Woe! It’s Wednesday

Adventure: In the eye of the beholder?

 

When we were on vacation in Maui last month, I had the opportunity to go zip-lining. Several friends had been and talked about how fun it was, so I agreed to go.

I was terrified the whole time.

But I did it. I didn’t cry, scream, or beg for my mommy although all of those crossed my mind while I was flying through the air attached to a singing cable.

I might do it again. zip But I’d like to do one a little less ambitious to get my confidence back.

A couple weeks later my husband and I and friends were discussing what adventure we wanted to book next. We all wanted to kayak down a Kauai river and were searching for the best excursion. Stud Muffin pointed at me and said, “You’re the adventurer so choose the one you want to go on.” kayak

EEEERRRRTTTT!!! Stop the zip line and back it up.

I’m the adventurous one??

I don’t think so.

On the other hand, I also don’t like to sit on the sidelines and hear about others’ adventures. That’s why I’ve done some scary things, like riding a bike down a volcano, taking BART into San Francisco when I didn’t know where I was going, and baking bread from scratch.

One of my daughters once told me that she likes that I’m up for anything, I’ll give it my best shot. That’s true. But it’s because I’m afraid of being left out! Not because I’m bold.

I’m not brave or daring or a thrill seeker. I have no desire to parachute from a plane or bungee jump. Knitting with four double tip needles is as daring as I’m comfortable being.

But isn’t that the point of an adventure? To get out of your comfort zone. To challenge yourself. To be able to point back and say, “Yeah, I did that.”

So if anyone wants to think of me as adventurous, that’s okay with me.

Look at the picture above of the person hanging by a thread over the trees. Yeah. I did that.

I guess I am a little bit adventurous after all.

Woe! It’s Wednesday: Perspective

I was reminded today of one of my favorite legends.

I’ve heard it told as an anecdote about the prophet Elijah, King Arthur’s Merlin, and an unnamed wise man. I’ll use Elijah because I want to.

Elijah and his aide were journeying through a kingdom. They stopped at a rich man’s home and asked for shelter for the night. The rich man sent them to his barn and tossed them some pig slop for dinner.

The next morning, Elijah thanked the rich man and paid for a local tradesman to repair his crumbling wall. 

That night they lodged with a poor couple who shared their home and food freely, including plenty of milk from their only cow.

The next morning, the cow died.

As Elijah and his assistant continued on their journey, the younger man became angry with God and demanded Elijah tell him why the rich man was allowed to treat them so poorly and have his fence mended while the generous poor couple had to lose their cow.

Elijah sighed. “What you don’t know is that there was a vast treasure buried in the rich man’s wall. I had it repaired so he wouldn’t find it and become more greedy and selfish. It had been decreed that the poor woman would die that night, but in appreciation for the hospitality, God took the cow instead.”

I love that there’s more going on here that we don’t know. That it all comes down to trust. Trust and obey. Hey, I hear a song coming on…

Oh. Anyway, I remind myself of this story when things happen that I can’t make sense of.

Sometimes I forget that God is in charge and I’m not Him. He has his reasons. He is sovereign. He knows what’s needed and what’s best. I trust Him.

I do.

Really.

Thanks, I needed to be reminded that I do.

Woe! It’s Wednesday: Life in Paradise

When this posts, I should be over midway through our dream vacation in Maui. It’s the longest I’ve been away from home. The longest I’ve slept on a strange bed and a new pillow. The longest I’ve spent without a dog or cat curled up my feet. The longest I’ve gone without vacuuming, dusting, or scrubbing toilets.

DSCN4551Part of me is really looking forward to the time away. Another part of me is dreading it. I don’t know how much I’ll miss my pillow. It will help that our kids and grandkids are coming with us for the first two weeks, so it’ll be less time that we’re separated from them and less time to miss them.

It’s strange that something that should be fun and relaxing can also induce feelings of uncertainty and unease. It’s the fear of the unknown. Another fear. Yes, I see the irony. This is the year I’m facing fears and conquering them. And another one is about to clobber me.

Well, there’s only cure. Pack my bag and step on that plane.

God willing, that’s what I’ll be doing in a few days. By the time you read this, I’ll be in paradise. But who knows if I’ll be having just enough fun and dreading the time to come home or if I’ll be counting the days till I get to hug my dog and cat.

