Just Write: Bugaboos

November 19, 2013

Just Write.


When I get the bugaboos, it’s almost always early in the morning, usually sometime in the Land of Four.

The Land of Four is a jack-crap time to suffer a bout of the Bugaboos: it’s not early enough to pop a Benadryl and go back down for a solid three hours of slumber, nor is it late enough that I can bang around the house in a productive frenzy. 4 am Bugaboos require courtesy.

There are so many things I could get the Bugaboos about:

– the video of Mira’s classmate’s car being swept away by an overflowing Boulder Canyon. Car has still not been found.

-Twister debris in Illinois. Are my Illinois friends okay? How many lack tornado coverage?

-Puberty…the secondhand version.

– the US government in any capacity–pick your issue.

-Winter is coming.

-the Mammogram that is still waiting on the to-do list.

-Just how long are the dudes going to be in my house today, replacing two furnaces? People in my house=misery.

-How can we plop the elimination of air shows and the compensation of families of veterans slain in service under the SAME DAMN envelope in the budget cut arena? How is that even a possibility? Stunt pilots doing flips and dips versus funeral assistance for our young who have died in service? Can anyone, ever, explain this to me?

-Those pretty, patterned scarves from last year–still in fashion? Still an option for women above forty? How do you tie those dang thing anyways? Does anyone get it right besides Aniston?

-Who thought shopping on Thanksgiving was a good idea? Jesus, people! Sit down and play with your kid. Or talk to your spouse. And don’t do it at Walmart, clutching the last Kindle Fire.

-Why is a woman over the age of forty so scared, even now, that she’ll do the wrong thing?


Now, all of these Bugaboos are worthy and I still have them, but my favorite 4am Bugaboos spin in a continuous rotation. And they are all shamefully narcissistic.

Top Five Narcissistic Bugaboos that Wake Kitchy in the Land of  Four:

– The dream (the one that woke me today) where I’m onstage acting in a play and suddenly, I cannot remember a line or any bar of music. After months of diligent and repetitive practive, nothing. My reviews are certainly going to suck.

– The dream where I’ve failed college exams and have to find a way to hide it from my parents. It’s not the failing I’m worried about, it’s the concealment.

-Why did I turn that young boy down years and years ago? What might have happened? How is my cowardice still bothersome?

-Things here are pretty good. Doable. Why do I find this bone-chilling?

-New (but consistent) bugaboo: When my children are grown, what kind of parent will they conjure when they talk about me? What role will I play? Villian or Hero or perhaps even scarier, no one at all?


This morning’s Bugaboo is proof that I’ll never believe in myself–the shrink has already dug his meaty little claws into that one– but WHY, knowing this, do I still have that dang dream?


It’s a question for the pink light of dawn and my coffee cup to ponder.


*Got any Bugaboos? Feel free to make me feel better by sharing them…


{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Abby November 19, 2013 at 7:22 am

“This morning’s Bugaboo is proof that I’ll never believe in myself–the shrink has already dug his meaty little claws into that one– but WHY, knowing this, do I still have that dang dream?”

Self-fulfilling prophecy, perhaps? Maybe believing in yourself is overrated if others believe in you, as I and so many others do? Then again, I wish I could believe that myself, as my Bugaboos are too numerous to list here or mention. But we all have them, even those who say they don’t, and in that we can exhale a bit…


Shannon November 19, 2013 at 8:44 am

My late night bugaboos are often the “What would I do?” variety. What would I do if my car goes into the water, or if a bad guy comes in the house, etc. etc etc. Or it’s the “why did I say that, I should have said this.” Or it’s the “what am I doing with my life?”
Then there are the nights when I go to sleep right away and wake up refreshed in the morning. I wish I knew the formula, but I don’t.


LQ November 19, 2013 at 9:40 am

Irony of the day – it takes incredible bravery to write something like this, where someone admits to constant fear.

A good reminder that many of the people we THINK are bravest probably are hiding the most.


