A few times in my life, I’ve taken big risks and the results were both world-changing and emotion charged. After the fact, I have never regretted having taken those risks.
But as I get older, I find the notion of change and the spectre of dealing with intense emotion more frightening.
Over the past 5 years with my day job, I have run into numerous roadblocks where the at least one of the options for getting past them (usually the most exciting option) involved taking significant risk. I have backed away from those – and in almost every case, the result was a perpetuation of the status quo – but with a bit less pizzazz and enthusiasm. Looking back, I have regretted my lack of courage in every one of those instances.
I ask myself why am I so risk averse now? Middle age is the perfect time to walk the tightrope across the falls. My life expectancy is relatively short - and with the diminishing relevance that inevitably accompanies old age – my life expectancy as a contributing member of society is probably measurable on a good daytimer.
So rather than trying to keep my world at a comfy 27 degrees until I die choking on the styrofoam peanuts of my soul I should jump into the abyss. Chances are it only comes up to my knees – and even if it’s much deeper – the option of going out with my heart pumping and a scream of exhilaration on my lips is much more appealing than the slowly sinking and choking option.
The time for playing it safe is over.