Moments of Joy


     This has got to be the LEAST flattering photo of me taken in the last, oh, 41 years.  It’s also my favorite.

     One of the concepts I latched onto as the big four-oh approached was The Bucket List.  No, I don’t have a terminal illness, nor a death wish, nor a devil-may-care attitude about my life.  But I realized that there were LOTS of things that I had never tried, or thought of, as Becky Options.  Basketball?  Too short.  Mountain Biking?  Too fast.  Roller blading?  Not enough wheels.  And so on.

     Blogging?  Hmmmm.  I have a friend of two decades who has been prodding me for years: Go blog!  You’ll love it!  You can say whatever is on your mind.  But the thought of letting people into the dusty or murky corners of my mind didn’t sound very appealing; talk about risk!  But then I thought.  HUH. 

     I was THAT kid who rode their bike with no hands and of course, no helmet…did they even SELL bike helmets in the seventies?  I was that teenager who dared to watch the scary movie The Blob all by myself (that was when HBO first came out and they were showing all the movies that couldn’t get shown on the three major networks).  I was that young adult who was the unlicensed designated driver for all the parties I attended with friends – house parties, frat parties, raves, you name it – I corralled all my friends together and herded them like sheep to the car and made sure they got tucked in, instead of wandering off with some random guy.  I was that young person who worked for Clean Water Action and wandered house to house in Pittsburgh’s city neighborhoods, knocking on strangers’ doors and asking them to care about – and pay for – our environment (now THAT was early training on how to handle rejection!  And angry drunk people).  Talk about risk-taking!  Who was I kidding – I was a pro!

     My bucket list looks like this:  Caving.  Zip-lining.  Write a novel.  Give blood.  Try golf.  Travel to a foreign country whose first language is NOT English.  Force myself into public speaking for a cause that I care about.  Go to a hospice to visit with someone I know who is dying.  Attend someone else’s birthing experience.  Volunteer to cuddle with terminally ill babies.  Try out for “Survivor.”  Spend a week on an Indian reservation – and not spend nights in a hotel.  Go back to the Boundary Waters and truly EXPERIENCE it instead of being scared and mad the whole time about how difficult it is to portage, and sleep on the ground in 40-degree weather – in July!  Blog – and not give up when things get hard.

     And give myself over to joy by pushing past discomfort and defeating fear!

     May you be blessed today by joy, as well.  There’s enough to go around!



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