Tag Archives: risk

Winds Here Tonight are 28mph

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Fear-Quotes-44It is Monday night. I love Monday nights because I get them to myself. I get almost every evening to myself, but Mondays are particularly poignant after a day back from the weekend. I don’t go out on Monday nights.

It’s quiet at home and I can hear the winds picking up outside. After my daily work routine today, I rushed home on the freeway trying to keep my sleepy eyes open to come back here to this quiet, and yet, somehow I was bothered by the stillness. Spontaneity and happiness is easy to embrace when I find myself at sunset climbing the tops of trains in the middle of No Where (I love the view of the horizon at such places):

HarveyHouse_Steve_DiffenbacherOr perhaps unexpectedly creating floral arrangements out of alien-looking protea pincushions: protea flowersBut when it’s still and there’s only my Dear Old Friend: Wind speaking to me…I find myself a little scared.

I’ve been so happy, but tonight, I find myself a little sad…and that’s okay.

It’s begun again. The shocked, “What?! You aren’t coming back next year?! You’re the best teacher I know!” from my colleagues. It’s like I rewinded the VHS tape (Yeah, old school-like) and am playing my life all over again the way it was a year ago, but in a different town, at a different school. I know it will be soon time to go: 37 days of school, not counting weekends and holidays, according to my aides. I feel a bit of pang leaving the piano and the desert winds, but I’ll carry these with me inside.

RiskTheUnusualLong before life sprung this transition on me a second time, I already had my safe little backup plan. Trust me, when you hear things like, “The year I taught here, they pink-slipped every teacher that year,” you make back up plans and more backup plans….Perhaps I just over think things. My backup plan: it’s nearly fail proof, but part of me rejects it!

Plenty of my friends have considered me their “adventure buddy” but my small daily adventures don’t seem to be enough to keep me motivated at times. Sometimes I dream of taking bigger risks. Some may think it foolish, but I’m bored with knowing despite the fears of not knowing…. Yes, I know how to always have a job and a home. I’ve had no trouble with this, so I am very fortunate. I know it’s a luxury to think this, but what if I took a financial risk and pursued yoga and writing children’s books instead of this sure little path I am on? I wanted to do something more risky before I ever began this journey when I was 18 and selecting a career in college, but I took a safer route simply because it was expected. What if I did something unexpected? After all, life is short. I may never have time to pursue this adventure if I pursue my “safe plan” first. Shouldn’t I eat dessert first or would that be undisciplined? Following The Safe Plan would nearly guarantee that I would have money to follow the Unexpected Plan. Following The Unexpected Plan first would, on the other hand, nearly guarantees that I would have the time for it, as life, as we all know, is short. I don’t have to decide yet, I’ll have income through June or July. There may be a way to combine both Plans. Only time and exploration will tell.

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Choose Your Own Adventure

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             Did you ever read The Choose Your Own Adventure Series? When I was a little girl, I was an avid bookworm. One of the many series I read was one which allowed the reader to be the main character of each novel by having him or her decide what happens next in the story simply by flipping to specified pages in the books. Readers would decide what action one would take as the story’s protagonist and then flip to the page that revealed the consequences of one’s decision. These books were a lot of fun to me and I even remember trying to write my own Choose Your Own Adventure Series when I was growing up! Did you ever do things like that?

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              I got to thinking (a dangerous thing, I know!) about how The Choose Your Own Adventure Series is like an analogy for life. Every day, we make many decisions that will change the outcome of our day; and ultimately, our lives. Every day is an adventure. If your life is mundane and boring to you: just work and then home everyday, this was your choice. Our lives, our days, for the most part, are what we make of them sprinkled with bits of chance. There’s always the chance that something will change or happen whatever choices you make. The more open to the new, mysterious and unexpected, one is each day, the greater the chance one will experience inner or outer revelations and/ or adventures. To be mindful/ present, is to be open.

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          On the days that I am present/ mindful and open to new adventures, I may take a different route home from work, try a new flavor latte that I don’t usually order or cook something I have not yet tried. I may just be minding my own business shopping and bump into a childhood friend I hadn’t spent time with in two decades… Try a mantra meditation I have not tried yet or play an old tune on the piano I have not played in a while…It always sounds different, just like every sunrise or star rise is different. The possibilities are endless. It takes less than 24 hours to change your life. You could walk in and quit your job in only a few seconds or make a life-changing phone call right now. Every moment is an opportunity for adventure. You just have to be present.

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       I do have days when I am living only in my daydreams and have no idea what I’ve had for lunch, if I’ve had lunch at all, or what I did all day. I could be thinking all day, “There’s so much to do!” and not notice my surroundings, whether people who love me are around or wanting to be around. I also have days when the smallest tasks as well as the most mundane tasks can be turned into an adventure by simply acting in a new perspective rather than out of habit. The simple act of visiting my dad and leaving my cell phone, worries and work behind for a few hours can suddenly be enjoyable rather than an obligation when my mind is present rather than in a state of worrying about the future and haste.

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             What do you do to keep life adventurous and your mind present? Do you go through years of monotony while just waiting for the weekend/ vacation/ retirement/ some sort of change or are you present, mindful and adventurous? Are you spontaneous and open to seeing or doing something in a new light? Or does trying new things and new perspectives take up too much energy and employ too much risk?

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            People often marvel and judge, “You are such an adventurous person and yet you are stuck in such a boring place.” What they don’t understand is that I never find where I am boring and I am never  “stuck”! I choose where I am!  You don’t have to believe your locale or your place in life is boring either! As Mary Poppins said, “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.” I choose to be where ever I am because I can experience the fun  and joy in any and every place.

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  *On a tangent, my ex-mother-in-law once put this random photo of a girl dancing in the rain on her Facebook and tagged it with my name. She even printed cards and sent it out claiming it was my photo. Everyone believed her!