Day 334: Dread vs. Reality

Last night, I went for a walk with my boyfriend, Michael.

Michael and I talk a lot while we walk around and look at our surroundings.

To me, this is proof that

  1. We both are quite coordinated.
  2. We both have interesting things to say.

Here’s something we talked about last night:

How dread of something is worse than the reality.

We both had plenty of examples to support that thesis.

Last night, one proof of that theory was this:

It was friggin’ cold outside.

And if you have read many of my blog posts, you know how I feel about THAT. My posts show that I have been dreading the advent of the cold since ….. hmmmmm …… SEPTEMBER?

That’s right. And now that it’s almost December (tomorrow is December 1), that means that I have been dreading the cold for three months.

A quarter of the year.   That’s a full season, right there.

I’ve been having a season of dread — the season of MY discontent.*

Now, the cold is here, and I am experiencing RELIEF.

Why?  A lot of my dread is based on false assumptions.

During my season of dread, I was assuming that once the weather turned cold:

  • I would stay indoors all the time,
  • I wouldn’t go on walks, and
  • I wouldn’t see beauty around me.

Not true.

I was amazed to remember and realize, last night, that I still go on walks during the winter, probably as much as I do any other time of the year.

I had forgotten about that, during my season of dread.

I had forgotten about that, even though:

  1. have a very good memory** and
  2. I have lived through many cold winters.

However, during my season of dread, I still forgot these important facts.

I believe this proves that dread is NOT good for the memory.  I hope I remember better, next year (whatever I name that year).

As usual, I want to end this post with some images. However, I didn’t take any photos last night. (I guess the conversation was too interesting.) (Or, I’m not THAT coordinated.) Therefore, I will turn to Google, for some images of the kind of beauty we saw last night (and which I expect to see more of, soon):



And while we didn’t see anything quite as amazing as this:


… I think that captures my feelings, right now.

Thanks to William Shakespeare, those who dread, those who wonder, and — of course!  — those who read this blog.


* This is a reference to Shakespeare’s Richard III, He, apparently, had opinions about the seasons, too.

** I know this is bragging, but Lumosity tells me that I am in the 99.9th percentile in memory, not only compared to my age group, but to EVERY OTHER FRIGGIN’ AGE GROUP.***

*** Yes, I checked.

**** I found this image here.

***** I found this image here.

****** I found this image here.

Categories: humor, inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , | 48 Comments

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48 thoughts on “Day 334: Dread vs. Reality

  1. This was quite a wonderful post! We do tend to dread something before it arrives, or happens. We realize what our mind has made bigger, we can enjoy and conquer! Like that dratted winter cold and snow! This was a lovely set of photos to demonstrate your words, too.

  2. Great post! And if those photos are representative of how you feel, you are going to be out making snow angels all winter. 🙂

  3. Thank you for the reminder that dreading winter is really not all that productive. Ellie the wonder pooch and I walked to the grocery story last night — a half hour round trip — it is the longest she can walk now. I’m going to have to re-think my walking strategy. She’s been my constant walking companion for years — I’ve been dreading the days when she won’t be able to accompany me — time to let go of dread and simply be present in the moment of now. Thanks Ann!

    PS — love that last photo — how wondrous!

  4. I’m glad our paths crossed, too. Reading your blog was a lot like reading my life. I read somewhere, though I don’t remember when, that the worst torture in a prisoner of war camp was to know that at some point it was going to happen to you: Anticipation. Since I’ve never been in that position, I don’t know, but I did watch that Abrams 1984 spy spoof, “Top Secret” where the main character is being tortured, smiles and says, “At least I’m not in school.”

    I think that about covers it. 🙂

  5. Dreading is a bit like worrying and is it useless. Winter will come cold or not…. so my advice… more woolly jumpers and soft fluffy garments. I do not like the cold either but my plan so far worked with the warm layers. Hope it is not getting too cold though. Still a crisp winterday is beautiful to walk about! Glad you went!

  6. It’s so true! Our dread for the future never seems to be as bad as we imagine.

  7. Janis Moulton

    I’m so glad you are finding so much beauty in what you dreaded! Dread is an issue of mine, but I am getting better…I find lots of relevant wisdom in your blogs, even though I seldom post anything. Thanks for the beautiful Winter images this time!

  8. Thank you for the excellent reminders and interesting post, Ann.

  9. panikikubik

    Such a nice post and the photos shows hope.

  10. I swear I suffer from anticipation disease. When I was a kid, my parents couldn’t tell me beforehand if we were going to an amusement park or I’d get so sick from excitement we couldn’t go. Now it’s mostly sick from dread! I have been dreading winter for months. I don’t like feeling cold and I live in Pennsylvania! But like you, I usually find it isn’t so bad. I have wonderful fleecy clothes to wear along with a big puffy coat. Before you know it, it’ll be spring!

    • Thanks so much for this great comment, Kate. Isn’t it good to know we’re not alone?

      • In a word, yes. Most people think I’m crazy because I can get sick on things I want to do along with things I dread.

      • Hmmm. I’ll tell you some questions that come to my mind after reading your comment: (1) Who are these people? (2) How much does it matter what they think?

        Don’t mind me, Kate. I tend to think in questions.

  11. They are friends and relatives and me too. I haven’t been troubled by what people think in years. Being crazy at least in this way isn’t all that bad. I have learned to cope and there are things I can do to help relieve the anxiety to some extent. Much of it is travel anxiety.

  12. Nice article and great shots. good job 🙂

  13. I love the comfort of an effortless conversation – you have something really good there. As for the dread factor, I think it’s just our mind’s way of preparing us to face any unpleasant situation and after we have over thought it, it just doesn’t seem so bad. I do that too! 🙂

  14. Beautiful pics!

  15. Hi Ann! Thanks for following my blog! You almost managed to get me excited about winter – but not quite 😉 If only it didn’t last so damn long! Linda. 🙂

  16. Thank you for following my blog. I have heard it said that 99% of the things we worry about never happen. Nice post. I am following you as well.

  17. Love these pictures.

  18. clayton paul

    You know, it also seems sometimes that the anticipation of something good can also exceed the joy of the happening itself. Funny how our minds work…

    Good post, Ann!


  19. What synchronicity to come by your place this morning and find this helpful and articulate piece on the ol’ fave: dread! I have been chewing on a pretty hefty piece of it for the past 36 hours, and so appreciate your insight, and humor, all the more. Thank you for the wisdom and the stunning beauty of those images. xo

    • Thank you so much for this comment. Somehow, I didn’t see it when it first appeared, but it helped me, tonight, to read it. I appreciate your wisdom and I’m so glad this post was helpful to you.

  20. Pingback: Day 387: Why I’m not afraid of going out today | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  21. Pingback: Day 1068: Dread | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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