Day 496: Fun with Phobias (Part III*)

Several months ago, I wrote two posts about phobias (here and here), which I defined like so:

…  personal, inexplicable, exaggerated, and illogical fears I’m feeling …. in the present.

When I thought of “Fun with Phobias” in February, I knew it was a personal blogging goldmine (or “cash cow,” as people say in the marketing biz). That is, this was a topic I could use repeatedly, getting new value from it with minimal effort.

And yet, while I returned to that blogging golden cow the very next day, I have not used it since.

In the therapy biz, here’s a question people often ask:

Why now?

That is, why am I returning to this topic, on this particular day, after a hiatus of many months? As usual, I have a multi-part answer:

  • A friend recently used the word “fearless” to describe me. I took issue with that label, and we discussed how I (and he, too) actually do this:


  • I have lots of seemingly unrelated photos I want to show you, and — since I am capable of feeling fear about almost everything — this topic should provide an easy way to introduce whatever-the-hell pictures I want.
  • It’s Mother’s Day, and Mom-o-phobia is something some people may have felt or experienced, at least for moments (although I’m not experiencing that now, in any way).

While I could, at this point, indulge in some Intro-Blog-o-Phobia (the fear of writing a not-good-enough beginning for a post) … instead, let’s proceed to phobias with photos.


1.  Miss-o-Phobia.

The fear of missing things — including people, experiences, and objects (in the past, present, and future).

For example, I saw this penguin, a week or so ago:


Then, a few days ago, I took another picture at the same location, to show how a tree there had blossomed:


And, while I noticed changes to the tree … what did I totally miss?  Changes to the penguin.


These days, I might also experience Miss-o-Phobia about:

  • Co-workers.
  • The groups and individuals I do psychotherapy with (when my health is better).
  • My mother.
  • My father.
  • Anything or anybody not in my immediate vicinity, at the present moment.


2.  Ticket-o-Phobia.

Two meanings: (a) the fear of forgetting, losing, or otherwise not-having-on-hand a necessary ticket (for a trip or an event) and (b) the fear of getting a parking ticket.


Note: The latter manifestation of this phobia is often co-morbid* with Quarterlessness-o-phobia, the fear of not having the correct change.


3.  New-o-phobia.

The fear of experiencing something or somebody never encountered before.

I experienced this feeling yesterday, on my way to meet somebody new:


Wait! Who is that?

Guesses, anybody?

Time’s up!

That’s The Culture Monk, a blogger I admire, a/k/a Kenneth Justice.  Kenneth has been taking his show on the road, with his “Drinking in the Culture Tour,” and I went to see him at a coffee house in Cambridge, MA.

It was great to hang with Kenneth for an hour, and talk about many things, including the past, present, and future of blogging and (not surprisingly) fear (eeeek!).

I told Kenneth, when I met him, that he wasn’t as intimidating as I had feared.  Instead, he was instantly easy to talk to (which I also knew, on some level, from reading his blog).

As usual, my fears of the new — once I faced them — were unfounded.

And, as I was reminding myself on my way to meet him, Kenneth was NOT new to me. I have been meeting up with him, here in the blog-o-sphere, for quite a while.

Whenever you encounter something new, familiarity is also there somewhere (although you might miss it).

Speaking of that, those who are familiar with ME may have noticed, in that last photo, somebody else I admire: Jackie Chan*** (in the lower left).

Yes, Jackie Chan was NOT new to me yesterday and … neither was The Culture Monk.

So, maybe the old saying is true:

There is nothing new under the sun.

Which gives me a GREAT excuse to end this post with some other photos, recently taken under the sun.

In order of appearance:







Happy Mother’s Day!

Thanks to everything and everybody who helped me write this post, including fears, Susan Jeffers, parents, work, Kenneth Justice, Jackie Chan, the sun, the Dalai Lama,  and … you!

* The number in the post title is a roman numeral meaning “3,” although I could easily have written 110 previous posts about this topic.

** “Co-morbid” in the therapy biz means “occurring at the same time.” Despite the way it looks, it has nothing to do with death. (Eeeek!)

