Tuesday, February 17, 2009


You know, the longer I am around, the more I understand that life is about risks. Not stupid, random risks--- like those idiots I see riding motorcycles without helmets. Those guys have a different name "Organ donors". But calculated and planned risks. Those who dare to create a feasible dream and go chase it. Or several, chase 'em down and make 'em reality one by one. My hat is off to those guys!

It's the difference between living a dull, boring, mediocre life and living the life that you intentionally created for yourself. Life still won't be perfect, but at least it's something you believe in and enjoy!

The real truth is most people I know take almost no risks at all. They let their hormones convince them to take a risk on a marriage. Half of the time, they never even took a risk on who they would date. Just dated whoever appeared, rather than suffering through the pain/ loneliness of fighting for/ waiting for someone amazing. Then after the one huge risk predicated on the natural drive for survival of the species, they just stop taking risks again.

The young kid who stares blankly at college. Too scared to take the risk of fighting their way through the maze that will build them into a professional. If they only knew how much joy and fun facing those challenges would be. Or they go, but never do what it takes to be sucessful. Life requires 100% of who we are. It requires us not to give up the first time a school says, "You're not going any further this way." Finding another route is terrifying and painful, but it's a whole lot better than the mediocre life you could choose.

I see it all the time, the accountant (bright guy) who has stuck with the same low paying (half of market rate) and praiseless job for 20 years because he didn't have the guts to look for another. He's miserable and complains all the time, but doesn't have the guts to take a well planned out and calculated risk.

I've come to appreciate the risks that have come my way in life. The $30,000 risk I took on Penn State and LOST. I'm still paying the $30,000, but every day I reap the benefits of being able to do what I want to do- what I love- and knowing that I am AMAZingly good at it. I've come to understand that even when I loose on well planned, well thought out risks... I win!

I got done with school and took a job at the school district (a stipulation of my grant from grad school). I hated it, but stuck it out for the two years required. Ironically, it would have been 2 years longer if I my grant had gone through the second year. Thank goodness for things that don't go my way! I was 3 months pregnant when I interviewed for my current job at TLC. I planned a calculated risk...I did my interview and was offered the job. Before I accepted the job, I scheduled an appointment with my future supervisor. I told her I was pregnant (waited about 3-4 min for that bombshell to settle) and added a second bombshell, that I was going to want to work part time after I had the baby. She had to think about that one! I told her I had plenty of part-time options (the truth), but I really wanted to work for TLC. After the weekend's deliberations, she called me back and said that it shouldn't be a problem. You and I both know that it was still QUITE risky to change jobs while I was pregnant, but I have never regretted it! My family is what is important to me. My job is how I serve my community, but needs to be kept in it's place. I turned down a $250 an hour gig the other day (PRN- 3 x a year). No amount of $ is worth taking more time from my family. Treasuring every day I have with them is worth everything in the world!

Every year I live in the life that I created 5 years before. I'm grateful for the risks we are faced with now, to create a life with even more freedom and joy. There's no guarantees in life. (Heck, a semi could fall on me tomarrow). But if anything, that's all the more reason to live life!!! Live it while you got it! And don't forget to enjoy the journey!!!

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