Our Childhood Fears

The Journal Project

I’m watching Hootsuite very closely because the air is thick and heavy, and there are severe thunderstorm warnings all over the place. In a house with no cable, where we seldom listen to live radio, I’ve realized the only way to keep on top of the weather alerts is via Twitter. I learned this last summer when I watched a funnel cloud start to rotate  while looking out my kitchen window, only to realize after turning to Twitter that a tornado ALERT had been issued for our area. Not a watch. Not a warning. An alert!

I’ve been afraid of thunderstorms, particularly tornadoes, since I was very small. I thought that adulthood and reason had kind of diminished this fear, but when faced with a tornado alert and a house full of sleeping children, my fear was catapulted to the surface again. That night I stocked the basement with water, blankets, shoes, flashlights, and other emergency type things, and I fought to keep the panic at bay. Some things never change, but at least as an adult, I felt like I could do something to protect myself and my family.

Today, with The Journal Project, we explore childhood fears. Use the prompts below to guide your writing, and share with us here. My own entry is italicized below.


4. Fears from my Childhood


Do you have any fears that linger from when you were very young? What are they?

I’m really afraid of the possibility of experiencing a tornado.


Can you recall the first time you remember feeling this fear? Describe your age, and the circumstances surrounding your being afraid.

I remember being afraid of a tornado during the first thunderstorm I experienced post Wizard of Oz. I suspect the fear started before that, but at around six or seven I recall being terrified any time there was a thunderstorm. I would cry, and try to hide, and the thunder made me cover my ears and tense up like a nervous cat.


How has your fear changed as you’ve grown up?

Knowledge was power for me as a kid in facing this fear. I read a dramatized version of the Edmonton tornado as told from the perspective of a tween, and then did a lot of my own research about tornadoes. Understanding them, and learning about tornado safety really helped me deal with my fear.

As an adult, in the city, it was easier to feel less threatened by the elements with the shelter of tall buildings all around. Now, in the country surrounded by open fields and forest, I witness the power of thunderstorms like I never have before, and I feel afraid again. Last week a tree across the street got struck by lightning and it was absolutely terrifying.


Describe the events/circumstances that stir this fear up.

Spring and summer weather events. The nighttime thunderstorm is the worst.


How do you deal with this fear when it comes to the surface?

I consult a bit obsessively with Twitter to discover weather alerts. I close up the windows to diminish the noise. I keep sturdy shoes near by, and flashlights. I try to breathe and stay calm so that the kids don’t develop their own fears.


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Entries from our Journaling Community

“I had/have a fear of apes, monkeys, any primates.

I was probably 6 or 7 when this fear began. I wonder if it’s related to a movie, like King King, although I don’t remember watching that movie. I also remember being at a small zoo and watching some apes throw their feces at one another and then at the glass we were standing behind. They were baring their teeth chasing each other and screaming.

I think the fear peaked when I was at Universal Studios. My mother would not let me wait outside alone while the others rode the king Kong ride. I sobbed and hid through the whole experience.

I think I am much calmer about this fear now although I avoid apes and monkeys at zoos and in the media. I no longer cry though. Now it’s more disdain than anything else. People laugh at me when I share this fear and tease me. We’re all afraid of something though; even if it does seem silly!”

Be Here Now


This morning I had a PMS induced hormonal breakdown of sorts. Luckily for me, I have the kind of guy they write about in chick lit (the good kind of guy, not the bad) and he picked me up, dusted me off, packed up the baby and myself, stopped at the grocery store for a picnic and took us to the local library/community centre/splash pad.

He knows me so well.

A few hours chasing the baby around the playground in the rain, picnicking at a child-sized table in the deserted community centre during a thunderstorm, reading stories in the library, and even getting a bit of my own work done while the baby napped in his stroller made everything wonderful again. Bliss, even.

Sure, an amazing partner helps, and I’m so grateful to have such a sweet fella, but the secret ingredient here is one you can discover without the help of anyone else.

The secret to happiness is to be able to exist wholly in the present when the present is good. To soak up each and every drop of the happy moment at hand.


