March 9, 2011 1 Comment
If March 2011 was your last month to live, how would you live it?
It’s nine days into the month of March and I have been fighting some serious February blahs. I remember gliding into 2011 with such resolve, feeling like I was going to take the world by a storm this year. And then somewhere in the middle of last month, the wind was unceremoniously removed from beneath my wings.
So I had a bit of a think recently about what had changed and I came to the conclusion that it was one tiny word: risk. Or rather, a lack thereof. Back when I was reverbing everyday, I remember stumbling upon the idea that I really needed to be taking a hell of a lot more risks if I was ever going to be happy. I am a creature of incredible inertia–it’s rather amazing that I make it out of bed every morning, since getting up differs, in some way, from lying down. Okay, perhaps I exaggerate, but I’m such a creature of habit, and generally so terrified of change, so immobilized (and paradoxically driven) by fear, that taking even the smallest risks can be overwhelming for me. I felt like I started to get into a good risky place around the end of 2010 and into the beginning of 2011, but somewhere along the way I fell off that wagon. And it’s been a real effort to get back on. I’m working on it, but the initial excitement is gone and it’s a pitch battle to overcome the fear that has crept back in.
Many moons ago, after a particularly disastrous affair with a man, a friend of mine made a comment that has always stuck with me. She said that I had spent so much time unwilling to take any small, calculated risks in aid of my happiness, that every once in a while I went entirely batshit and took huge, un-calculated risks that generally resulted in much greater unhappiness. Living a life entirely directed by fear is, in the long haul, a hell of a lot more dangerous than taking a little bite of risk every day. I just have to get that message to my heart somehow.
Part of the evening of my 35th birthday was spent tobogganing, and let me tell you, I nearly shat my pants when we looked down the hill for the first time that night. I suddenly wondered what had possessed me to think I could do this. After dragging everyone out in sub-zero weather though, I couldn’t bail, so eventually, I went down the hill. And it was the shit! I had an amazing time and I was so glad I’d done it in the end. Added bonus–the bottom half of my body was so cold and wet, it took my mind off the worst yeast infection I’ve had in years!
So in answer to the prompt, if this month was going to be my last to live, I’d live every day of it knocking down my fears and taking the risks required to find my happiness. I’d treat every day like a hill made for tobogganing. And now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go and find my crazy carpet.