Facing My Fears in 2018

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you are as excited as I am about starting with a clean slate, even if it’s mental. I hope you have lots of exciting things planned for your 2018. Since 2018 is starting on a Monday, that means there is a new #UpbeatAuthors message floating around blogs and social media today. Just look for our hashtag. Our theme for the week is about resolutions we’re making this year that we’ve never made before. For me, that’s facing my fears. The big one is going to be stepping on a plane again.

I had a really bad flight from Albuquerque to Dallas back in the latter half of the 1990s, one during which I thought the plane was going to shake out of the sky. It did me in for flying ever since. I’ve driven cross-country on more than one occasion, taken Amtrak several other times (both of which I’ve enjoyed, by the way), whatever I had to do to avoid getting on a plane. My thought process was I was in control of the car, and if the train derailed I had more of a chance of living than if the plane crashed. I know the statistics, but this is how my brain works. But my back no longer likes long car trips, and there isn’t an Amtrak station convenient to where I live. And I have to be in Denver this summer for RWA, and my plan is to then visit my sister out West after that. Thus, it makes sense to fly. But it will be a big step for me, getting back on a plane, so I’m going to do all the prep work I can beforehand to try to get my mind in the right space to not freak out.

Something else I want to tackle in a different way is my fear of something dreadful happening to my health or, let’s be honest, dying. I will be 48 this year, and my dad had a big stroke when he was 51. Both of my parents died of heart attacks. Even though I know their choices (bad diets, Dad smoked for 60 years) contributed to their decline and eventual deaths, they both suffered from anxiety, too, Mom more than Dad. I started addressing my health in 2017 by losing 20 pounds by being more mindful of my eating (not dieting but rather making more healthful choices and tracking calories), exercising every day, fixing a hormone imbalance that was wrecking havoc with my anxiety, and doing breathing exercises. I plan to continue those things in 2018 but also try to live more in the moment. This doesn’t mean I don’t plan for the future, but I need to not stress out and worry about it so much. I’ll do what I can to improve my health, and if something dreadful happens I’ll just have to deal with it. Hopefully by changing my mindset, I’d be more capable of that “dealing with it” part.

I have big plans for my writing for the year, and you could even say the end goal of that (making more money) will also feed into my goal of improving my health and mindset. I want to up my income to the point where I can afford to get at least two therapeutic massages each month in addition to my regular trips to the chiropractor. Adding more yoga to this I hope will help me stave off arthritis and the aches and pains that come from a sedentary job. My mom suffered from bad arthritis in her back and hips (my problem areas), so much so that she stooped and had to have quarterly steroid shots. I’d like to avoid getting to that painful point.

Also something I want to do this year that helps with the mental side of things is get out into nature more. Walks on the beach, exploring more natural areas and parks. And when it’s warm, I need to haul the beach chair and umbrella to the beach more often to do my reading and writing.

What about you? What do you want to tackle this year that you either haven’t before or want to approach in a new way?

Here’s to a happy, healthy, fun and prosperous 2018 for everyone!

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