What would your life look like if you tried something you’ve always wanted to do?
I’ve spent many years regretting not going on the 6th-grade trip to Paris because I was scared. I kept thinking things would be different someday, so I kept waiting for the right time, to be the right person, or to have someone encourage me. All that got me was a lot of time as a wallflower—always envying those who just did things.
I put a lot of things off until some future moment in time.
Then the unthinkable happened to my mom.
I grew up in a two-parent home. Mom and Dad worked hard to give us kids everything we needed and even much of what we wanted. They scrimped and saved, knowing that someday we’d be grown and on our own, and they’d live a retirement life they’d dreamed about.
In the early 2000s, Lewy Body Dementia reared its ugly head in Mom’s life. Everything she and Dad planned to do in retirement slowly faded as Lewy took hold. Devastating to watch; the realization of all they’d miss broke my heart.
Mom passed in 2007, and my life changed dramatically. One big thing I learned from her, even before Lewy, was that life could be scary, but sometimes you must put on your big girl panties and do the hard stuff. When my sisters and I were teenagers, Dad went to Japan on his last assignment with the Air Force. Mom stayed behind because they didn’t want to uproot us during our high school years. I’m pretty sure many things during that time scared her, but she did them anyway.
As 2008 approached, I decided to be as brave as my mom.
I made a goal of trying something new each month of the coming year. I dubbed it My Year of Living Adventurously. Long before YOLO was a thing, I had YOLA!
That year I:
- Got my first tattoo (never say never—now I have two!)
- Tried indoor skydiving
- Adopted my first pet
- Learned how to curl—the sport, not my hair!
- Helped build a Habitat for Humanity house
- Read Kurt Vonnegut
My goal wasn’t to do big, fearless things. I just had to try something I’d never done before. What would your life look life if you did the same?
That year changed my life in many ways. My life today doesn’t look like I thought, but it’s been a fantastic journey.
I am sharing three things I learned that year on my Three Things Thursday blog this week, so don’t forget to come back and check it out.
After all the downtime of Covid, I’ve wanted to resurrect my YOLA, and I’ve finally decided to do something along those lines. On June 1, 2023, over on my Facebook page, I’m launching my summer challenge, Why Not Try. I hope you’ll join me for some fun in the coming months!