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  • Fear and anxiety are not the same. I'm not scared of much, but I am almost permanently anxious.

    Now and again I ask myself what it is I'm anxious about? And the answers are usually absurdly trivial.

    I inherit this from my mother-substitute grandmother, who was wonderful, charming, charismatic, anxious and depressed in equal parts. She was, we all agreed, a "worrier".

    Right now, I'm anxious about mice, my malfunctioning phone, my water bill, my husband's odd mood, the lack of rain (and my baby fruit trees), money in general, my alcohol consumption, my relationship with my children, my weight, a forthcoming trip to the UK (including reading part of my novel to an audience) etc etc etc etc etc

    Grandma had serious issues to worry about. Her mother died when Grandma was 17. Her father subsequently had a series of "housekeepers", one of whom he married. As it turned out, she was already married to someone else. Great-grandfather was very repressive, and when Grandma wanted to go to hear Kier Hardie (founder of the British Labour Party) speak in the local town, he locked her in her bedroom.

    She climbed out of her bedroom window, and went anyway. That's my working motto - climb out of your window and do it anyway.

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