real life

"When my husband gets home late..."


I set off this morning with a list of jobs. We have guests arriving next week and I’m doing a few last minute things, you know, like having the spare room painted! I rang G this morning to tell him I hadn’t been able to get to the mall as there’d been a fire. As I drove closer to the building I could see they were diverting traffic and had closed the doors.

“Oh yeah, sorry, I should have rang you – I saw the firetrucks and ambulance outside when I was on my way to a meeting.” G knew I was heading there – we’d discussed it earlier that morning.

Ten minutes later, as I drove to the next location, it occurred to me that he obviously hadn’t pictured me blazing away inside the bedding section of Debenhams.

I would have.

I would have had him burnt to a crisp, me an immediate widow. I would have pictured me answering the door to find someone from the office with their head bowed. “I’m so sorry.”

And then I would have started planning.

What would I do? Who would I ring first? Would my parents come here or would it be better if G’s parents came? Would the children and I have to leave straight away or would the company let us stay in the house until we got organised? Where would we live? What sort of car would we get? We wouldn’t need a big car as they’d only be five of us.

I’ve done this a thousand times.

Late home from the office? Massive car crash. Take a little longer to whip to the shop for milk? I begin to envisage a guy with the balaclava and a gun madly grabbing clumps of cash from the register while G lays on the floor fighting for his life. If the beagle takes a longer walk than normal in the morning – I just know they’ve both been left for dead on the side of the road, a terrible hit and run.


Crazy. I know I’m crazy.

I remember reading an article years ago (when I was pregnant) about why pregnancy will make a woman worry more about the death of her partner. It was all about primal instinct – reverting back to our original roles of hunters and gatherers. And although the logic is a perhaps outdated, I get it. We become a little more vulnerable when we’re pregnant, we can’t run as fast, jump as high, or dodge the wild bear as well as we used to – but I had my last baby five years ago? And I know where the supermarket is.

If I had to, I could hunt and gather on my own. If I had to. I would be stoic and strong. I know – I’ve thought about it.

Is it possible that someone who lives in a state of change and adjustment, just needs to throw the worst possible scenario her way to feel like she has some control?

Kirsty Rice is an Australian writer and blogger currently living in Qatar. This piece was originally published on her blog, which you can find here. You can follow Kirsty on Twitter here.

Do you worry unnecessarily?  Do you imagine the worst or are you fairly optimistic? Realistic even?

Side Note: Kerri Sackville has just released The Little Book of Anxiety – her recounts of anxiety are well worth reading. You can buy the book here.