So a while back I wrote a quick blog post and mentioned I'd made a "big decision".
Then I let life take over and fell off the blogosphere for a bit...possibly leaving some of you hangin'.
Sorry about that.
So, this "big decision" may not seem BIG to some of you at all. But to others....you'll know just what I'm talking about.
A few weeks ago I turned 47. A few weeks before that I made steps toward conquering some fears. Then during our spring break I was faced with a situation that could have gone either way.
Ian and I had driven to Donner Lake to visit my aunt and uncle at their lake house. It was beautiful, as always. Cold. but clear and gorgeous. We decided to stay two nights, which was a great and glorious decision. You can't really get your "relax" on just staying one night.
We woke up on our last day there to beautiful, amazing, pure white snow. It was breathtaking. Not growing up in (or even near) snow, it was a gift. I loved it.
The forecast said it was going to stop around noon or so. So we thought we'd head home around then. But it wasn't showing signs of stopping at all. It just kept snowing. And snowing. But we really needed to start heading home.
After some self-talk I decided that I was going to drive home in the snow. Something I'd never done before. Something that, quite honestly, had me a little scared. But I talked to my uncle...a lot (Thanks, D, for the encouragement!) and after lots of tips and pointers about driving in the snow I put my big girl panties on and just decided to be brave. I made a deliberate decision and choice to NOT be afraid.
Was I still nervous? Well...hmmm...was I? Yeah...a little, I suppose. But not much. It was like once I decided to just dig in and "get 'er done" as they say, my confidence skyrocketed and I was ready to face the challenge that not even a day before could have had the power to cripple me in fear.
We packed up the car, threw a few snowballs, gave everyone hugs and kisses goodbye, got a few more last-minute pointers from Uncle D, and off we went.
Driving in the snow also meant using my 4-wheel drive...something I'd never done before. And I gotta say, I liked it. It was easier than I thought and gave me the control I needed to maneuver our car safely down the snowy highway. Like D. told me to, I drove as fast as the other cars, didn't get stuck behind big trucks and kept my cool.
Ian was a big help in keeping me calm, helping me keep an eye on the road (apparently I hug the right side of the lane) and other cars. He was cool as a cucumber, which led me to believe that I was doing an OK job. And my knuckles weren't even white.
So. You are probably saying, "Nice story, Michelle. But...uhhhh...what's this big decision you've been talking about?"
The big decision I made was this...I am no longer going to let fear stop me.
Will I face fearful situations? Yes. I will. But will they stop me from doing things? No. Not anymore.
And I'm not talking things like wrestling alligators. I'm talking about things that tons of people do all the time that I haven't been able to do because fear has stopped me. Things like hiking up something a little steeper than I'm comfortable with. Or paddling a kayak on my own. Or confidently climbing into a canoe. Or driving in snow.
No. Fear will no longer stop me. I have made the decision to face fear head on. I want to be brave. And do adventurous things. And you can't do that if you're a big scaredy cat.
So. No more. From here on out I am going to be brave...or, if need be, do it afraid.