October 20, 2022

Three Things Thursday #3

At my therapy session on Tuesday, my therapist and I were talking about my chronic anxiety. I feel a sense of dread all the time and I would do just about anything to make it go away. Lately, it's been really bad; I have one of the physical symptoms where it feels like someone is squeezing my throat shut. It's even hard to swallow. There is no physiological reason for it; it's just something that happens when my anxiety is high.

We talked about where it stemmed from, but I'm not going to get into that--it's a long story. But one of the things that we talked about in order to get more comfortable with certain topics is to think about writing about them. She said I don't have to write them on my blog, but one of the exercises she gave me was to think about things that I would like to do but haven't done because of anxiety.

So, I thought today's "Three Things Thursday" would be a good post for it! I haven't thought about this before, so I'm just winging it as I write. Here they are--three things that I would like to do but won't do them because of anxiety...

1) Be a running coach.

Technically, I already am--I am RRCA-certified--but I've never used my certification to coach people. (I obviously coach cross country to third-fifth graders, but I'm not counting that.) I would like to work one-on-one with people to help them either start running or to reach certain goals while running. I've gotten countless emails from people who have successfully used my running plans, and I love hearing the feedback. But since the running plans are free, I don't feel so much responsibility. If someone was paying me to coach them, I would feel like their success rests on my shoulders.

I think I would be very good at coaching, but I have too much anxiety to actually do it. I would worry too much about whether my clients were meeting their goals and if they weren't, I would beat myself up, thinking it was my fault. I'm a perfectionist, so I would spend way too much time trying to make everything perfect.

I've had several people email me and ask if I take running clients, but I just can't bring myself to do it. I would want the experience to be perfect for them and if it's anything less than, I would feel responsible. Maybe that sounds ridiculous, but it definitely causes anxiety.

When I got my coaching certification in 2013

2) Write a memoir.

I can't even count the number of times people have told me I should write a memoir. I actually had written a first draft several years ago! But I knew I would never attempt to publish it because I would have constant anxiety about reading reviews. I know that not everybody loves every book they read (I'm certainly one of them) but reading criticism about something as vulnerable as a memoir would just be too much for me. I take everything to heart and reading criticism about my insecurities would really make me want to crawl into a hole and hide forever.

This is similar to writing whatever I want to on my blog. There are a lot of things I'd love to write about or that would feel therapeutic to write, but unfortunately, I worry about the reaction I would get. They might be no big deal, but for some reason, certain topics or ideas make me extremely anxious to write about. Perhaps it's because there are people I know who read my blog, or because I know I will get negative comments that make me feel insecure, or maybe another reason.

Writing vulnerable posts always makes me feel anxious, regardless of the topic. Usually, I feel so much better when I see that nothing horrible happens, so I don't know why I have such anxiety about it. And most of the time, I get a very positive response from people who may be going through the same things. A lot of people tell me they are grateful for the vulnerable posts I share. I just wish I had the nerve to share more!

I really like this little philosophy below, but it's hard to imagine feeling such at ease with criticism. Maybe someday!

3) Go on a cross-country road trip all by myself.

This one isn't so much due to anxiety as it is practicality, I guess. If I didn't have any worries at home and if money wasn't an object (ha!), I would love to drive all the way across the country all by myself. I would stop wherever I felt like stopping, and see whatever sights I felt like seeing. I wouldn't have a phone except for emergencies (and a camera). I would talk with locals and hopefully meet some interesting people.

I wouldn't share about it on social media or anything like that. I'd just keep a journal and write about what I did each day. I would even pick up hitchhikers (this is a theoretical trip, so don't lecture me!) and listen to their stories. I would take all the back roads to enjoy the parts of the country I would never see otherwise.

Seeing Seattle from the Space Needle (not a road trip, but definitely fun!)

Wow, writing about this theoretical trip makes it sound so romantic--I wish it could actually happen! But I would have way too much anxiety about what's happening at home and how much money it would be costing me, and I would feel guilty doing it without my family. It's just a dream that I never really knew I had until I started listing it out here, haha.

Well, there it is--three things that I would like to do but can't or won't because of anxiety (and practicality). One of the major reasons I started seeing a therapist again is to work on my anxiety and start doing things that "normal" people do without feeling so nervous about it.

I'd love to hear what some of you would like to do but just haven't had the nerve. Are they rational anxieties? Do you hope to do them someday? Please share!


  1. I loved this post! It's fun and - depressing at the same time to think about what we could do if not for fear or anxiety. For me it would be:

    1- become a professional makeup artist

    2- start a YouTube channel

    3- travel to a list of cities I have by myself

  2. I used to be super self-conscious, worried I didn't have what others had, worried I wasn't as far along in life than others, best myself up for every mistake I made, and never felt I measured up. Over time and with age, I noticed I just didn't care about those things very much any longer. I was the shyest, most introverted person when I was younger, but now no one believes me when I say that! You are an amazing person, Katie, and I hope you find peace. 💞

  3. Wow I would absolutely love to read a memoir by you! Obviously not if it causes you anxiety but know you would for sure have a fan in me!

