I’m Not Scared.

For some reason the phrase “Do one thing every day that scares you” came into my mind this morning as I was leaving the house. It’s not a phrase I remember hearing recently and it’s not one I’ve ever given much thought, although now that I have it seems pretty ridiculous. Do I really want to go looking for things that scare me? Do I want to take unnecessary risks? I could easily say just driving to work scares me but, in spite of all the risks, that’s setting the bar pretty low. Since Daylight Savings Time ended a week ago and I thought it would still be dark when I started out but, for now, the change and the shortening days hasn’t caught up to my usual departure time. It was bright enough that only about half the cars I passed still had their lights on.

Then I got to work and parked in my usual spot on the roof of the parking garage, something that’s also very low-level scary. It’s exposed and, as far as I know, I’m the only person who parks up there, although there’s a garbage can which is always overflowing with what appears to be new garbage every week which suggests a lot of people are passing through, or, possibly, a few people with a completely disproportionate amount of trash.

Also there was an elevator out of service. There are two elevators—one that I guessed was working since it wasn’t closed off—and I also could have taken the stairs. The stairwell is completely windowless, though, and narrow, and cold. It’s not a great way to start the morning.

I realize that just writing this is a spoiler that the alternate elevator was fine and, aside from a slight tremor on the way down, didn’t give me any trouble. Besides I still wasn’t fully awake. At least I’d been fully conscious on the drive in but once I’d parked I was so focused on other things, including just getting in to work, that I really didn’t even consider the possibility of anything going wrong with the elevator until I was in it.

That’s the other ridiculous aspect of “Do one thing every day that scares you”. The scariest thing I’ll probably do all day was not something I was even aware of.

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  1. M.L. James

    Chris, I like the concept. Guaranteed to get one out of the rut of daily routine. So glad I read this. Gonna maybe even give it a try. I guess the idea is that you consciously do this and there’s more than average risk involved? ???? personally, I think taking any elevator that’s wonky qualifies. M

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I’d forgotten this until just now but I worked with a guy who got stuck in the elevator and called the help line. The person he spoke to said they’d be sure to get a rescue crew out immediately. He waited an hour without hearing anything and called again. The same person answered and said, “Oh, I forgot all about you as soon as I hung up!” Bold thing to admit. Anyway I’m not going to do anything stupid but I do always kind of hope for mishaps–they’ll be something to write about.


    Life would be scary without people like you, my friend.

    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Thank you for making me feel safer in this scary world.

  3. Liam

    Reflecting on the phrase “Do one thing every day that scares you,” it’s interesting to see how you’ve applied it to your daily routine, like the drive to work and using an alternate elevator. This concept, often intended to encourage stepping out of comfort zones, can indeed seem a bit extreme if taken literally every day. Your experience suggests a more subtle interpretation, finding small challenges in everyday life rather than seeking out significant risks. It’s intriguing how mundane activities can become slightly daunting under certain circumstances, like your description of the parking garage and the elevator. Have you found that facing these small daily ‘fears’ has any impact on your overall confidence or perspective on challenges? It could be fascinating to hear how this approach, whether intentional or not, influences your day-to-day experiences.
    Liam recently posted…Best Jeep Roof Racks of 2024: Top Picks for Your Off-Road AdventuresMy Profile


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