Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Cautious


I was working on a post for this week's Wednesday Word: cautious. I'm not, by nature a cautious person, and I was struggling with this post a little bit. I was going to write about pushing through a tough race, leaving it all on the course. That's how I roll.

But then something happened.

My colleague, a nurse practitioner with whom I share an office lost her husband this week. She woke up to get ready for work, and found him unresponsive. He was young, healthy and his passing was completely unexpected.

Can you even imagine?

Once again, life gives me a reality check.

What if today was your last day?

What would you do differently? Is there anything you'd want to do?

We all joke about having a bucket list. At least I do...although it's no joke to me.

I'm in my 50s, and I'm starting to think about my mortality. I'm not being morbid. I'm being realistic. We only get one trip around the sun. So I say, no regrets. I want to leave this life knowing that I did everything I wanted to do. And I want to be remembered for that. Yep, "she lived life to the fullest."

Yet, many of us live a life of fear.

"I can't do that...I might get hurt...I can't afford it..."--qualifying for Boston, running Big Sur, going to Hawaii...retiring on a lake in Wisconsin. You can probably name other things. These are my current bucket list items.

You're right. You might get hurt. You might go broke. And then again...you might not.

Life's too short.

Take the trip. Run the race. Buy the house. Love more. Live more. Chase your dreams. Appreciate what you have.

At the end, who's keeping track? There are no prizes for having the cleanest house...the biggest bank account....sure, people might remember that stuff, but is it important?

What do you want people to remember about you? What's important to you?

Me, I want people to say that I wasn't afraid of a challenge. That I did big things because I didn't let my fears slow me down. Life's too short to be cautious.

I'll tell you, once again, this word prompt hit home for me. Are you cautious? What's on your bucket list?

Don't forget to check out the other posts on DebRuns.









68 comments :

  1. This post reminds me of the poem "Dust if you Must". I have it hanging on the classroom door. It is so inspiring! http://www.inspirationpeak.com/cgi-bin/poetry.cgi?record=76


    To touch on what you said about worrying about spending money and going broke... a couple of years ago my hubby and I decided we would NOT be afraid to spend money on experiences. It used to make me sick to see how much a plane ticket or vacation would cost, but seriously in the end we will never EVER regret spending money to go to the Grand Canyon or wherever else we decide to go. I mean, has anyone on their deathbed said, "I wish I had never gone to the Grand Canyon" haha. Okay I may write a blog post about that....

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    1. That's why I have second-hand furniture and a modest home...but we always took the boys on trips and had lots of experiences (altho still not enough, in my opinion). Love that poem. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Awesome blog! Great post.:) You knocked this out of the ball park!

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    1. Thank you Karen!!! I had some unfortunate inspiration this week.

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  3. Middle age does this to us, huh? Honestly for me, it's not about race goals any more. It's mostly about getting the most out of the time I have left with my kids--I want to scoop up every minute I can share with them before they leave the nest. Just making the most out of all my relationships, I guess, and having an impact on the world in a positive way. if I can do a little in that regard, I'm going to feel ok!

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    1. You are so right, Amanda! All of a sudden, I turned around and I was in my 50s. And my boys are almost grown. What the heck happened?

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  4. Part of my problem is that my husband is a much more cautious person. Always worried about what if? And since we're a team, sometimes it's all about compromise. I've got to know when to push & when to back off. I don't think being so cautious makes him happy, though, so there is definitely a lesson to be learned there.

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    1. My husband is definitely more cautious than me. I've had to push him a bit, and he pushes back. It's a yin-yang thing...

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  5. Love this. I don't think about death often but for some reason it occurred to me yesterday on a long drive home that life isn't promised (literally NO idea what provoked this thought) and I should keep living it to the fullest.

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    1. I don't think about death a lot, but this week, there it was. A good reminder to let the little things go.

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  6. I am ultra cautious, partly it is my nature, partly in deference to my better half's worries about me. Mostly unspoken worries, but we know each others' hearts and they are felt, recognized, and acknowledged. Still, since hitting the big Six-O, I've been pushing my boundaries more and more. Discovering that I can do more than I imagined, that I am stronger than I thought I was. Hanging in there when the going is tough is one of the advantages of being stubborn.

    I think of my parents struggling to save all their lives for retirement, ("When we retire we'll---"[insert dream here]), never doing much for fun, always putting it off. My Dad retired at 62.My Mom was to retire the following year when she reached that age. He died nine months after retiring, at my age now which is much on my mind these days, none of their retirement dreams achieved. While we are not care-free, we try to live while we are alive.

    Part of a reflection I read just this morning read, "Lord, keep me from sleepwalking through my life." I love that.
    I'll never not be cautious, but am trying to balance that with a bit more daring..

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    1. I"m glad to see you pushing your limits a little bit, Connie! I think once you do that half marathon, you're going to realize that the sky's the limit!

