Thursday, August 30, 2012

Taking Risks: Doing Something that Scares You

On vacation, we often do things that scare the crap out of us for the sake of fun and adventure.  We go ziplining, hang-gliding, scuba diving, attempt surfing, brave the market in a country where we don't speak the language, etc, etc.  Those moments often give us the best memories and stories for years to come.  I, personally, am scared to death of the feeling of falling.  The height doesn't bother me - I just hate that huge fist that just grabs your stomach and twists your insides until you think you're going to burst open from the pressure (yes, that lovely feeling that others seem to love).  However, on vacations, I have gone head long into activities that I know will set me up to feel that feeling (theme parks anyone?).  The feeling only lasts a moment, but the hilarious second before when my brother, at the very front of the log boat, looks over the edge of the drop we are about to go down and says, "This isn't good guys," has lasted in my mind forever.
Once we are back home, we very rarely do things that scare us or pull us out of our comfort zone - even for the sake of fun and adventure.  It is so easy to get stuck in our rut and save our "crazy self" for when we are away from it all.  It is this mindset that makes it so difficult for us to see our regular lives as a possible vacation.  We need to change that thought path and be ready to tackle new and exciting things.  Now is a great time of year for making changes in how we approach our lives.  I've never used January for "New Year's Resolutions".  September has always been the beginning of the year for me, and it seems more natural to rearrange and make plans at a time of year when life seems to change so drastically from summer to autumn.
In the spirit of taking risks, I took a big step in my life today.  Actually I took about ten steps from my front stoop tothe road to talk to the two moms I see walking by and say good morning to every day.  After spending a couple weeks seeing these women and their children taking a walk in the early morning, I decided that I wanted to have myself and my daughter join them.  It seems very simple, but approaching two people and asking to be friends shoots me right back to early middle school when it was unthinkable to do such a thing.  To be honest, I'd almost rather experience the feeling of falling then go talk to people that I don't know, much less ask to join them in whatever they are doing.  But this morning, I did it!  I got up and forced my feet forward and introduced myself.  And they were nice about it!  They actually asked me to join them on their walks before I could even ask about it.  So now I get to take a Daily Vacation with others in the mornings, beginning next week, all because I finally had the courage to simple say more then "Good morning."
Now it is your turn!  This Labor Day weekend, examine your everyday life.  What makes it so everyday, and what could you do differently to change it?  It might take doing something that scares you - and that is a good thing!  I have been so excited and inspired by all the ways readers of this blog have reached out to me and told me about their new Daily Vacation mindset and all the new things they are doing to take advantage of their days.  I am now super excited to find out what challenges and fears you guys will be tackling this year all in the name of fun and adventure!


  1. Good for you Rachel! I'm so proud of you! I did something similar. I will be starting a women's Bible study where I don't know anyone because I want to get to know more women at my church and in my area (and get to know God's Word more of course). I'm nervous but I know it will be good for me : )

  2. Wow that's awesome! It's so intimidating walking up to women like that. Good job!

    1. Thanks! I was actually very inspired by your "fear week" post - that had a lot to do with the decision to try and make friends :)

  3. Nice! I remember that ride. And yes, I agree, it's easy to try new things like hangliding, surfing, or the banana-pineapple-cucumber ice cream in a waffle cone when your on vacation. You think "why not?" I'm glad you took the risk of meeting those two moms. I only get über-friendly when were out running. I turn into Dad, just greeting everyone in the park. Hah, otherwise I shy away.