**Author's Note: I have been going through my drafts folder in Blogger and noticed that sometimes I write cool blog posts and then don't publish them. I wrote the following post a year ago, so this actually happened last August and everyone in the story is now a year older. And maybe I'm a little less anxious now, but don't quote me on that. I have made some edits and additions before publishing. Enjoy! :)**

Our friends Bryan and Betony recently had a baby, adorable little Clara. There are many things to see and experience with a friend's new baby - they learn to stand, they start eating real food, they start crawling all around the house - all in such a short amount of time.  It is amazing how fast she is learning and growing.  Every time we go over there, Clara has a whole new set of awesome skills.  Way to go kid!

I've been around a lot of babies, toddlers, and children in my life, having five nieces and nephews that I adore and multiple friends with little ones. I thought I had a good grip on babies and what they do and how to roll with them. I admit I'm a little nervous around a less-than-a-month-old, but once they seem less breakable I am way more easy going. This easy going attitude was recently tested as I did something I've never done before: I drove around with an eight month old in my car.

Not sure if I've written about it before, but I have some anxiety. It is not all the time, but certain situations (new things/change/the unknown) can trigger a flood of negative and obsessive thoughts that make me feel really overwhelmed. I have been working on minimizing my anxious reactions with the aid of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, specifically The Feeling Good Handbook by David D. Burns (highly recommended!). Even though I'm working on it, I still get thrown for a loop from time to time. Life's a journey, right?

So last week Betony and I had a girls' night that had us driving from Midland to Penetang (which is really not that far) and involved me being the driver. In the space of time between knowing that I would be driving and then actually getting on the road (about ten minutes) I did a really great job of freaking myself out. It sounds silly to get worked up about something as ordinary as driving 5 KM with a kid in the backseat, but the 'This is New' factor triggered my anxiety.

Initially I had some nice thoughts, like: "Wow - thank you for trusting my driving ability with your beautiful baby".  Then my anxious brain kicked in and reminded me that I had never done this before and convinced me that it was a Really Big Deal. The negative thoughts came: driving is dangerous! Babies are delicate! Next I began to wonder if I was even a good driver (spoiler: I am). So my anxiety got me nice and worked up before we headed out.

Once on the road, realization hit that I was just driving a car, which is something I know how to do.  So then my brain transformed all those scary/anxious feelings into feelings of supreme accomplishment for having done something so amazing. I totally drove with a baby in the backseat! Yay me! Life would be a lot easier if I could just skip the terrified part and move strait to the feeling awesome part, but this is who/where I am right now and I'm happy to say I'm working on it. I will get there.

We safely drove to Penetang and enjoyed some really tasty food at Union Burger and got to have a fun girls' night despite my initial anxiety. I have some amazing friends, and Betony is one who accepts and supports me despite my quirks. Thanks, buddy! :)

I didn't get a great shot, but here is proof 
there was a baby in my car!

Posted by Jen B On Tuesday, August 06, 2013 2 comments

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