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  7. I had trouble initially with this prompt at first as well. We do have to remember to live each day and not always save for a rainy day. Good reminder and great post.

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    1. Funny how life gives you little reminders, isn't it?

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  8. I know all to well how quick life can go. I live my life to the fullest everyday. I have seen so many people dead, take their last breath, go to jail for the rest of their lives. The military-police life taught me that. I remember one of the final scenes of the movie Titanic where they show these photos of all Rose did before she died and I said to myself, I want to have a life filled with memories not regrets. Thanks for sharing this.
    bakingrunner.blogspot.com

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    1. Since turning 50, I've felt the pressure to do it all.

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  9. Wow. I am really trying to live the life I want to live but it's hard to be that true to my wishes when the day-to-day overwhelms!

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    1. And that happens to me a lot. I get so caught up in day to day nonsense that I lose sight of the bigger picture.

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  10. very profound post. I've spent a lot of my life being cautious and not taking chances but as I've gotten older and even with the blog have begun to take more risks and if I fail? at least I can say I gave it a try! I love that quote at the beginning.

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    1. I think it's a lot easier for me to "fail" now than it was when I was younger--not caring as much about what people think.

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  11. Its so easy to take life for granted since we never know when our last day will be. I too was reminded of this last night with the passing of my great aunt. Life goes by far too quickly, and its so important to take advantage of the time we have to enjoy it.

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  12. I loved this post! I don't think that I'm overly cautious and at 61, I am trying to LIVE my life to the fullest!

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  13. I'm amazed at the women who spend so much time cleaning their house. I've got a life to live! Keep it picked up and forget the rest. I don't want my tombstone to say "She had a clean house."

    My brother (at the age of 54) passed away very suddenly last Winter. It's a huge reality check. When I'm gone, I want people to say "She did it." Whatever IT was.

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    1. Haha! No chance of that ever being on my tombstone! Holly, we think alike.

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  14. I tend to be more cautious with decisions that will affect my whole family, but I push myself more when I know I'm the only one that has anything to lose.

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    1. Oh, absolutely! But doesn't it feel good to stretch your limits and achieve what ever it was you were chasing?

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  15. I loved this post! Your so right! Life IS short, I may get hurt training for a marathon, but I threw caution to the wind and let my friend talk me into trying! My crystal ball says I'm gonna finish it and have an awesome time too! ;)

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    1. You won't get hurt! Just train smart. My crystal ball agrees with your crystal ball.

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  16. I'm definitely a cautious person, and sometimes it does prevent me from following through with things I'd like to do. I'm hopeful that I'm moving past this, and I do try to re-evaluate my bucket list often. In fact, I get to cross something off in October!!

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  17. What an interesting post! It got my wheels turning a bit. I am not overly cautious for a lot of things...I like to try new stuff (sports, food, excursions, whatever), and if I have a bucket-list goal, I am generally not afraid to go for it. That said, I am about the most cautious person EVER when it comes to my kids. I'm the mom who freaks out if they eat dirt (you'll get sick!)/jump off that too-high ledge (you'll break a bone!)/eat too much junk food (you'll rot your teeth/develop bad habits!)/etc...I am often the only mom who skips playgroup if I know one of the other kiddos has something as mild as the sniffles. Yes, I would say I'm overprotective, even if I don't always mean to be that way. So I suppose I am more cautious with them than I am for myself! I hope as they grow older, I'm able to loosen the reins a bit and show them that it's okay to take their own risks...you know, within reason (or at least without telling Mom). ;)

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    1. Isn't it funny how you can be so cautious with your kids but not with yourself?

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  18. Oh, I love this message. Life is short...absolutely. I am guilty of playing it safe, most definitely!

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    1. As I've gotten older, I've played it less safe...

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  19. So sorry about your colleague. Life is precious and fleeting for sure. Not too much remains on my running bucket list. Need to get London and Berlin done.

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    1. This really shook a lot of people up at work. Kind of hard to believe!

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  20. I'm so sorry to hear about your colleague. Those kind of instances certainly do make us realize how precious life is. I try to not let fear hold me back but it's difficult. This was a great message.

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    1. I just feel so badly for her...and I think it's an important reminder for all of us.

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  21. I needed this today, thank you. With two little ones (3 and 1) I am always worried about the mess of my house and you are right, it doesn't matter. Thank you!

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    1. You never get that time back with your kids. Let the house go!

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  22. My condolences to your colleague - I can't imagine how hard that must be. I tend to be a really cautious person, but ever since I studied abroad and traveled by myself in Europe, I learned that risks are worth taking. I'd much rather be (and admire so much more) the woman who got out there and lived and achieved rather than have a perfectly clean house and safe, normal life.

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    1. You only get to do it once, so may as well do it right!

