Desperate, I made a Fear Box. You Should Too.
Plus, my workout routine- did you miss it? AND I have signed copies of my books for you to give loved ones for the holidays!
“I scribbled down every thought on a three-by-five-inch index card. I didn’t care how stupid it was or that my family might find it after my death and bear not just grief, but mild judgment. If I felt it true, I wrote it down. I filled up every corner, every crevice, front and back, before moving on to another card, filling that one up too. I had no idea I was such a fearful person until I saw all my fears scrunched and scrawled and scribbled in between. In fact, I tend to think I’m more aloof, like my dad, who brushes everything off as easy and solvable. “Worst-case scenario, you get to ride around on a knee scooter for a year,” he told me casually on the phone when I was awaiting X-ray results from a bad fall. “What’s the big deal?”
As annoying as that is, he’s always had a point. I don’t walk miles to fill buckets with toxic river water for my family like some women in third world countries do. I don’t feel as if I should birth ten children because most of them will die before the age of five due to some horrific, and now preventable, disease. Bombs aren’t dropping in my neighborhood as I flee with my babies in my arms. And if I did have to flee, at least I have legs to flee on. There was an Oprah episode I’ve never forgotten, highlighting a mother who lost both her arms and legs due to a flesh-eating bacteria. They showed clips of her at home, zipping around on an office chair, somehow managing to fix breakfast for her kids with all her nubs. She told Oprah that when her doctor said they’d have to amputate all her limbs to save her life, her response was, “Go ahead and get it over with so I can get back to my kids.” My point is: 99.9 percent of the complaints that come out of my mouth on any given day are preeeeetty weak.
Even so, compared to some of my uptight friends who only let their children play in the front yard if they’re on a leash, I thought I was doing pretty well for myself in the fear department. But after taking a good hard look at my list, I wasn’t so sure. I was afraid of a lot of things. I scribbled down each fear that lingered behind my ears, relaxed behind my eyeballs, and set up camp in my gut, flooding my index cards in a frenzy until every fear was given its own place.
I wrote in a frenzy because I was in a frenzy. I had just received a text that Rob and I had less than a month to leave our lake home.”
[We’ll Laugh About this Someday, pg. 167.]
This is from the my chapter, “Fear Box.” I was so overwhelmed by loss, disappointment, self-loathing, debt and the trauma of uncertainty, I wrote all of my fears, every single one, on individual index cards and slipped them into a box. And when I say every single one, I threw in some real superficial doozies. But we all can be superficial, deep down in our secret places we hope no one can see lest they judge us or think us pathetic. And I needed to get it up and out, away from me. A box, closed, waiting for God to swing to retrieve on his daily pickup of panicked prayers from his beloveds with oh, so little faith.
Then one day, years later. I found the box and read my fears, again.
“I was afraid my treasured dream of becoming a book author would never come true. I feared if it did come true, the book would bomb. I feared I’d lose my agent. I feared having no friends. I feared if I failed much longer, I wouldn’t have the strength to keep trying. I feared if I lost my strength, my family would be in poverty, always insecure, with no rest or safety. I feared I didn’t know who I was. I feared I was a fraud. I feared mediocrity. Lost opportunities. That deep down, I didn’t want the dream, just the applause. I feared I was selfish, stupid, and mean. I feared our debt would never get paid. I feared I’d fall out of love with Rob, or worse, he’d fall out of love with me. I feared dying too soon. I feared dying alone. I feared something bad happening to my babies. I feared I’d always be fat. I feared I’d never stop caring about being fat. I feared Rob would die. I feared my parents would die too. I feared I’d be alone like an orphan, with no one to love me so unconditionally again. I feared that one day I’d get a huge wart near my eye that would not only look hideous but obstruct my vision. I feared people would hate me. I feared bad reviews. I feared wrinkles and crepey knees. I feared karma didn’t know the address of my enemies. I feared all my hard work would be for nothing. The list went on, but I didn’t need to read more.
All those fears, I thought, while ripping the cards in half. And not a single one came true.”
[We’ll Laugh About this Someday, pg. 179.]
I don’t know what you’re afraid of, but I encourage you to write each fear down, even the real pathetic, stupid ones, and get them away from you. Put them away, let God handle them, then do what you've been called to do.
So, you wanna know what my routine is, eh?
I offered to share my fitness routine on social media and I have to say, it went BANANARAMA. Hundreds of you responded asking to take a peek at my daily regimen and so I offered it last week. Because of the overwhelming response, I made a Fitness section on my Substack where I’ll offer everything I’m up to, and share everything I know. If you’ve been on my list for awhile, you’ll have to subscribe to this yourself (I didn’t wanna force fitness emails from people who definitely did not follow me for fitness haha). Learn how, here.
What I’m listening to this week:
Need something to listen to while you walk, exercise, or do other menial tasks you hate? I’m here for you!
Here’s our Episode Eleven in the I’m Not Ready for This walk with me series, “I’m Not Ready for Hosting Parties. Sorry.”
Now, I hope you’ll forgive me, I have to cut this Sunyay Digest! short - I’ve had one of my migraines for a few days and need to sign off. More goodies to come next week <3
The best gift idea, ever.
I don’t wanna toot my own horn, but toottalatoottootoot!
I have books on hand that I’d love to send you as gifts for your friends and fam for the holidays!
So, I purchase a supply of books from my publisher for giveaways, special events, and for when I do book signings for when bookstores run out - which happens a lot - and I’m not sure if that’s a compliment, or if the book store didn’t order very many because they had low expectations? Anyway, here we are.
I’ve had several people DM me, asking if they can purchase a book, send it to me to sign and have me ship it back, asking me how much I’d charge.
That just seemed so silly to me— so I’ve thrown up a little shop where you can order your books, I’ll sign them with a huge grin on my face, and get them shipped to you!
I’m selling them retail to cover my costs, but for the holidays I’ll give the other one to you half off, because I like to have a good time!
Please note: I almost sold out of We’ll Laugh About this Someday already, but I do have some on hand. If I sell out, I’ll reorder from my publisher who has a pretty quick turnaround and get it to you ASAP.
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And, of course, the best way to support me is to not only buy my books, but to get a copy for your friends and family to help support my mission to spread laughter. Get a personalized, signed copy now for the holidays!
Have we met? I’m Anna Lind Thomas, a humor writer out of Omaha, Nebraska. I’m listed as one of USA Today’s top ten funniest women writers, and author of the best selling book We’ll Laugh About This (Someday) and my latest - I’m Not Ready for This. Once you read them, text me (number’s in the back and I respond!). Don’t forget to say hi on Facebook and Instagram.