Go On, Take a Risk!

Hawaiian beachIt’s a cold, gray, December day in Wisconsin today. We’re a world away from this beautiful photo that my friend, Jane sent a few weeks ago from Hawaii, but it makes me remember some very good times in my life. It was a time of loneliness and heartbreak, but it was also a great time of discovery.

This picture takes me back to a time when Jane and I saw many beaches in the Caribbean, It was a fluke that we ever met; after all, she lived in Maine and I lived in Wisconsin. But through another woman named Robin–who was from Boston, we met on a cruise ship, and we forged a strong friendship which still exists some 20 years later.

At the time, Jane was a travel agent, and I was just plain lucky. She’d call and say she was going here or there and would I like to be her companion for the week. So for $35/day, I cruised on beautiful ships, strolled beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, danced until dawn, and spent a lot of girl time with her and Robin. The only employment I had at the time was freelance writing, along with a couple of marketing jobs for small business. I  really didn’t have any money to go, and my life was in a mess because of a nasty divorce, but something inside me said I had to take the opportunity to escapes to exotic venues because they would never come along again.

I could have played it safe and said “no” to the trips letting the practical and responsible side of me call the shots. But I didn’t. For the first time in my life, I fought the safe route and took a risk. The memories of our adventures lives in my soul, and if there should ever be a day when memories fade, I have a volume of great photos to bring them back.

As I gaze at Jane’s photo, I’m now sitting at home with my ailing husband, no longer able to travel. How grateful I am for her friendship and the fun we had together so many years ago. I’m happy that we were both open to new friendships and new experiences. And if I’m totally honest, part of me is jealous because she got to talk along the beach with her husband, and I only got to see the picture. But I guess it beats a t-shirt, huh?

SERIOUSLY though, I’m really happy Jane is still able to explore new places; I’m happy she still has her zest for traveling and is still discovering the beauty of the world. I’m also happy she’s doing it with someone she loves.

So here’s my advice: If you have a chance to take a risk–TAKE THE RISK. Playing it safe only locks you into what you’ve already done. You will never know anything new, if you are too paralyzed to “jump off the cliff” and open your mind to something different.  Don’t miss out on your life. It will be over before you know it.

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3 thoughts on “Go On, Take a Risk!

  1. You brought tears to my eyes… what wonderful memories we share. Even though we are miles apart I think of you so often and have tea with you! We had some wonderful times and who knows what the future wil bring. My library sent me an email while I was in Hawaii and said they had gotten “Apple Pie and Strudel Girls” for me. I am the first one to check it out of the Farmington library. I am so proud of you. When I picked up your book I told everyone “My friend wrote this”! It is a cold day here too so I plan to curl up by the woodstove with your book and enjoy the afternoon and evening.

    • Janey — So nice to hear from you. We have to get on Skype and you tell me about your trip to Hawaii.

      I’m glad that you got the book. The chapters are short, so you can whip through them quickly. It takes about 12 chapters to get through the background, so don’t give up! I’ll be anxious to hear what you think. Perhaps someday I can sign a copy for you! Love, Barb

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