As I prepare for this wonderful get-away with my dear husband to celebrate our 35th anniversary(which is really December 28, but the cost is prohibitive between Christmas and New Year's), I find a bit of fear, or cowardice, invading my life. I have a lack of courage. I looked up these words to see which really fits me and here's what I found:
1. A feeling of agitation and anxiety caused by the presence or imminence of danger.
2. A state or condition marked by this feeling: living in fear.
3. A feeling of disquiet or apprehension: a fear of looking foolish.
4. Extreme reverence or awe, as toward a supreme power.
5. A reason for dread or apprehension: Being alone is my greatest fear.
Ignoble lack of courage: chickenhearted, craven, dastardly, faint-hearted, lily-livered, pusillanimous, unmanly. Slang: chicken, gutless, yellow, yellow-bellied. See fear
Courage (noun: )
The state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution; bravery.
I'm not exactly certain which word, fear or cowardice, fits me best. I do not go through life in a state of dread or apprehension, agitation or anxiety. I do like the 4th definition - that of reverence or awe for God.
I really don't like the second word - cowardice. But I fear it describes me better than fear. I think I'm more like this guy, from The Wizard of Oz:
I am really a chicken when it comes to physical challenges. I can face an audience. I can start a new job. I can drive cross country by myself (well, I could when I was younger and didn't fall asleep on my way home from work!) I can take on anybody who has wronged a loved one (as long as it's on the phone or in a letter!) But I am a puddle of pathetic pusillanimity when it comes to anything physically daunting. (See definition #2 under "Fear").
When my younger sister and I were living in the town I mentioned in the previous post, there were a lot of pretty rough kids walking home from school with us. It was a very cold town and these kids loved to make snowballs, which were really more ice than snow. They would hurl them at unsuspecting kids (seemingly especially kids who had just moved there and hadn't been accepted quite yet). I was so afraid of getting hit by one of those ice balls , especially in the face with the possibility of breaking my glasses) that I cowered every day on the way home from school. Enter my courageous, YOUNGER sister, who would fight back with snowballs. She actually chased them off, if I recall correctly.
When I was only 10, we were at one of the 10,000 lakes in Minnesota, cooling off on a hot summer afternoon. I didn't know how to swim, and hit a drop-off. I literally saw the proverbial life before my eyes scenario as I bobbed up and down in that water. My mom, who couldn't swim either, but was taller, came to my rescue. I shudder when I think she could have stepped into a drop-off as well and we would have both been lost. But God spared our lives. He, however, did not give me the courage to face that possibility again. The only D grade I ever reeived in school was in 8th grade swimming - I could not trust the water to hold me up. I could not float, much less swim. I still can't. I've toyed with the idea of taking adult swimming lessons and whipping this giant, but I am too afraid! Or cowardly.
Fast foward to adulthood. I met my future husband. He loved to hike. I hadn't done it much, but wanted to be with him, so would venture off into the hills with him. We did pretty well until he took me on an adventure one day shortly after we were married that was too much, . This particular hike involved a perpendicular (well, it seemed that way to me) ascent. I don't do perpendicular. Ask my brothers and sister if I ever made it up into the haymow, where they were having lots of fun when we were at our grandparents' farms as kids.
DC could tell you the sad tale of how I cried and sat on a rock at that very spot, telling him to go on to the top and come back to get me on the way down. He was pretty shocked, as I recall. I did manage to conquer that hill at a later date, but haven't felt the need to do it again since then.
A few years ago I decided to prove to my kids that I wasn't a total wimp. Don't ask me why I chose this particular method, but I decided to go on this ride at Elitch Gardens one beautiful late summer evening.