Feel the fear and do it anyway ..
That is what all the new age , self help gurus would tell us . Easier said than done . However it is this years new challenge as I line up life's goalposts, and let me say I am kicking a few goals.
I was 63 years old when I first walked around this promenade unaided, by myself with confidence. It happened late last year when I was going for my weekend walk. I had tried before but failed miserably. Someone once tried to walk me around there whilst holding my hand , well actually I was gripping their arm as they gently coaxed me thru each step. As we got half way around they gently loosened my grip and took off on me , confident that I would finally have the courage to walk the rest of the way by myself, thus breaking the fear. It didn't quite work out like that . I had a hysterical screaming session as I gripped tightly to the wooden edge of the pier, which I was convinced was going to break at any minute , such was my distress they had to come back and rescue me. You see, here are all my fears in one beautifully wrapped up tourist picture card. Heights, water, wobbly bridges made from wood, water to be seen though the cracks, people getting way to close to edges - the list goes on. I had managed a few times to walk with others but it was always slow and fear inducing. Then one day late last year I did it , I just took a deep breath , kept my eyes straight ahead and put one foot in front of the other. I now walk along this promenade most weekends and silently high five myself each time. I wonder what took me so long but fear does that to you. Fear stifles your opportunity, hinders your experiences and traps you in stupid self talk and head spaces of what if .
I am at the moment going through a bit of a late mid life crisis - doing new things , getting angry, challenging myself and not really giving a tinkers cuss about "what ifs" anymore. Not so long ago I attended my first protest march - March4Justice - I was so incensed about the way of this world I got out there and marched, chanted and in my own way made my voice count. I feel like protesting a lot these days :)
The other really bizarre thing I have done is sign up for a running club - let us be clear here - I don't run. I don't really exercise or eat healthy, or care about such things. So somehow I convinced myself this would be a good thing. You know when you start an idea and the theory is you voice your intention so you commit - blah bah blah - well I did that thing !! , so here I am with this new goal. The quiet competitive streak in me will now make me do it , the old bones and sensible me will ask why. But again I shall face the fear and do it anyway , what's the worst that can happen ?
It has been the longest streak ever for me not to do any writing, or even a page in my journal. I seem to have lost my head space for creative pursuits lately. The thing is I really do enjoy it when I find the time - I am sitting here writing this at 4 a.m . ( insert face palm ) It never ceases to amaze me what and where our mind goes in the early hours of the morning. I swear I could write a book about the thoughts I have alone. My head has been doing head miles for ages so I figured this time I would get up and write something . I could go for a run but I am too scared of the dark. That fear remains and there is no way to fix that one :)
I have decided in my late on set mid life cities mode , that I am taking some time off life and going off the grid in the next week or so and focussing on some creative pursuits. I intend to practice some self indulgence and switch off from this crazy world by getting off the work mouse wheel and go searching to find that magic ingredient "clarity" in the bush and clifftops of my home town. I wonder if I am the only one up at this strange hour ? Are others going through some strange post Covid, getting older ,where am I at, who am I phase in their life. Is mid sixties the new mid life crisis age or is it an age of awakening ?
So on this early Monday morning as I await the morning light to start a new week and get my morning walk in , I take a deep breath and hope for a chill week. Just as it is important to have a bit of angst in your life it is equally important to take a break, have a coffee and talk to your plants.
May your week be full of great ideas, a good nights sleep and good coffee :)