• jandan57

What risk do I want to take

So that would have to be todays writing prompt to one of the most risk averse people around, but it is a good question thou, so time to think...........

Anyone who knows me would admit I am a real chicken little when it comers to taking risks. I am not talking bungee jumping, mountain trekking, deep diving risk , I am talking simple everyday things some people take for granted. Like for example driving to Melbourne - which is Victorias capital city. It is around 50 kilometres away and I have driven there twice in my life, both times being no choice medical emergencies. My rational brain tells me it is just like any other road but my risk averse brain has gone over at least twenty scenarios that include traffic merging with trucks, not being able to see the big green flouro road direction signs, roadworks and detours, possible car accidents, car breakdowns, brake failure - you name it I would have done a full risk assessment on an hour long journey. From there I would have just decided to get a train and I would be happier to walk an extra five kilometres to get where I need to be. Do I want to take that risk of driving to Melbourne - not really, it's not important enough to me.

What other risk could I take ? I would really love to be able to kayak down a river. However there is a few risk assessment issues around that also, firstly being I can't swim. What if the kayak toppled over in the middle of a river and I was strapped in.What if I lost an oar. What if there was some mystical deep sea hole that I was not aware of or rip tide. How do you get in a kayak without toppling it , what if my arms get tired. So many questions, so much risk.

I think I have been conditioned to be scaredy cat my whole life. Of all the things I wish I had learnt as a child it would be to swim and feel safe around water. Mum would take us to the beach and you could literally feel the fear exuding from her if we went past our knees in the water , so I understood water was scary, we could die ! Mum kept us all safe in cotton wool as best she could and the delicious irony was when we did go rogue we ended up with broken bones, damaged furniture, complaining neighbours, broken windows and the list goes on. And Mum would say I told you so, and we would usually be grounded. There seemed to be minimal reward for big risk, so playing it safe was an easier option.

Don't get me wrong sometimes I do step out of my comfort zone in a controlled risk or if the end reward is more important than the risk. I think that may be the secret lure.

On a trip to Vanuatu pre Covid I took a huge risk for me and climbed up a big waterfall to get to the waterfall rock pools, knowing full well that what goes up must come down. Now I wasn't so brave as to go diving under the waterfall to swim through the caves but I did sit in quiet awe at the beauty in front of me . I forgot about my dodgy knees, my unfit body and the flowing water and just held onto that rope and embraced the moment.You see the risk was worth the reward. The same could not be said for my reluctance to embrace the mode of transport around Vanuatu, everyone just hangs on for dear life in the back of a ute, minimal road rules , no seat belts, I was having a conniption. Whilst I totally admired my friends bravado and appreciated their uninhabited joy, I was more than content to sit inside the cabin and watch them fly around the back, overanalysing their risk .

For me risk needs to have a reward or an end game. I don't just do "stuff" for the sake of it. Risk involves having minimal control and I admit I am a control freak, or in another language chicken shit scared of stuff.

So the question remains - what risk do I want to take ?

Going through my bucket list / risk assessments maybe I have found the answer.

I have always wanted to do a road trip around Tassie, some would call it a holiday plan , I would call it a total risk assessment . There's the ferry with a car on board, a floating car park in the middle of an ocean - yikes. Then where do you go, I'd have to follow road signs, unfamiliar roads, anxiety inducing indeed. But I believe the reward is worth the risk as Tassie would be suitable to my kinda pace, not to mention aesthetically rewarding. So in 2022 that is a risk I am willing to take.

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This writing exercise has in an interesting way taught me something about me - some may say my aversion to risk is living an ignorant life , a safe life. However I would note that understanding that for me to take a risk there must be a reward, I find myself to be living a content life. I have also considered that regret may be a second cousin of risk. There is regret in not living a life of risk when I had the opportunity, the ability to fight the fear early. I regret not taking the risk and opportunity to be physically strong and respect my body and health to enable me to undertake some of those riskier adventures that I look on from afar and admire in others. I'm now at the stage in life where if I lay in the sun on the couch I highly risk having an afternoon nap:)

May you enjoy your risky life - however that risk pleases you



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