Taking the Leap
My friends joined me at Circus school to learn the flying trapeze. My expectations on what we would be doing included a dry-land portion of the day where we would get comfortable with the bar with our feet firmly planted on the ground followed by a bunny trapeze that would be ten feet off the ground. Yup–that didn’t happen. After a measly 4 minute instruction, I “willingly” climbed a 50-foot extension ladder that was on its full extension. I thought that was the scariest part. Then I leaned out over a platform and jumped (more like walked). I’d love to say I wasn’t scared at all, but that would be a lie. I was terrified but my friends were all standing there watching me and I had convinced them to join me in the first place. There was no option to step back from that ledge. There was only going forward. Heather said it well in her reflection at Wealthy Woman Warrior.
Anything that gets your stomach churning, your mouth dry and your hands sweaty is a GOOD thing. That’s risk. That’s being out of your comfort zone. That’s where moments are measured.
I often think back to the time I went bungee jumping with Mister in New Zealand. This was long before we had kids and I reckoned I was a daredevil. I watched Mister take the leap, then got to the edge myself and backed away. I didn’t need to do this to prove I’m a daredevil went through my head. I just needed to believe I was and it would be true. I didn’t need anything or anybody to tell me for it to be true. I think back on that moment often. The nice lady I paid to hook me up to the giant elastic band, got me to that edge. She said 3, 2, 1 and I went. I am a better person for it. I know that sounds hokey, but stick with me.
It is a stretch to challenge myself (and most of my friends and family) to do fifty new adventures this year while writing a book, parenting, and trying to be a better wife. It takes thought, time, coordination, effort, patience, and drive. I haven’t had those in a while as I have been battling depression. So this is my healing moment. I am almost off my meds and I need to force myself to think about something other than spending the day on our comfortable couch with Netflix. I need to remind myself that believing I am well is not the only battle. I have to prove it to myself by jumping off that platform. I need to take that leap of faith as I take my last dosage and trust that my brain has my back, my safety harness (friends and family) are in place, and the net that is my cognitive behaviour therapy tools and my doctor will make sure I don’t hit the ground again.
Heather thanked me for turning 50 when we left circus school. But it is her and all my friends and family I need to thank. Fifty will happen whether I want it to or not. But having my girls and family to fall back on, cry with, laugh with, and share with is already the gift I needed. I truly have the best friends and family a person could ask for. They are taking this leap with me and supporting my back as they push me closer to the ledge of wellness. I was not the person to ask for help that day I stepped up to the bungee platform (see, I told you we’d get back there). I could do everything myself and didn’t need others. It has taken me almost fifty years to realize that is a small way to live your life and I want to live big. I don’t get another life and our kids don’t get another mother to show them how it is done. I will need another fifty years, however, to get everything in but if I have my grandfather’s genes, that shouldn’t be a problem.
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