This picture is from yesterday’s walk. Other things I did yesterday included trolling for links, reading and listening about racism in 18th century missionary hymns, writing about my zip code, and tidying up the store blog.
Then it began snowing.
I am about to write about agoraphobia. If you haven’t been around for very long, you’re going to wonder what I’m talking about. In order to avoid boring those who have been around for a long time, or who know me, I will recommend that you check out the “agoraphobia” tag at left if you feel lost right now.
I Overcame Agoraphobia a couple of years ago, using the well-known Snap Out of It! method of treatment. I have been doing very well. Not only do I answer my telephone nearly all the time, but I have been driving to unfamiliar places alone at night. I have driven in winter weather several times. I drove on the freeway once. Admittedly, I made a wrong turn when coming away from a workshop, and thought I was going onto a frontage road, but I did not panic, and I was able to drive on the freeway to the next exit without any significant suffering.
I have not even felt the need to mention these amazing accomplishments in my blog, it has become so commonplace for me to do things on my aversions list.
But last night I had to drive a long way, to an unfamiliar place, in the dark, in the snow. That is a whole bunch of aversions piled up into one. I was panicking a bit.
I talked to myself a lot on the way. I reminded myself that I had checked the road before I began driving.
Yes, I did. I stooped down and touched the road to assure myself that it was wet, not icy.
I pointed out to myself that I had a cell phone. If perchance I found myself unable to drive home after the show, I could call someone to come and rescue me. I reminded myself that I would be likely to know my way home, once I figured out where the place was. I told myself that I could cry on the way home if necessary, though of course I could not do so on the way.
If someone shows up at your house prepared to cook food, and carrying knives, you do not want her to have been crying because it was snowing on the drive over and she fears that she will not be able to drive home, but will have to move into your house until spring. Just as a general rule, we do not want mad people cooking for us.
My family, however, would not be alarmed at all if I got out of the car with mascara running down my face, because they know what driving is like for me sometimes.
The show went well, and was lots of fun. I believe I will meet my sales goal for it, when all is said and done and added up. I walked outside and packed up my gear and (once the hostess was safely back indoors) stooped down to make sure that the road wasn’t icy yet.
I was driving my husband’s car. He repaired mine, after fooling around with it for several months, by cutting up hoses and using them instead of the actual part, which he felt was too expensive. I have therefore continued to drive his car, and he drives mine. Anyway, his car has a temperature announcer in it. It helpfully said “ICE” last night, but actually the main roads had been driven on quite a lot and were fine. I told myself that all the way home, along with other useful announcements: “You are not sliding. Other cars are not sliding. There is ice by the side of the road, but the part you are driving on is clear. You know the way home from here.”
The book I used to help me Overcome Agoraphobia recommended providing yourself with index cards that say that kind of thing, beginning with one that says, “Don’t go home.” I don’t remember whether I ever used index cards, but I know that I find it helpful to announce things to myself in a firm voice.
On really terrifying roads (and there were none on the journey last night, praise the Lord), I say clearly to myself, “Keep driving. Do not stop driving” until I get beyond the terrifying bit.
This morning the roads seem quite clear. #2 son will be disappointed not to have a snow day from school, but I am very happy, since I will be driving up to the store today.
I also had some products for review arrive yesterday from Amazon, including a couple of books I haven’t yet read (one is nonfiction, but not actually about the end of the world, so it will be a bit of a change), and the other will have to wait till Lent is over. There was also Ecco Bella Flower Color mascara in brown. It was quite ordinary mascara, with no special properties or problems, as far as I could tell. I did not in fact cry on the drive home, so I can’t say how well it holds up to crying. I will have to watch a sad movie to test it fully before I can review it. It washed off nicely in the shower and I did not end up with panda eyes. No one said, “My, how lush and gorgeous your lashes are — what brand of mascara do you use?” But there is one very special thing — the bottle has a mirror on it. This means that, should you leave your house without putting on mascara, you can fish this package out of your purse and apply it whenever you remember.
Not while driving, of course, and not at the table, because we have to keep some standards. But if you, like me, sometimes fail to get properly dressed like a grownup before leaving the house, or if you go straight from the gym to work, you will find it useful to have this stuff in your purse.
I may go straight from the gym to work today, or I may take a walk again. Some of the ladies I met last night at the show (it was a girls’ night out kind of show, all women) have a very organized Friday morning walking club. They walk one of the local trails each Friday for a month and then move on to the next one. They are connoisseurs of the local trails, as you can imagine. Or connoisseuses. They mentioned a couple that I haven’t tried yet. I can go look for further signs of spring.