My Fear of Dying from Mashed Potatoes

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True Story!!! I was asked a couple years back in my MBA program while doing introductions….what is something no one knows about you and will make us remember who you are? My answer….I have a fear of dying from mashed potatoes! Let’s just say, I was remembered easily for the next 21 months of that program with a good laugh. I have a lot of quirks and a knack for getting myself into some unusual situations on a somewhat regular basis. So, if you continue to follow my blog….you’ll be sure to learn most, if not them all. Some I’m still discovering for myself.

When I was pregnant with my twin boys, I had very little cravings yet was nauseous the entire 9 mos so was limited on what I could eat. One of those things turned out to be mashed potatoes. I quickly became the mashed potato queen of my town. I knew every spot I could get them and could tell you the texture of every single scoop. I was particular about my taters….they could NOT have gravy on them and NO WAY could they be chunky! So, texture became a real issue and when you are eating mashed potatoes as your steady diet….you become quite the connoisseur. You know when you eat a spoon of peanut butter and your tongue occasionally sticks to the roof of your mouth and you are not sure it’s ever going to come loose? Well, I had a few of THOSE moments with mashed potatoes in my life! With just the right texture you can have what I call the vacuum effect take over. If you’ve never experienced it…you are lucky. That moment when your tongue feels like a giant vacuum has sucked it to the roof of your mouth and it is going to be glued there forever. During those milli-seconds of panic….my eyes wide as dinner plates, my forehead scrunched with thoughts of I hope no one is around to watch this moment. OMG….I have to breathe out of my nose. I hate breathing out of my nose when I absolutely have to! Is my tongue EVER going to be released from this straining as I can feel the tension all the way down my neck. REALLY….is this how it is going to end? I see the FB post flash across everyone’s feed….girl dies a really sad death…..choking on mashed potatoes!!! How pathetic would that be? And then literally, a half a second later, it all releases as if nothing has ever happened. Looking around again to verify no one saw my sad little moment of terror and looking like a total idiot. I am safe once again from the potential heathen….the mashed potato.

Now, for those of you that are laughing hysterically at my oddity right now, I dare you to look at all of your fears smack dab in the face and tell me you don’t have at least one that isn’t totally and completely ludicrous. I have a couple. And they are just that…..completely IRRATIONAL FEAR. I have to admit, I haven’t had any of those moments in the last couple of years and probably because I actually admitted it out loud to a room full of people. And to make it even more embarrassing…it wasn’t to a group of strangers that would never see me again. Nope, it was a room full of people that I work with every day and some of my really great friends. It’s funny how when you say something out loud you truly embrace the concept of how ridiculous it sounds. Even more ironic, I work in healthcare and have even taken care of those who actually have choked or had troubles breathing for a living. Not once did I ever take care of someone who had a true near death experience from mashed potatoes. Peanuts, corn, a nickel, and a hairpin….YES! But that’s another story. I’m fairly certain there is no one in history that has EVER died from choking on mashed potatoes.

So, whether you are the one who jumps on a chair when you see a mouse, screams like a little girl when you see a spider, or has any other number of irrational fears when you really think about it? Speak them out loud and see how they sound. I’m certain some of you have ones as stupid as mine and in some way, shape, or form…….this irrational belief holds you back from something else.

Zig Ziglar says there are two definitions of FEAR. Forget Everything and Run or Face Everything and Rise…..the choice is yours!

One of my real fears that I’ve recently faced in the last few years is a fear of heights. I still to this day grip the sides of a door handle, my teeth clinched, hanging on for dear life, and lean as far as possible into the middle of a car when driving up a road that is on the edge of a cliff. They literally petrify me, yet I can stand at the top of the mountain and it doesn’t phase me. Every vacation I go on…I find one thing to push myself a little bit further. Two years ago, I was in Hawaii and had the chance to go on a helicopter ride in Kauai. Planes I can do….helicopters not so much. I have to admit, I came extremely close to backing out. Yet I had one of my BFF’s there to support me and I knew I had to face the fear. There were a couple of moments that I was excitedly nervous and then a couple I thought I might actually pee my pants…however, in the end I had the MOST gorgeous view of the Napali Coast which you can only see by air or by boat, we flew into valleys staring straight into a waterfall and saw some of the most gorgeous landscape I’ve ever seen all while floating in the clouds with a ex-Navy pilot giving us a personal tour. How cool is that? Forget Everything and Run……Nope! Face Everything and Rise because everything you want to experience in life is on the other side of fear.

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Next up: In two short months, I’ll be Waterfall Repelling in Costa Rica! I’ll be strapped in a harness traversing down a waterfall on a rope. A little irrational….not as irrational as dying from mashed potatoes. Ha Ha. Scares the holy crap out of me, but at the end of the day I want to say I lived the experience instead of letting my fear control me. And as a another great friend reminded me today…..You Only Live Once (YOLO).

Face Everything and RISE! Live Long and Full of Adventure my friends. YOLO!

XOXO,
Keri

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