The Yarnspinners

News of anthologies by Kim Cox, Elizabeth Delisi, Chris Grover, Elaine Hopper, Maureen McMahon, and Sheryl Hames Torres--The Yarnspinners!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Safe or Paranoid?

My motto for life has always been, "Better safe than sorry." (And also, "It's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick," but that's another story.) So yes, I'm the type who doesn't like to take chances. I prefer things to be safe.

I think it began with my mother. I remember as a child, dipping little plastic toy soldiers into a mud puddle, which inspired my mother to launch into a lecture on what to do if I ever found myself in quicksand. ("Float on your back." Yeah, right, like I'm going to fall into quicksand in Connecticut.) My mom was a great mom, but very cautious. I reached adulthood with nary a broken bone.

That carried over into my own mothering skills. "Don't climb that tree, you might fall out!" "Don't ride your bike on the street!" "Be careful with that glass, it's breakable!" I had the kids trained...if something broke, I yelled, "Don't move!" to keep them from impaling themselves on broken glass before I could get to them. My kids reached adulthood without any broken bones, too.

Now an empty nester, I still prefer caution above all else. Doors? Always locked at night, someone could break in and steal something. Why would a door have a lock on it, if it wasn't meant to be used? (My husband keeps telling me to leave the doors unlocked; he's hoping someone will break in and steal the dog.)

Candles? Never lit, they could start a fire. Stashed around the house, looking decorative and dusty, but never ever burned.

Handrail? Always clutched firmly when going up or down the stairs, otherwise I could fall and break something. Hey, that's what it's there for, right?

Because...once I got out from under my mother's sheltering wing, I did a few "crazy" things. And I did have a bicycle stolen from an unlocked basement. I did set my hair on fire once with a lit candle. And I did fall down the stairs when not holding the handrail, and broke my foot.

So you could say another of my mottos is, "Once bitten, twice shy." Hey, I'm not hopeless, I can be taught. ;-) It appears, as I should have known, Mom was right.

But this caution, a valuable life-preserving trait, can also be life-stifling. I'm afraid to fly. (Well, I always say, it's not the flying I fear. It's the plummeting.) I'm terrified of tornadoes. (So don't expect me to be a storm-chaser. I'm a storm-flee-er.) I'm too timid to ride a bike. (Hey, there's too much traffic, and the bike doesn't come with an airbag.)

My husband thinks I'm missing out on a lot in life by being so cautious. But I always counter with, I don't crave excitement and wild adventures. To me, going shopping for yarn or a new outfit is an adventure. Eating out is an adventure. Turning on the TV and finding my favorite movie is on is an adventure. Being cautious means it doesn't take much excitement to keep me happy. My home is my favorite place to be.

So, what about you? Are you a thrill-seeker or a risk-avoider? Why have you chosen the route you've taken? Would you change if you could? And, the most important question: anyone want an 11 year old dog who barks his brains out and is stupid but lovable? I'll leave the door unlocked. ;-)



At 11:40 AM, September 07, 2006, Blogger Sher said...

Ah...I like your hubby's pet philosophy, Liz. LOL Working up a Pet for Steal kitty sweater pattern right after I sign off.

I grew up in a family of six kids...there was always a catastrophe of some kind going on. One of my brothers took all the broken bones for the rest of us...we're still grateful.

And yet, I'm very over-protective with my kids. Guess it comes from a mixture of having to go thru so much to get them, then almost losing one of them. If it ain't safe, they don't do it. That's my motto.

As for flying, I'm totally with you! I picture God with planes balanced on splayed fingers, head shaking in dismay..."When will these mortals realize there was a reason I didn't give them wings???"

Besides, yes, the car trips are long and exhausting...
but think of all we get to see that fliers don't.

We should form a club!

At 11:48 PM, September 10, 2006, Blogger Maureen McMahon said...

I've always thought the world was divided into two kinds of people: risk takers and risk avoiders. I am definitely a risk avoider. Why would I want to jump off a bridge with elastic tied around my ankles? Why would I want to see the world from atop a mountain where there's little air and it's so cold your toes freeze off? Why would I want to jump out of an airplane with a sheet folded and strapped to my back? Some say it's the adrenaline rush - personally I get enough adrenaline just from the panic attacks at the thought of some of these exploits.

I'm with you, Liz - the quiet life for me. :-)


At 12:34 PM, September 12, 2006, Blogger Elizabeth Delisi said...

Sher, be sure to loan me the pattern when you're done with it! ;-) I agree about car really get to see every mile of countryside and you can't beat that. And every public restroom...

Maureen, you USED to be a risk taker! That's where we differ. The riskiest thing I ever did was the candle thing. Hah! But I'm okay with that. Nothing ventured, or singed or violently broken. Heeheehee!


At 3:44 PM, September 21, 2006, Blogger Kim Cox said...

I think I'm somewhere in the middle. Home is my favorite place and there's a lot of things I used to do without a thought that I don't do anymore. Like riding rides at the carnival and taking off to somewhere 60 miles away without a thought to danger.

I never flew until I was about 30 but now I've flown twice and I must say, I love getting there fast. Not flown since 9-11 and don't know that I will, because I don't have any money to go anywhere these days anyway.

If I wanted to see the scenery, I'd take the car and just ride around without any certain place to go or be. When you don't get much time off work to go places, it's hard to go across country and be back in a week. During vacation, by the time I get back, I feel like I need another vacation to rest up from the one I just had--especially if we drove.




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