Friday, May 13, 2011

Saying "NO" to the Fanny Pack

WV has experienced some technical difficulties with Blogger over the past two days, which has led to late posts and Michele posting some of the blogs. We think things are all set now, thanks for your patience. Today's blog was written by Jackie, and posted by Michele. Teamwork... just one way we make it through the widowed experience!

I took part in a 10K race the other week. can’t say that I ran. Technically, I did run…for about ten steps. Then I walked. I couldn’t run because I was overly prepared.

I was afraid that I would get thirsty. That I may trip and need a bandaid. That I may require a dab of sunscreen or lip balm aside from the initial application pre-race. That I may lose consciousness and need my ID for emergency personel. A snack in order to keep my blood sugar up. I kept all of this essential equipment stashed in my very stylish fanny pack. Yes, you may laugh but I was ready for any emergency.

As I started on the race, I congratulated myself for my preparedness. But when I started to run….I was totally annoyed. The stuff in the pack shifted noisily and the water bottle slapped against my lower back. As I watched other “racers” fly past me, I envied their freedom. Their ability to run.

I finished the race walking and marvelling at the metaphor that the race had become.

Fear had kept me from “flying” along with the rest of them. Anxiety that something would happen to or around me caused me to think about every possible scenario and attempt to remedy it before it even happened.

I think that my fear of not being prepared for all the eventualities that life has to offer is affecting my and my children’s lives. I couldn’t stop Jeff from dying. I couldn’t keep my children’s lives “whole” and “nuclear”. So I will burden myself with all the equipment/knowledge/paraphernalia I can possibly endeavour to possess in an attempt to control the uncontrollable.

And this need to hold everything together is making me fall apart. I want to live. I want to run!

Goodbye fanny pack. Next 10K? Commando.


  1. Love this so much! When you do "fly" you are going to fly faster, farther and more gracefully than those "whole/nuclear" folks! :) Congratulations on finishing the race!

  2. Ditto - congratulations for finishing the race. What an accomplishment for a young widow with 2 small children. Jeff is so proud of you!

  3. LOL!! I've always been like that (maybe losing my father as a child set off my OCD)? I have a 15 minute drive to work. It takes me ten minutes to pack and schlepp all of my stuff to the car. I need snacks, meals, half a gallon of water, makeup (which I NEVER refresh at work but always bring) and whatever else strikes me at the last minute. I have tons of stuff in my big purse, even a CPR shield in case I have to save someone, toilet seat covers, a pocket knife, a tire gauge that I don't know how to use.., bandaids, medicine, antibiotic ointment, and more! trust me, you wouldn't want to live in my brain. Then I get insulted when people tell me I'm OCD. Even I know it. Too funny.

  4. Congratulations on finishing the 10K! You rock! And thanks for the wake up call! I'm pretty sure my fanny pack for life these days is actually a large back pack. Time to lighten up, physically and mentally. Love ya!