I don’t think it’s any secret that I’m more of an animal person than a people person. When online friends have asked how 2017 has gone for me so far, I have joked that it will be a good year as long as I don’t have to leave the house. You see, leaving the house means dealing with people. And peopling creates anxiety.

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I never know what people are really asking me. Or why they want to know. If they could say “I’m just asking this to have words coming out of my mouth and don’t actually care about the answer,” then that would help. I would know that it didn’t matter what I said in reply, and I could save that energy of trying to think up the appropriate response.

Tomorrow will be the first day in 2017 that I have to leave the house. My mom has an oncologist appointment that’s about an hour away. Since I don’t drive, this means we will be in a taxi having to make small talk on the way there and back, plus sit in waiting rooms for bloodwork and the actual appointment, talk to the doctor, etc. With these appointments, I have the added fear now that my mom will fall or injure herself worse just getting there.

In the past several months, she has already broken a foot and dislocated a shoulder by falling, so these aren’t unreasonable fears. Since she is currently having to use a wheelchair and put as little weight on her foot as possible, the whole thing is a huge challenge for her as well as for me. Neither of us are looking forward to tomorrow (her way less than me, I’m sure). I’m sure it will go fine but at the same time the anxiety has already sunk in that it won’t.

One thing I am grateful for is that I don’t have to leave the house every day to work in an office anymore. Now that I work from home, there is so much less people-encountering, smalltalking, and hiding in the restroom to avoid a peopling-related meltdown. So, I’ve got that going for me.