    My biggest anxiety is hands down having kids. And now I'm 33 so it just feels like the clock is ticking, ticking, ticking. When I sit here and think about the future, I can't imagine not having kids. Like especially when I'm really old. And maybe I just spend too much time on the internet but it seems like all you hear are horror stories of birth and exhausted and mentally drained parents and I don't know. Its not like there's a return policy on a child ;) And so I still sit here in my anxiety, still not sure of what my future should hold!

    Phew sorry to off load, sometimes its nice to pour out your thoughts to strangers ;) This was an interesting post! I would love to hear what other people have to say as well!

    1. Amanda~If it makes you feel any better, I was 35 when I had my son, my only child. I think it's been perfect...he keeps me young. And people do tend to share the horror stories and not the good. Yes parenting can be exhausting, but I can't think of anything more rewarding ;-)

  4. I recently (early September) learned that my cortisol (stress hormone) was literally off the charts high. My doctor suggested some supplements before trying medicinal because she said sometimes meds can throw other hormones out of whack. Here are what I am taking purchased on Amazon:
    Natures Key Ashwagandha 3000 mg gummies
    Natures Bounty Ginseng Complex
    Nutricost L-Theanine 200 mg
    I have to say that I feel a significant difference in my anxiety since starting taking these. Like you, I would have physical symptoms of high anxiety, I would say that I would feel like I was going to stroke out, feeling my blood pressure rise. I feel like I am in control of my emotions and I am happier. I feel like I am more pleasant to be around. It's hard to believe I feel such a difference with supplements, and maybe it's a placebo effect, but I'll take it.

  5. As you know, I so relate to the anxiety. I'm excited for you that you're even taking this peek at it, writing about what you "won't do" because that peek is the beginning of making things (maybe not these things) happen. You put it out there. We'll see. Hugs too, always.

  6. I would love to travel across country alone as well! I love driving, and I love stopping to see the sights, and I don't mind traveling alone. I would also love to travel around Europe alone! But for all the reasons you listed, I doubt I ever will. But who knows!

  7. The only feedback I'll give you on the cross-country road trip is that my daughter did it right after she got divorced. It was more to show herself (and everyone else) that she could do it. She drove from Washington state and actually put her feet in the ocean off of Florida. Once she got back she said she realized that while she was glad she did it, she wished she had done it with someone else because when you do it alone you don't have someone to share all the exciting things you see and do with and they just don't feel as incredible. Just something to think about.

  8. I love to drive. After college (30 years ago) me and my then boyfriend spent the whole summer drive across country from NY State to the west coast and back. It was one of the most extraordinary experiences in my life. We had a deadline as he had to go back to school - I often wonder what it would have been like if we didn't have to get back. Where could we have ended up? I also wish we had been able to take more backroads and do what you said - talk to the locals.

    In 2021 we took a road trip from MA to the Great Lakes and back (okay, me and my tween did - my husband and teen flew to Chicago to meet us as they couldn't take as much time off). I loved it but no one else really appreciated it. The kids never want to go on a road trip again. So this year I did a 2 week solo road trip (my husband and son later took a plane-ride vacation together) to the Canadian Maritimes. I loved it! But it is weird not to really be able to share that experience with anyone else. But I am so glad I did it.

    And next year I am doing a solo trip to Europe. I have unlimited vacation at work and my husband doesn't. I don't want to wait until I am almost 70 to travel more (the age I will be when he can retire), so I'm getting some of it done now, even if that means I have to do it on my own (trying to coordinate it with a friend is just too hard - plus my friends don't have the time or the $$)

    I would not feel guilty about "back home". The boys (including J) can take care of themselves! It would show them what an independent woman looks like (though they must know that now with everything you do!) - what I mean is, you are not just a wife and mother. You have your own interests and you deserve to go on a trip on your own. If you are worried about the $ I would take on on-line gigs or even a small part-time job (you would do great at HD or Lowes with everything you DIY) to make some extra $.

    You can definitely travel inexpensively. Sure you aren't going to camp like 1/2 my 1992 trip was. But low budget motels aren't bad. And you can invest in a cooler than plugs into your car and for my road trip this summer I got a hot pot (not exactly the same type of hot pot from college) where you can cook food that you would in a frying pan or in a pot. This really cut down on food costs for me (and I always didn't feel comfortable going to restaurants on my own - or I would have a big meal for lunch and once I was settled somewhere right before dinner I wouldn't want to go out again).


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