4. Be Here Now


Indulge yourself. Take a few minutes to yourself to really be in the moment, in the present tense. Don’t think about what happened earlier in the day, or the week, or even further in the past. Don’t worry about the future.

Breath, take it in. Notice everything you see, hear, feel, smell, taste.

Now, list five things, happening in the present that you are grateful for.


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The Journal Project

The Journaling Project

I’ve been keeping journals ever since I was 8 years old. I’ve done this fervently and with great regularity, and I’ve done this sporadically and only when I’m at my absolutely lowest. This blog has been a journal for me of sorts, and through it I’ve worked through some monumental moments of my life. One thing that has always kept me writing here is the beautiful feedback from readers who say they were grateful to be able to relate to the various things I’ve written. It means so much to know I’m not alone, and that I’ve helped shed a little light into other people’s lives. Today, as our Inspired Monday post, I’m giving you something very new and special that I’m going to call The Journal Project.

Each day, I will invite you to journal with me. I’ll post a ‘starter’ or a suggested topic, and then I’ll write my own entry. You can use the form below each post to send me yours, and I will publish it anonymously. If you don’t want to share here, then you can use the starter to inspire an entry in a journal of your own creation, be it digital or physical, written word or visual art.  In coming days, I hope to include some downloadable, printable journal pages that are so pretty you’ll be inspired to create.

I’d like to encourage you to share with us here because it’s been incredibly rewarding for me, and I think you’ll feel the same. The big wide world isn’t really so big, and it’s this beautiful connectedness that really keeps us filled with light. If we can build a little community here, wouldn’t we be so proud of ourselves?

I’ll be watching for nasty comments, and other negative stuff so I promise to always keep this Journal Project a safe space for sharing.

Starters and inspiration for The Journal Project will live under the Mommy’s Diary category. If I post something else on a given day, you can look forward to two posts from me.

Are you ready? Here we go!



1. The Jumping Off Point

Why is keeping a journal something that feels important to you right now?

My life is in a place of huge transition, and I can’t see where I’m heading. I’m trying in vain to stay “in the moment” and be grateful for everything that I have in my present tense, instead of being discouraged and preoccupied with the impossible-to-imagine future. I want to use my journaling to meditate on thankfulness and staying present in the now.


What has prevented you from journaling in the past?

Time is the great destroyer of all of my good creative intentions, or at least the way I manage time seems to get in the way. I need to carve out space for my own creativity, because I feel so much more at peace, and more myself when I am able to occupy some of my day with creating – be it writing or other creative endeavours.


What are three things from last week that you would like to avoid this week?

1. Though I had a lovely time with lots of different family, I’d like to be sure to spend more time on things for my own pleasure. 

2. I’m going to embrace my PMS and self-medicate with chocolate to avoid any crankiness that might be directed towards my loved ones. I will balance this with daily yoga.

3. I’d like to ride my bike! Perhaps someone will help me install the baby’s seat on my bike so we can have a family ride!


Now It’s Your Turn!



 Reader Entries


I’m keeping a journal because I want to start writing things down so my kids have something to look back on when they are grown up.

I haven’t had much luck with journal writing in the past because I usually think that everything I write is lousy.

Three things from last week that I’d like to avoid:

1. Unexpected car expenses (thanks to the jerk who hit me in the parking lot of the grocery store and didn’t bother to leave a note).

2. Make more quiet time for myself.

3. Try to eat better. With three family functions in one week, there were too many temptations to stay on track.


By D. from Burlington, On




I wish I would started journaling when I was younger.  Now that my kids are grown and I now have a grandson, it seems to be more important than ever to start writing so that when I am no longer here my little one will know more about me and my life as a mom.


I did start journaling several years ago but for some reason when I sit down with pen and journal the words just do not flow like I would like them to. I am told that does not matter.Just write what you are thinking and doing.


1. I would like to avoid eating too many ginger cookies at lunchtime.


2. I would love it if my husband brought dinner to me for a change. I have been doing it now for 43 years and don’t ever remember him cooking for me.


3.I would like to get out every morning and go for a fast walk either outside if weather is nice or go to the Mall and do a few rounds.


By ML, from Winona, ON