Friday, June 8, 2012

Fear and Boot Straps in Austin Texas

I had a chat with a co-worker the other day about taking risks.  We were talking about why people will stay in jobs that they hate for years - complaining year after year and yet never making the decision to change.  I'll admit that I'm a bit of a change junkie, so my perspective is skewed.  

I'd like to say that my experience as a widow has given me the courage to make changes fearlessly - life is short right?  Clearly I've learned that lesson!  The truth is, I was prone to make big changes before Daniel died, and that hasn't changed much since.  Actually, that isn't quite true.  My thought process prior to making a change is what's different.  Before Daniel, I would consider the pros and cons, and move fearlessly forward not a doubt in my mind.  After losing him?  I'll still do it, but not nearly as fearlessly as before.  The risks are just different and the thoughts that go through my mind are less optimistic and have a similar flow:
  • I  have a child. 
  • I am his only living parent.
  • What if I die?
  • My luck hasn't been so good in recent years.
  • What if something bad happens?
  • Life is short.
  • It's only money, you can't take it with you.
  • I could get hit by a truck tomorrow (my favorite).
  • Is this a life or death decision?
  • My family/friends will think I'm irresponsible.
  • If I get cancer and am lying on my death bed will I regret not trying (fill in the blank)?
  • What would Daniel do?
  • If I'm not having a good time, it's my own damned fault.
  • Why the hell not?
The thought process isn't identical each time, sometimes I end up with a different decision.  Most of the time though, I end up in with a "let's do this!" sort of decision.  But not before I hit the "what if something bad happens" question and take a good long pause.  That one, that's the big one.  I never thought of that before Daniel got sick. It never occurred to me that something REALLY bad could happen.  It just wasn't on my radar.  Now?  Now I know better.  Bad, bad shit happens.  It happens a lot. 

Fortunately a few years down the road, I'm not letting it change the outcome, it just changes my thought process to get there.  What if something bad happens?  It may.  It can.  It has.  In fact, it will.  But I have no control over that.  I can't let the possibility block my path forward. 

What would Daniel do?  If I'm not having a good time, it's my own damned fault.  Why the hell not?!  Let's do this! :)

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