Woe! It’s Wednesday

I’ve noticed a theme forming for this year. I often take a word or phrase and try to consciously live it throughout the year. I’ve done Kindness, Speaking the Truth in Love, Defy Gravity. In 2013 the word that keeps cropping up is Fearless. Several books have crossed my path on taming fears.

I don’t tend to think of myself as a fearful person. My husband was a cop for nearly thirty years and people often asked me I worried about him and I truthfully said I did not.

I appear fearless. I’ve gone scuba diving and snorkeling. I rode a bike down Haleakala. I drive in San Francisco and LA. I fly.

But I’m coming to realize that fear and worry are not the same thing.

I am afraid of offending people so I tend to keep my opinions to myself until I feel safe.

I am afraid of being hurt.

In a recent writing exercise, I had to write why I was afraid to write the story. As I wrote a lot of reasons why I wasn’t afraid, it became apparent that I was afraid it would be good and then there would be expectations placed on me to do it again. So I’m afraid of success.

I’m afraid of rejection. I’ve talked about that one before, it’s a big one with me.

I’m a collector of quotes for all occasions. My current favorite is from Jillian Michaels, one of The Biggest Loser trainers. She says, “Feel the fear. Do it anyway.”

That’s my goal for this year. Figure out my fears. Acknowledge them. Do something scary anyway.

Woe! It’s Wednesday

I’ve noticed a theme forming for this year. I often take a word or phrase and try to consciously live it throughout the year. I’ve done Kindness, Speaking the Truth in Love, Defy Gravity. In 2013 the word that keeps cropping up is Fearless. Several books have crossed my path on taming fears.

I don’t tend to think of myself as a fearful person. My husband was a cop for nearly thirty years and people often asked me I worried about him and I truthfully said I did not.

I appear fearless. I’ve gone scuba diving and snorkeling. I rode a bike down Haleakala. I drive in San Francisco and LA. I fly.

But I’m coming to realize that fear and worry are not the same thing.

I am afraid of offending people so I tend to keep my opinions to myself until I feel safe.

I am afraid of being hurt.

In a recent writing exercise, I had to write why I was afraid to write the story. As I wrote a lot of reasons why I wasn’t afraid, it became apparent that I was afraid it would be good and then there would be expectations placed on me to do it again. So I’m afraid of success.

I’m afraid of rejection. I’ve talked about that one before, it’s a big one with me.

I’m a collector of quotes for all occasions. My current favorite is from Jillian Michaels, one of The Biggest Loser trainers. She says, “Feel the fear. Do it anyway.”

That’s my goal for this year. Figure out my fears. Acknowledge them. Do something scary anyway.

Woe! It’s Wednesday: Scared to Death? Or Scared to Peace?

The world is a scary place.

School shootings.

Domestic violence.

Road rage.

Mama Snooki. 

People are running to buy guns and ammo as fast as others are decrying the availability of weapons.

Two centuries ago people didn’t worry about car accidents or road rage. They just dreaded small pox and influenza.

One hundred years ago, random violence was limited to gangsters and feuds. But typhoid and lead poisoning were common.

Even twenty years ago some of our everyday annoyances were unknown. For instance, updating a piece of software on your computer and it hijacks your search program and instead of getting search results from Google, the computer has been brain washed and insists on sending you to ask.com for results. I’m so frustrated right now that I’m tempted to resort to some computing violence.

Anyway, my point is that there have always been worry-making issues in life. Whether it was roaming bandits, diphtheria, or assault weapons, mankind has never lived a life free of worry.

We can let it cripple us. Or we can get up, dust ourselves off, and dive back in.

When Stud Muffin was in law enforcement I was often asked about how much I worried. I truthfully said I very rarely worried.

I made a conscious decision that I would not live my life in fear of what might happen. I’d rather deal with the here and now.

Matthew  6:34 says it well: Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

I’d rather spend my today concerned about its trouble. Tomorrow’s worry will arrive soon enough.

Now, I have to roll up my metaphorical sleeves and figure out how to get rid of this annoying  search engine hijack. I’ve done all the uninstalls, resets, etc. This is today’s worry. Tomorrow it will be something else.

It’s the way of us humankinds.