“Tell me what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
– Mary Oliver
This is one of my favorite quotes in the world. It’s next in line for the tattooist’s ink, with some appropriate artwork that I haven’t decided on yet.
I love learning new things. I think that’s what life should be about. I’ve often said that the only awesome thing about living forever would be that you’d have the ability to see and do so many amazing things.
In 2008 I quit my day job and struck out into the uncertain world of “unemployment” aka writing for a living. *grins* My husband was set to leave for Iraq in the middle of the year and this presented us with an opportunity to spend as much time together before that as possible.
On my own blog I called 2008 the Year of Living Dangerously and for me, who so easily gets stuck in a rut, it was. For 12 months I threw myself into my “wild and precious life.”
I learned l’art du déplacement and had the bruised shins to prove it. I dyed my hair yet another crazy color. I completed a grueling test for my 2nd Degree Black-Belt in the July heat. Went camping and rock-climbing (for someone afraid of heights this is a big deal *laughs*) and learned how to kayak. I travelled to San Francisco for the RWA National Conference, where I met a number of awesome folks for the first time. Lisa came to visit me in October and I got tattoo number six while she got her very first one. And I took a trip to Phoenix where I re-learned how to four-wheel (That was exciting! Especially getting backed into a cactus!) and spent two days learning two new Kung Fu forms.
It was all-in-all a great year, and even better it didn’t end with the 31st of December. I’m back at a day job now because there are more important things than free time at the moment, but I’m still making an effort to do something once a year – at minimum – that falls into the “dangerous living” category. *grins*
In 2009, it was attending ComicCon in San Diego and having a total blast. In 2010, it was taking a trip to Chicago that involved me having to drive in Chicago. *laughs* Trust me, that’s a big deal for me.
Now in 2011, I’m getting ready to run the Tough Mudder Event in Beaver Creek the end of June. Together with my sister, brother-in-law, and several friends, I’m going to tackle an eight mile course filled with 20+ obstacles. Some of the obstacles involve my greatest fears, like crawling through small tunnels and submerging myself in water. Eep.
But I’m going to do it, because as I said in a blog post back in 2008 – It’s not about not being afraid. It’s about getting up, facing your fears head on and spitting in their eye before you walk through them. And that is what I plan to do with every second of my wild and precious life.
What about you? How do you follow your bliss? What are you doing with your life? Are you letting fear of failure hold you back, or worse falling into that trap of “I’ll do it tomorrow.” Don’t wait for tomorrow. Do it today. I promise you, you won’t regret it.
(Header photo by Don Branum. Body photo is a collage hanging by my desk from Prana Catalog with various quotes from Jillian Michaels.)