Heather Boerner

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Freelance writer Heather Boerner writes essays, usually humorous, on travel, romance and other topics for magazine, print and web publications.

"Confessions of a Reformed Worry Wart”
Whole Life Times/Common Ground/GAIA.com, 04.09
As a child in suburban southern California, I used to lie in bed with the covers pulled up to my chin, wide-eyed, listening intently as fighter jets practiced nighttime maneuvers at the nearby Air Force base. I’d done the calculations and was convinced: given our proximity to a military target, my small town would be among the first blown off the map when Russia attacked.
I still remember my body tensing with each swoop and tear overhead. My attempts to coax myself to sleep were hopeless. I was an eight-year-old insomniac.
Decades later, I have outgrown the sleepless nights, but I remain suspicious that all of this — our cushy lives, our modern amenities — could be snatched away in an instant. In quiet moments, I tick off a list of the essential life skills I lack, I inventory the ways I am dependent on so many others for my continued wellbeing. The daughter of a woman with both a serious pioneer spirit and intense anxiety, I’m always waiting for the bottom to fall out.
With the economy in tatters and our planet getting steamier by the day, you’d think I might be one of those people squirreling away bottled water and canned food, planning a Transition Town or preparing for 2012, the end date of the Mayan calendar that predicts major societal shifts. But I’m not. Here’s why.
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Writing with a human face