*** I’ve blogged about Jackie Chan before: here, here, here, and here.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth, photojournalism, quiz | Tags: , , , , , | 29 Comments

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29 thoughts on “Day 496: Fun with Phobias (Part III*)

  1. Happy Mother’s Day, Ann. It gladdens me that you are obviously getting outside more each day. Or, at least, that’s the way your photos are making it seem!

    • I think you may be correct, Mark, although these photos were taken over a period of time, and I — typically — am more aware of what I CAN’T do (for example, stay longer than an hour, yesterday, talking to Kenneth). While I might also have Slow-Recovery-o-Phobia (a/k/a as “impatience”) … I think there IS steady improvement. Thank you for noticing and for the Mother’s Day wish, too.

      • I gave myself a little Homer Simpson d’oh moment when I saw your Kenneth mention. When I read his arrival to Boston yesterday morning, my mind did not go to the fact that you and he would meet up. What a great connection that is, Ann! You are indeed part of the Boston culture for him to meet. I hope to read more about it. And, too, I laughed at the fact that your neighbor would go through the trouble of changing the penguin from black to white. Perfect! Finally, the parking meter quarter problem. In Syracuse, the powers have come up with stations that are fewer. You have to walk to them maybe a half block in some instances. But they take credit cards! And they spit out time coded slips, which you them place on the car dashboard. Finally: I very much like the new look of your blog. It is much easier for my eyes to read. Have a great Super Recovery Woman Sunday.

      • Well, THAT is an interesting comment, Mark, for many reasons. For one thing, I did nothing to change the look of my blog. This brings up another fear of mine: Sudden-Online-Changes-Related-To-Heaven-Knows-What-o-Phobia. However, this is another instance where the change — even though I can’t explain it — was for the better. So, again, there is nothing to fear!

      • The background looked whiter to me today.

        Never mind.

        Time for another update on the progressive reading glasses prescription, or a visit to the memory bank.

      • It could be different on your browser today, Mark. I have encountered several inexplicable format changes from day to day, here on old familiar WordPress. Somehow, I would tend to trust your perceptions.

      • That is true. Yesterday my Reader refused to give me 12-hour sections of the day. I can’t figure out certain behaviors.

  2. Happy Mother’s Day Ann! For some reason your photos are not showing up for me this morning. 😦
    Diana xo

    • Arrrgh! More unexpected bad behavior from WordPress (see my interchange with Mark directly above). I guess I shall let go of disappointment and have faith that the photos shall soon reappear (since I did nothing differently in my posting today).

      • Yes. Now the photos are there! You are so wise Ann – I would have deleted them and re-added them instead of just waiting. 🙂

    • And Happy Mother’s Day to you, too, Diana!

  3. Happy Mother’s Day to you. The issue of someone not seeing your photos may simply mean the brower of the person did an automatic update. My phobia? My main one? Clowns. Can’t stand ’em. for some reason I equate them with Wizard of Oz, a movie that scares the bejabbers out of me. but nice photos. I’ll give you $5 if you help me move that gorgeous lilac bush to my yard…

    • Thank you for this visit and this comment, which did not scare me at all. And I am very glad I had no clowns in this post, because I would never want to cause you any discomfort, either. Unfortunately, that lilac bush does not belong to me (although, the extra $5 would have been nice).

  4. i wish there was nothing to fear
    but fear, itself 🙂

  5. Some phobias I can think of are :
    1. Not-good-enough-phobia (second guessing one’s own abilities)
    2. People-will-judge-me-with-negativity-phobia ( do not share anything/feelings with people )
    3.phobia-of-phobia (fearing from fear )

    • I hope you can let go of the phobias, as best you can (as I am trying to, also). As always, your visits here help me.

  6. Your pictures have a way of making me miss my New England home. Thanks for sharing them! And I hope you had a great Mother’s Day.

    • I did have a great Mother’s Day, T.D., and I hope you did, too. Come back to New England for a visit, why don’t you? It can be so beautiful around here.

  7. What beatuiful spring pictures, the lilac is coming too!

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