A best friend called me today. She wanted my opinion. Should she do some crazy thing that involved this?
Her: It’s the last day to sign up (see link HERE). I mean, I only have so many weekends a year to myself. Should I do something like this when you and I could be philandering in Vegas instead? Today is the last day to sign up. Did I tell you I’m REALLY afraid of heights?
Me: Are you really asking my opinion?
Me: You do know who you are talking to, right?
Her: Uh, what does that mean?
Me: It means, sign your ass up. What are you waiting for? It’s not like you’re going to die or lose a limb or anything (hopefully). You might crap your pants out of fear or pass out, but so what?
Someone wise once said the only thing to fear is
fear itself soiling yourself in front of others.
On Sunday when I didn’t especially feel like racing (the last six weekends had been consumed by one kind of race or another), I asked myself, “Why? Really. Why do you love races? It’s expensive. Time consuming. You have to wake up at the ass crack of dawn.” Sure, there is all the stuff about wanting to be in shape, to remain healthy as a I get older, blah, blah, blah. But, what came to mind did not have much to do with that. What came to me was this:
It makes me feel alive
Earlier on in life there were a lot of things that made me feel alive. Probably because the world felt full of possibility. There were graduations, marriages, pregnancies, new jobs, and geographical moves. There were budding relationships and cross country travels. There were many firsts like the first time I made coffee in my own apartment, the first time I drove by myself to the beach, the first time I did a Jello shot and kissed my husband-to-be, the first time I saw this (yes, I did save it):
Believe me, this isn’t to say that I don’t have a lot of experiences in my life right now that make me feel alive – celebrating 18 years with Ken in two weeks, having my son drive me around town (I am just glad to be alive when we get home), talking to my daughter about puberty (yeah, hon, sorry. If you follow in my footsteps you could be waiting a long time for any sign of “growth” if you know what I mean). Truly, I recognize how great my life is and all of the gifts contained within it.
But…I still crave those endorphins, the quickened heart rate, the anticipation of what will happen, the urge to push myself harder than before. For me – this comes with racing and other adrenaline popping activities (Skydiving anyone? Don’t think I’ll do that one again).
There are countless ways to feel alive and renewed. Some find it in church. Others discover it after climbing to the top of a 14,000 foot peak. Still others get it from creating the perfect chicken dish with just the right blend of seasonings or reading the last page of that mystery that kept them up three nights in a row. It doesn’t matter what it is – it matters that we find what it is. Yet, finding what “it” is sometimes takes courage, discomfort, time and risk taking.
My daughter asked me the other day why they call it a “bucket list.” I told her her because it was a list of things you want to do before you “kick the bucket.” She thought that was sad and grim, but that’s mostly because she’s 12 and she still has that feeling of invincibility and living forever.
On that note, our financial planner asked me today what our life expectancy was. No one has ever asked me that before. I honestly had no clue, so I did a life expectancy calculator test.
I will supposedly live 86.19 years (factoring in hereditary illnesses, medical history and lifestyle patterns). That means I have exactly 40.19 more years of BEING alive – existing . But it is my choice if I have 40 more years of FEELING alive.
How long might YOU live to be? (Life Expectancy Calculator HERE).
What’s one thing on your Kick The Bucket List (KTBL)? Running a marathon in another country. Visiting India. Meeting my grandchildren.