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  23. I love this post! You are my kind of lady! When people ask why would you want to do that? I say why the hell not? Life is meant to be an adventure and if i skid into heaven on 2 wheels holding a glass of wine then I did my part :) as they say you don't ever see a hearse with a trailer hitch- keep living!

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    1. Haha! I love it...I said that I want to be remembered for being that crazy lady who runs all the time...not because I had this perfect house. I'd love the perfect house but I would need someone to keep it that way...

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  24. I relate to this quote in a little different way. (At some point I may actually do an entire blog post about it). As you probably know, my aunt died rather unexpectedly at the age of 52, and since then I definitely live more and my motto is "don't leave anything unsaid." I'm not on "bad terms" with anyone in my life. If someone unexpectedly dies or something happens to me, there will be no "I wish we had made up over that fight" or "I wish I had told her how much she means to me", etc.... If I like someone, I let them know. I don't hold back and think what if they think I'm weird for expressing so much of my emotions.... So yes, I will probably do a whole post on not holding back and telling all one day... I'm sorry about your friend's loss. And on another note, I am really amazed by how you consistently put out multiple good blog posts per week!! Just doing one a week exhausts me!

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    1. Funny thing Paria, last night I came home from work and started to edit the post I had written, I deleted the whole thing. This one was off the cuff after consoling my dear colleague...I couldn't think about anything else. The whole post took me about 5 minutes to write. You just never know where you'll find inspiration.

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  25. My sympathies to your colleague. I cannot even imagine that. My husband has had two heart procedures for a genetic condition so I definitely worry when I hear stories like that. It does make you think about when is the right time to be cautious and when you need to just live a little.

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    1. She had no inkling that anything could or would happen. It was simply a stroke of fate. You just never know.

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  26. My sympathies to your colleague. No matter how long you have with someone it always hurts to part. I dread the thought...
    I was 19 and I saw my Dad in the morning,and that afternoon the police came to my work and told me he was gone. Life can change in a blink.
    I often think about all the things I could do if so many hours were not consumed by work...

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    1. We need to make time for the things and people we love. It's so easy to be caught up in the everyday stuff.

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  27. That is so sad about your colleague. Life really is too short to be second-guessing ourselves on things we want to do. I have been cautious in the past, but I'm getting better about taking a leap of faith and going for what I want.

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    1. I think as I get older, I'm for sure better about going for it!

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  28. Wow, this truly puts things into perspective. I can definitely relate to Hollie in sometimes beating myself up about a neat house with a 3 year old and a baby. You are so right though....life is too short and it's so easy to get caught up in "work" and mismatch your true priorities. Thanks again for sharing!

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    1. Sometimes it's hard to remember what is truly important! Your kids won't remember the furniture or the house, but they'll remember those trips you took them on..

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  29. How heartbreaking for her! My husband's parents both died relatively young and suddenly due to cardiac issues and I confess that fear of losing him is always in my head. It is so hard to balance that fear with wanting to embrace everything about life. You're right - we never know when things will change. We can only do what we do. :)

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    1. Great point--it is hard to balance fear with life goals and desires. But you don't want to live your life in fear and miss out...

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  30. Great post (again). I am constantly pushing past my comfort zone....but I acknowledge that there are times I'm still treading in "cautious" waters. I'm so paranoid about injury! Crazy speed work scares me (because of my klutziness) and excessive mileage really wears me down. UGH. I agree with everything you wrote about...life is, indeed, TOO short. Sorry about your friend's loss....

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    1. We always need these reminders to help us appreciate what we have and what we can do! And never live a life of being afraid to do something new...

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  31. This really struck me this morning. I'd say losing my Mother at 61 was really a wake up call for me. We are not promised tomorrow and you should at least try to live your dreams :-)
    Lots of love to your friend. Made me tear up just thinking about it.

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    1. I went to the wake last night, and it was tough. Way too young.

      So sorry that you lost your mom so young. That's not fair....

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  32. You've hit me on an emotional day, because this post made my eyes start to well up with tears. A friend of mine just lost her mother suddenly due to a car collision, after her mother survived pancreatic cancer. I've been reminded too much lately about the unthinkable occurring. I think we all need to make sure we tell the people we love and care about that we love and care about them.

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    1. Every.damn.day.

      So sorry about your friend's mom. The suddenness of the loss makes it that much harder.

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  33. I have never ever been so un-cautious than I am now. Not unsafe but willing to take risks. That mindset comes with an amazing energy I was missing out on.

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    1. Isn't that interesting? I think the more you push your limits, the more of that "energy" you receive!

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  34. First off, I am so sorry to hear about your friend losing her husband...

    I agree, I don't want to feel like I missed out on things I wanted to do because I was afraid to try, or too overly cautious. Hope you make Big Sur and Boston happen. Both are amazing marathons!

    Thank you for linking up!

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