Fear has been on my mind a lot of late. Partly because of the 80-100 mile per hour wind gusts in Boulder and partly because of a big change in my life. Two very different types of fear . . . or so I thought.
First the wind. If you know Boulder, Colorado, at all, you know that we often have chinook winds in the winter and spring. Chinooks are also known as foehn winds, the strong, warming winds that race down the foothills at hurricane-force speeds and slam into Boulder. Although I have never liked the wind, it was never a concern until we popped the top on our house and added my studio and a master suite. Now, as the first gusts rock my house, my heart starts to race and I almost hit panic mode as the winds get stronger. Nighttime is especially stressful for me.
I have tried talking myself out of the panic. I know that hurricane clips were used in the remodel. I have the photos to prove it. I know our builder did an excellent job. I trust him. I have tried wearing earplugs, sleeping downstairs in the guestroom, and even sleeping on the floor in the closet. All to get away from the sound of the freight train coming to run my house down.
As for the other big change in my life, it happened in December when I was laid off from my job of 30 years. Of course, this major disruption brought other changes and forced me to examine my life and ask some important questions. The most important question is what do I want to be when I grow up?
I didn’t start out to be a book designer; I just fell into it. Life became very much a habit, and maybe even a bit boring. So while it can be scary to be unemployed, there is also joy in being in the moment. There are opportunities on the horizon that would normally elicit that old, familiar feeling of panic. But I am learning to acknowledge the panic, steady my racing heart, and then face my fear head-on. I am moving on with my life.
I tried that last night during the windstorm.
I listened to the roar in the distance as it came over the Flatirons. Felt the vibration in my body as the pressure changed in the house. Let the freight train roll over me and away. And it wasn’t that bad. I survived.
I think I will be an artist when I grow up.