Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Risk more. Settle less.

If I had my life to live over... I'd dare to make more mistakes next time.  Nadine Stair 
Nadine Stair's quote made me smile and think this morning. I wondered -- is it the making mistakes that's important, or is it the being willing to risk 'a mistake' that counts?

On New Year's Day, my sister Anne and I decided to participate in the annual Polar Bear Swim on Gabriola Island. It was fun. It was silly, and crazy and... did I mention, cold!

A group of about 25 'swimmer's' gathered at Drumbeg Bay to take a dip in the chilly water's off Gabriola Island. Along with the swimmers there were double that number of spectators -- people who figured what we were doing was a big mistake, but hey, why not watch people be crazy?

Truth is, diving into the freezing January waters of the ocean was not a mistake. It was great.

Definitely set the tone for the year to come where I am determined to  -- Risk more. Settle less.

And, it was fun!

I definitely felt like I'd taken a step out of the ordinary. Made a statement to the universe that said -- okay world. I'm here, willing, ready and able to live this one wild and precious life on the edge of extraordinary! Willing, ready and able to dive into the waters of life and splash around in whatever adventure you present. I am PRESENT!

C.C. and I had an awesome visit with my daughter and my sister and her husband. We laughed and teased and told stories and met some fabulous new people. Alexis, my eldest daughter's boyfriend's parents divorced many years ago and are both remarried. We spent time with both families and had a wonderful time getting to know these people who promise to be connected to our lives for years to come.

We wandered the streets of Vancouver. Sat by the water in little coffee shops and watched people walk by. We took the ferry to Gabriola Island, fell back into Island speed and savoured every moment of the beauty of a very special place.

And along the way, we experienced life in all its wonder.

Wonder that expressed itself in the joy of watch a pod of 20+ dolphins leaping and cavorting in the water keeping pace with the ferry as we crossed the Strait.

Like witnessing the sun breaking through the clouds to shower the world with light.

Like watching a little boy running around the ferry terminal, never stopping, never tiring of exploring every nook and cranny of the place.

Like seeing the wild turkeys lumber down the road in search of breakfast (which they know is in the feeder on the deck of my sister's house).

Like little moments and big events that sparkled and shone in the light of being alive and knowing -- this is my one life to live, it's up to me to give it everything I've got. to make it my best.

So no. I am not worried about mistakes. There are none. There are simply experiences that shed light, or cast darkness. And to find the darkness, no matter the circumstances, all I have to do is breathe deeply into the moment and trust in the light to appear. 

If I had my life to live over... I'd dare to risk more. Settle less.


Josie Two Shoes said...

A resounding Amen to this! Fear has held me back from so many things that might have been wonderful, or not so wonderful, but interesting non the less. One of my goals this year is to work harder at pushing past fear. I love your polar bear swim... and you survived to tell the tale! :-)

Claudia said...

smiles.. nice... i've made so many mistake..it would be enough for three lives i guess...but yes..risk more..settle less sounds like a great plan..

S. Etole said...

It does sound like you had a delightful day full of adventure.

Maureen said...

A priceless pic.

Here in the D.C. area we have a version of the Polar Bear plunge, though I have not participated because I do not know how to swim. Cold water is good for the skin. Washing the face with cold water keeps the skin flushed. I think my learning this long ago has prevented wrinkles, as I at 59 have none to speak of.

And mistakes? It's from mistakes, not successes, that we learn.

Loved speaking with you this afternoon. Thank you for your gift of friendship.

Ruth said...

You are living. I admire the ways you embrace it with gusto.

When I found out that I did not have to be perfect, mistakes and failure became friends. I think it was Edison who said after 90+ "mistakes" inventing the lightbulb and someone asking how he felt about that, he said, they were not failures! They all informed me how to improve the experiment.

A beautiful and alive year to you!

Louise Gallagher said...

Thank you my friends.

And I agree -- never failures -- just opportunities to grow and improve :) -- and maybe learn... not to do THAT again!