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. ;-)