Adult Bogeymen…the “What If’s?”

Dear Reader:

Don’t we all remember, as children, going through the phase of having to look under the bed and in the closets before going to sleep each night…to make sure there were no bogeymen in the room?

We eventually outgrow this stage of childhood development…but do we ever really let go of our “bogeymen” fears…even as adults?

Or do they simply turn into  “What If” night-time monsters…that keep us awake in the wee hours of the morning?

Since I always did an extended historical unit of study on The Presidents…for my eighth grade class…I read lots of books on the personal sides of the different Presidents’ personalities and individual quirks.

Personally…I don’t know how any of our Presidents ever managed to get any sleep in the White House. I think I would stay awake for four years…scared of all the “What if’s” that could happen  any minute anywhere around the world…and they usually do sooner or later.

But, even for Presidents..most of what man worries about never comes to fruition…that’s the thing about the “What If” monsters…their scary possibilities aren’t usually extended reality.

Jefferson: “How much pain has cost us the evils which have never happened.”

Coolidge: If you see ten troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you.”

It is true. We worry about things that exist only in our minds as possibilities…not finalities.

We really have to laugh at ourselves for our predicament of insomnia most of the time…as seen in the following quote:

Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, “Where have I gone wrong?” Then a voice says to me, “This is going to take more than one night…you might as well get some sleep.”

-Charles Schulz-

Our monsters from childhood (that hid under the bed or in the closet once upon a time) continue to come out at night for adults and they, too, have all grown up…bigger and “badder.” Sometimes…it is confronting our very souls that scare us the most.

“In a real dark night of the soul it is always three o’clock in the morning.

Scott Fitzgerald

By morning…all the monsters are gone…leaving us feeling as embarrassed like our child counterparts… for all the “fuss.”

“I realize that from the cradle up I have been like the rest of the race-never quite sane in the night.”

-Mark Twain-

In modern society…one of the worst monsters is “over-thinking”… described in this quote by the actor Anthony Hopkins.

“We are dying from overthinking! We are slowly killing ourselves by thinking about everything! THINK THINK THINK…..tick tock tick tock. Don’t we realize the human mind is not the final answer?”

I think Hopkins nailed the problem and solution. All the thinking and over-thinking of man in the world isn’t going to change anything. We must turn it over to the one “Entity” Who can- God.

*For me…particularly most recently… my 2 a.m “What If” monsters conjure up situations  like “Are my adult children safe having to continue working during this pandemic?” It is wonderful they have jobs but at what cost?

What if they catch the virus or bring it home…what if this pandemic continues on and on and on. What if supplies of food start to dwindle or school never resumes… What if children never get to play with friends…how is this affecting their psyches long-term? (etc. etc.)

When I have the occasional sleepless night…I have learned to get up and do something…just don’t lie there. In fact some of my best blogs have been written in the wee hours of the morning. My mind seems sharper and my feelings deeper than the “surface” exposure during the day.

“Nighttime is really the best time to work. All the ideas are there to be yours…because everyone else is asleep.”

-Catherine O’Hara-

I used to catch up on emails on sleepless nights… but I would get too many replies (the next day) asking me what in the world I was doing up at 3 in the morning….too much trouble to do double correspondence. 🙂

So until tomorrow…From the Sound of Silence we should welcome the darkness and all the positive attributes it  brings us after a long, hard day…deserved rest and gratitude for life. Tell the “What If’s” good-night and sleep the sleep of angels.

Or as Simon and Garfunkel sang…..

“Hello darkness, my old friend…I’ve come to talk to you again.”


“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh



“Yes we have no bananas”….Susan packed a toilet paper/banana bag with Bekah and Ady who dropped it off yesterday….glad we had a chance to spread out in the yard and catch up for a bit! Thanks Terrific Trio (Susan, Bekah, Ady)...I fixed a banana sandwich for lunch! Yum! Yum!


Later in the afternoon…who appears in a halo of light but Gin-g…with bananas…so I am ready for breakfast or another lunch is a wonderful yellow banana! Seriously…how terribly sweet girls…I look forward to my cereal and bananas!

And in between wonderful “banana” visits…Jo called me and entertained me over the phone singing the original Chiquita banana song. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Great job Jo! (Who else remembers this catchy latino  sound and song?)

I’m Chiquita banana and I’ve come to say
Bananas have to ripen in a certain way
When they are fleck’d with brown and have a golden hue Bananas
Taste the best and are best for you

Another bloom from Honey’s Asiatic lily…just gorgeous blooms!


Did I forget to tell you my day started out with homemade biscuits that Anne dropped off with homemade apple butter? I tell you…if this stay-at-home quarantine gets any harder…what will I do??? 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂


About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to Adult Bogeymen…the “What If’s?”

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    Loved seeing you from a distance…homemade biscuits and apple butter sound yummy…I may have to come hang out on the other side…🙄


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