When was the last time you did something that scared you??

You have to risk going too far

to discover just how far

you can really go.

T.S. Eliot

As I sweated through my miles on the treadmill this morning — to the beat of  The Cars — my mind bounced to the past, remembering risks never taken as a young person.  Although I do consider myself to have forgiven my parents generally speaking, I found the old anger return more quickly that I would like to admit.

Suddenly, I was back in middle school majoring in mediocrity.

Why was I?  No clue really except that it got the attention of my parents.  Bad attention is better than no attention, you know. I was very good at not studying or doing homework.  It takes a special talent to write a book report on Anna Karenina when you didn’t read it.  The two things that I was naturally and exceptionally good at: playing the piano and the Bass Clarinet they let me quit — I wonder why?

As I watched the impressive students in the Wisconsin Youth Orchestra last night I was right back in high school myself playing along.  Sitting there with their nerdy hair and their sweaty faces, I saw myself.  That was me, is me.  And yet I gave it up.   One of my bigger regrets.

I wish my parents had encouraged  me to  focus on what I was good at and not constantly compare myself to others and what I wasn’t as good at.

When I look at my children I want to push them into risk.

I want them to jump toward life.  I want them to try new things – not be afraid to try an instrument and anything else that interests them.  And find a passion.

In the end so much of life is spent doing the things we love in our spare time.  Whether it is running a 5k or working out, or playing the banjo or refinishing old furniture.  Playing the piano for an audience of one or playing an instrument in a local orchestra .  These are the things that make life interesting and help one feel unique.


Tom says I should take up an instrument if I want, now.  Whether it is electric bass or classical bass, or going back to the piano, the question is am I afraid to learn something new or will I embrace the fear and do it?

What about you?  What are you learning, that’s new to you?

4 thoughts on “When was the last time you did something that scared you??

  1. GO FOR IT!!!!

    Stepping back on to a college campus at 36 (exactly twice the age I first did) was intimidating. I felt completely alone and like I was a big, fat fool. Now, 4 years later and ready to graduate (again) in the spring, I marvel at the skills I’ve gained, the friends I’ve made and the career I’m building. It hasn’t been easy–putting yourself up for critique on a weekly basis is STILL hard–but it’s been good.

    When I finish in the spring, I’ll have to see what the next cutting edge is for me. I know I need one.


  2. Landscaping and irrigation, Mel. And I’m scared to death I won’t be able to do it on my own, but I have to try. I have to go for it because I don’t work well having others tell me what to do. Thanks for sharing. Love ya.


  3. When I read your meditations on your life and your parents, Melody, I feel your anger and I reflect on it. I have some anger toward my parents from later in my life–the time when they departed for their mission work in Russia.

    Do you want to talk sometime, in real life? I don’t know if it will help us along our paths, but maybe it would.



Thanks so much for reading and sharing.

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