems will eventually damage our bodies ability to keep its’ immune system intact. It will also make us anxious and or depressed. In today’s world the media seems focused on scaring the living hell out of us as a form of entertainment. This segue ways into every nook and cranny of our lives. Eating a meal with friends or family has become riddled with dialogue about whether the ingredients are healthy or harmful. One day we hear blueberries could lead us to the promised land the next we are on the road to damnation.

Children are so protected that the days of seeing them running around outdoors is becoming practically extinct. It could make the national news if someone sights a group of kids playing kickball in the streets without helmets, kneepads and an emergency medical kit close at hand. Talking to a stranger in a line at the grocery store might kill you if they have the slightest sniffle and you had better reflect on your behavior if you talk too much, flush the toilet too many times or have a need to call your mother too often. Maybe it’s time to stop feeding the piranhas of fear. Information can be useful or useless. It’s up to you to sort it out. Use it wisely and don’t become its’ slave.

I Want to Rant About Things I Find Maddening.

I often wish I could have a radio show so that I could rant about the many things I see in our culture that I find maddening. Sometimes I just can’t believe how we have gotten to a place where so many things have become so incredibly involved and exhausting.

Why does it take so much effort to open the plastic bags the supermarkets have on a roll in the aisles for fruits and vegetables?

I have gone home with friction burns on my thumbs from rolling it between them in the hopes of getting it open. I found the same issue in some garbage bags I bought. I finally took a pair of scissors and cut it open and of course it was the wrong end.

New toilet paper rolls have been glued together so that finding the beginning tissue starts to feel like Russian roulette. I have shredded almost a whole role as I became more and more infuriated. It also takes a lot of time and that’s not exactly how I want to spend part of my day.

I’ve gone through the same dilemma with paper towels. Once again I whipped out my trusty pair of scissors and cut a huge swath through the roll ending up with only a few pieces.

Trying to find an answer to a problem for something that might be wrong with your phone, or a product that’s got a missing part, or trying to reach a department in a store can turn into a harrowing experience. I have pushed one for English, three, four and god knows how many more numbers before a real person comes on, only to have to hear that my call may be monitored for training purposes and quality assurance. I think getting an authentic human being rather than an imitation might really up the quality. The clone never seems to understand my requests, and persists in giving me responses I have to keep saying no to. I have come close to feeling rage that I knew no amount of deep breathing was going to alleviate.

A sad state of affairs for a woman who teaches stress management.

Hair spray never really seems to spray for very long. It starts to spurt and spray as if it’s on its last leg. I was told it gets stuck and that I needed to put it under hot water to release it. Why should I have to take time to release something that costs more money than its’ worth? Shouldn’t someone come up with a spray can that releases itself? I have face cream that has a pump that’s supposed to dole out just the right amount. The only problem is that you have to first find the right position to unlock the pump. This is akin to trying to open a safe that you don’t have the code for. Mostly I unscrew the top and just dump it into my hands. Unfortunately when it gets three quarters of the way down, you can’t get more than a drop out of the bottle and that takes major effort that leaves you beet red and sweating. I’ve often decided to just leave my face without the miracle moisturizer and face life dried up and sane. I’m convinced this is a clever way to get you to buy another bottle.
Oh there’s lots more stuff that drives me nuts, but I bet I’m not the only one that gets a little crazed from all of the above. I’d love to hear some of your rants. Write me we’ll commiserate.