As I prepared my thoughts today for a Toastmaster Club speech this week, I can’t help but look at all of the amazing, ridiculous, loving, silly, proud, bold, ‘look back and laugh’ moments I have been gifted. Makes me wonder if we all tried this blogging thing, would we have the same list of silliness, or does God simply want me to fully enjoy my experiences and see what I have, rather than what I don’t?
I have been gifted experiences most folks won’t ever see for themselves (yes, many ups and many downs, sideways, backwards and forwards, as a Dr. Seuss character would naturally embrace), so perhaps, getting to tell my stories is a way for others to hear all of us have a combination of ridiculousness and awesomeness to share with the next generation For example, jumping in Carlyle Lake at 19 degrees on New Years Day to take home a Polar Bear Plunge title; dating a wild, white-collar-by-day corporate boy but title-carrying national rodeo star by weekend who took me snowmobiling on a lake no less; hearing my toddler yell “mama has a tattoo” in a public pool; living with cancer but being mistaken for a pharma rep while in for testing; not thinking and publicly pawing Kevin Costner in his restaurant during my first Sturgis Motorcycle Rally; knowing a bath house in Tokyo is really just a spa where they let you eat loads of sushi and wear a kick arse Kimono, and learning to drive a motorcycle solo just because I could (really, how hot would I be on a hot pink Harley? ok, yes, parked and not moving), etc.
All however, have been damn fun, laughable and worth taking on great adventure and things that feel scary. Life is short, and we have so many choices!!! Why do we wish away time? Who picked the five day work/ two day vacation concept- why not the reverse? There is so much to experience and enjoy. Dr. Seuss would pick fun- “Oh the places you go”.
Do you have a “bucket list”? And if so, how much is complete, and when will you start? My bucket list last year included a zip line and a flash mob. This year, I did both. So now the bucket list deserves more items and that translates to more fun and more stories. What will I add that both scares and challenges? Only the future of my ever-changing Seussville journey knows.
Will I get myself into trouble? Probably. Will it be worth the chance and story for my daughter to hear (much, much later)? Abso-freaken-lutely!
Life really is cyclical.
I walked away from this blog a month of so ago, and an old friend specifically said, “If your blog helps YOU…then don’t let idle chatter stop you.” Dana’s words stuck. And ironically, this is a woman I didn’t know very well years ago, but since the diagnosis, has privately cheered me along without knowing the strength she carries today and likely gives to others with these same cheering comments. I know her inner strength more today than years ago. Who would have guessed? This is the power of blogging and reaching out when we are touched by words. Thank you, old friend.
As I prepared my speech today, I realize; 1. I believed I could, so I did, 2. I have a lot of stories for someone at this age. (Did my grandparents really have this much silliness (or were they simply private and embarrassed of that which I see a scream and would share with you), or did they give me courage to accept, ask for the order, and just go for it, so that my own silliness, bold change, and trying new things isn’t scary and instead just part of who I am? I suspect both sides of my German and Irish/Italian Catholic grandparents are watching me in a loud theatre somewhere upstairs with popcorn, Irish beer, those old fancy smokes with the long filters that made the women look alluring and sexy, while all are belly-laughing, cheering and loving me to the next journey). I learned from family that “owning your own path” and “doing the thing you think you cannot do”* means taking chances- regardless of outcome. We can’t regret, we simply learn as we go, and with much hope, forgive in time. And finally, I realize: 3. I am who I am and will not stand still, regardless of the mix of friends and family that accompany on my journey.
Back to Seussville I go….I’ve missed you.
“Oh, the places you’ll go”- Dr. Seuss
* Eleanor Roosevelt, ” You must do the thing you think you cannot do”.