When I was in Jr. High I babysat all the time.
I enjoyed the kids and it was a great way to make some extra money.
Plus my favorite books were: "The Babysitters Club" so I just pretended I was one of them. I tried to start my own Babysitters Club many times but it never took off.
One time, during the Christmas season I was babysitting two girls, their ages were 7 and 3.
Before their mom left she said there was a bowl of mini candy canes and the girls could each have one after dinner.
So after the girls ate their dinner ,they sat down to watch a movie and I brought them each a candy cane.
Oh, I should also preface the story by saying I hate gross things: i.e. throw up, poop, spit up, drool, anything else you think that might fall in to that category, except blood, that doesn't gross me out. Weird I know.
Anyways, back to Christmas time babysitting, so it was movie time and I gave the girls their candy-canes and they went to town eating them.
Now, I can't remember exactly how it happened but I remember turning to find the 3 year old completely blue, and throwing her arms around like she was panicking. It was at this time that I realized that her entire mini candy cane was now lodged in her throat, blocking her airway. She was choking and I was the caretaker.
It was also at this time that my 'babysitting class skills' began to kick in. Thanks mom for making me take that class!!
Without even thinking I stuck my finger down her throat (it felt like waaaaaay down her throat) and pulled out the candy-cane. Due to the fact that my finger had just gone down her throat she completely vomited all over my new leather jacket (which by the way, at that time I thought was the coolest thing ever).
But I didn't care, I didn't care that I was covered in her dinner, I didn't care that I had to stick my finger down her throat and feel the inside of her mouth, at that moment all I cared about was her safety.
I was scared out of my mind. But yet strong.
At the moment of truth, there was no time for weakness, no time for fear.
I think of this event in my life often. For many reasons, 1. because I still get scared out of mind every-time somebody chokes and I'm pretty sure it is goes back to this time and 2. because I didn't let the fear in.
I could have become paralyzed in that moment, scared to move, scared to do what I knew was best. But I was equipped, I had taken the babysitting class, I had learned what to do in the situation and I was prepared
Too often, now, I let fear in. Fear of finances, fear of the future, fear of the unknown, fear of what others will think of me, fear of not being good enough.
But I have to remember that I have equipped myself and I can face any fear. So when fear hits me I try to think back to this story and go at it dead on, not allowing it to paralyze me for one moment.