Ami November 19, 2013 at 11:55 am

I hate the bugaboos. I spend the early hours stressing over all the things that I should have done. I should have exercised. I should have read to the kids more. I should had sex with my husband. I should have, I should have, I should have. It’s like a giant session of “Look how much I’ve failed today!”


Heather November 19, 2013 at 11:55 am

“or perhaps even scarier, no one at all?”

Oh my….yeah. That.

Also, I prefer banishing the Bugaboos, but I’m really pretty bad at it. They keep popping back up. They’re like Zombie Bugaboos. I have a lot of those “Choose Your Own Adventure” ones, where “what if” I had taken this or that road, would I be her? Her? Or her? She’s probably better. They all are….

This is a lie that I have a tendency to believe.



Dana Talusani November 19, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Can my Zombie Bugaboo eat your Zombie Bugaboo? So then we could drink tea next to a warm fire together and feel five acres strong?


Dana Talusani November 19, 2013 at 12:18 pm

one more day, one more failure. Or many. Boo!


Contemporary Troubadour November 19, 2013 at 12:22 pm

My bugaboos come out when I write. Really write. It’s enough to make me never want to sit down to do it because I don’t want to deal with the Truth That Cannot Be Hidden From when I face the page (the one no one ever sees). But there they are anyway, nagging even when I’m not hands-on-keyboard. They eat at me more when I ignore them, which I guess is the argument for dealing.

Wish you (or I) lived closer. I would totally have a bugaboo-confession-fest with you in person.


Erica November 19, 2013 at 12:33 pm

The bugaboos that creep into my mind during the sleepless hours are always the petty, mundane things that I shouldn’t worry about:

– When should I order the box of citrus so that it arrives at Alec’s sponsor family’s house in time for Hanukkah/Thanksgiving?

– When am I going to drag Gavin to the barber before Thanksgiving?

– Can I make it to work tomorrow without stopping at the gas station? But then where would I stop on the way home?

– Do we need milk?

– Must think of a non-dirty joke for Kitch. Nope. Nothing.


S in AK November 19, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Can you email me a dirty one? : ) srsa@gci.net (In a construction office of 18 men, I was the one with the foul mouth.)


Dana Talusani November 20, 2013 at 7:16 am

Erica, your bugagoos are the ones I think about during meditation or yoga…


S in AK November 19, 2013 at 2:24 pm

I don’t do that as much now as I did a couple or three years ago but when I do, I call it stewing. My stews are something like this: My mother is going to die. What am I going to do when my mother dies? I’m going to die. What am I going to do if I die before my kids grow up? If I don’t stop drinking Margaritas every day, I’m going to get breast cancer and die before my kids grow up. What if Eric dies before the kids grow up? What if one of my kids dies? What if both of my kids die? Why did I have kids anyway? I never used to freak out like this before I had kids. And we’re ruining the world. The weather is going berserk. What if there’s an earthquake and I can’t get to my kids? What if the world suddenly ends and I have to watch us all die?

Ugh. I’m a bit of a Johnny-one note when I stew. I have a dream similar to yours though. I’m on stage and I can’t open my eyes enough to see. I keep falling down and everyone is watching.

Thank you for sharing your inability to believe in yourself. Except for when you say it, or when you share a story that reveals some of your inner turmoil, you don’t seem that way at all. Not at all.


T K's Dad November 19, 2013 at 7:44 pm

Don’t fret, Kitch! Here at 79 I still have dreams of forgetting the combination to my high school locker and forgetting where the room is for one of my final exams in college because I didn’t make it to class often enough to remember. Little things follow us around forever:-).


Bi November 21, 2013 at 9:44 am

Love your Dad’s comment! Even though he’s a Cubs fan. :D (Go White Sox!)


Jamie November 19, 2013 at 9:43 pm

No one should have to be up worrying at 4 AM! Mainline Ambien!! Bad idea??


