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Column Archives > Enjoying the adventure all along

20 Jul 2023

By Louise R. Shaw


It's always fun to say you did it. But sometimes the doing of it can be a little bit intimidating.

Most of you are probably braver than I am, but I will have to admit here that sometimes I do things just be social that in truth, scare me to death.

Like the time the guidebook recommended a hike that included a little rope climbing up some little waterfalls.

We were not going to do it, I told my husband repeatedly. We had four children with us and it was dangerous. Just because the guidebook made it sound fun didn't mean it was something we had to do over going on a hike that didn't require rope climbing.

But we went and they all scrambled up the rope without hesitation or difficulty, leaving me no choice but to ignore my wildly beating heart and, after a long interval of soul searching and self-pep-talking, scramble up behind them.

"I'd have been less surprised to see Jimmy Hoffa coming around the bend," said my hsuband when I swam thorugh the water to join the rest of them farther along the watery trail.

But I did it.

And now I can say I did it. And it was rewarding -- in a terrifying sort of way.

The feeling of accomplishment that comes with conquering your fears and taking on a challenge is a great feeling to earn, but there is another feeling I'd like even more.

I'd like to not be worried or fretting or afraid in the first place.

I'd like to just be excited about kayaking across the bay to snorkel all along, rather than worrying about the potential for making a fool of myself getting in the kayak or capsizing the kayak mid-way out or running into sharks.

I'd like to go skiing without worrying about going too fast on too steep of a slope and breaking something.

For that matter, I'd like to just be excited when my kids have a chance to travel or when I have a chance to take care of their kids while they travel, without worrying or fretting about everybody all the time.

I'm thinking there's a possibility I'll get to heaven (assuming best-case scenario here) and do the same thing with my whole life:

That was an adventure, I might tell myself -- high excitement mixed with challenges, mixed with fun and surprises and gifts.

And then I'd ask myself, as I do at the end of each adventure: What was I so worried about?

Or even more exasperating: Why didn't I enjoy it?



Updated from a column first published in the Davis Clipper, Aug. 1, 2013

Louise R. Shaw