Kate November 19, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Oh, I get myself all worked up around 2am.
1. What if I die? (Am I dying? this can go on and on) where will my kids go? What’ll they do? What if my husband dies? (Especially when he’s traveling.) what’ll we do? (Then I think through the bills due and try to decide where we should live…)
2. What if there’s a fire? How can I get out? The escape routes must be worked out. Along with how I will get all three of my babies out.
3. Why don’t my pants fit? Size z is too big. Size y is tight. Damn. Self shaming, body hating tirade.
4. Why can’t I sleep? Why can’t I sleep? Why can’t I sleep?….
5. Do I have socks for those little feet? Why Are socks they bane of my existence? And how do we have so many but no matches?
6. Useless rewriting of conversations of the day. Again and again. No, I souls have said this….

I hate the bugaboos.


Alison November 20, 2013 at 5:57 am

My main one is the same as that last one on your list. I fret about this constantly. Gah.


Katybeth November 20, 2013 at 10:09 am

I call bugaboos life. :-D. And the things I worry or stew about don’t usually happen and when they do they are more manageable than my mind would ever allow me to believe. Sometimes I think we are all addicted to the energy drama creates. The feeling of well being just isn’t that motivating.
I am going to believe, my 17 year old will grow up a tell everyone his Mom was the best Mom ever. always tried to do her best, and then he will share how I put eye drops in his ear for two days by mistake. Your welcome to join me.
It’s wrong to shop on Thanksgiving, it just is. ♥


Pamela November 20, 2013 at 11:39 am

It’s not the failure but the concealment.

Oh mama yes.

For the last 11 days I have woken up at 303. It used to be 406 but then we turned back the clocks. Anyway I lie awake mostly bewildered that I am 40 and I was supposed to have it all figured out by now and why am I still leaving the house everyday wearing uggs and yoga pants and my hair is insane? Why haven’t I at least figured out how to get dressed? I worry about my kids and marriage and those tornados too.


Robin November 20, 2013 at 1:39 pm

I have been having the same dream over and over recently. The gist of it – I am in a prison administrative office and talking to the warden about the prison and the prisoners, while checks (money) are being printed out faster than we can collect them.

Lately, I have been waking up at 3 or 4 and not falling back to sleep. I listen to the radio in my ear buds, so that I don’t think. I’ve heard the tape my brain plays before, and the radio is better.

Children just need to be loved. They are pretty happy if you can manage that.


elizabeth November 20, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Mine are far more pedestrian–mainly work-related. And I also am dreading winter too, because I hate the dark and I hate the cold and I hate how grey everything is, which is odd, because I love wearing grey.

At least with the latter we just have to get to the solstice and then each day will get longer, minute by minute.


Dana Talusani November 22, 2013 at 10:00 am


That is why the solstice is one of my favorite days of the year! We slather apples with peanut butter and seeds and put them out for the critters to enjoy on Solstice night.
How are you? Miss you!


Biz November 21, 2013 at 8:59 am

I have the innate ability to rest my head on the pillow, say out loud “it’s time to go to bed” and I am asleep within five minutes. I never wake up (okay – lately that’s a lie – I am 45 and just NOW having to get up to pee at 5 a.m.!) and let my worries hit the pillow. I wish I could give my gift of sleep to you!!


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes November 21, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Yeah, them Bugaboos… I’ve got a new one to add to my list: will I not forget to put on my shoes/put my shoes in they gym bag…
The dire consequence of going to the gym and forgetting your pumps at home…


Dana Talusani November 22, 2013 at 10:03 am


Ok, here’s a funny. I went to the gym to swim. It was cold out, so I put my swimsuit on, then my sweatsuit, grabbed my goggles and headed to the gym. After my workout I got dressed but had to bag up my wet swimsuit so…no underwear. They I looked at my schedule on my phone and I had to leave immediately for a dr appt (dermatologist). When I got there, he decided to do a whole body mole check so the assistant handed me a sexy blue hospital gown and said, “strip down to everything but your underwear.” Ummmm.


Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri November 25, 2013 at 10:22 am

That is a frightful hour. My wake up call usually happens at 3:00 a.m. And my worries range from everything small to big to in-between. It’s a frightening way to live sometimes, but it has one overriding benefit: I find myself giving thanks daily on what I do have.


Tiffany November 27, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Too many bugaboos over here to list…


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