So I’ll go ahead and say it anyway because there is a pretty good chance I am crazy and there’s also a reasonable chance that I have some really good company.
Here’s the thing: I’ve noticed that sometimes, in some instances, I enjoy something more after it’s over.
You know, stuff like skiing. And raising children.
Maybe it’s because I’m not really sure I’m going to survive until it’s over.
Maybe it’s because I’m too busy concentrating on what needs be done to stay on my feet, so that I can’t enjoy it until I’m looking at it in the rear-view mirror.
I would love to be one of those people who just head out and have fun. Cruise that mountain at top speed and only worry if something gets broken – not before.
Just recently, I watched a young woman run out into the crashing waves as soon as she arrived at the beach we had been enjoying for some time. She swam, she laughed, she let the waves throw her back into the sand, she loved every minute without reservation. And I envied her.
I did get in the water, but only after watching how the waves broke, checking for shark fins and gradually acclimating to the temperature so it wouldn’t be too much of a shock. And I don’t think I was laughing quite as much as that other woman because I was just a bit anxious about how deep it was and how far the surf might take me.
Being married to someone who runs out and jumps in is good and bad and good.
It’s good because you always get talked into doing things that you normally would avoid doing because they don’t take place on solid ground.
It’s bad because your heart is usually pounding and you’re never really sure you will make it.
It’s good because when you do make it, you know you not only accomplished something challenging but you overcame your fears and there is one less thing that you will be afraid to do the next time.
This has happened in my marriage over and over and over. And I’m grateful that I can now kayak, snorkel, stand-up paddle and go white-water rafting besides skiing, but I do have to say that no matter who tries to talk me into it, I will never scuba dive, rappel or spend the day riding on the back of a Harley Davidson. There are limits.
The trick is to enjoy what you’re doing when you’re doing it. To run out and jump in and laugh and relish. Whether it’s in the water, on the snow, in your job, at your home.
My biggest fear is that I will get to heaven (that’s the plan, anyway) and look back at life and say: Wow, that was amazing. And then: What was I so worried about? And then: Why didn’t I have fun?
If you’re one of the ones thinking I’m crazy and you’ve made it this far, I congratulate you – not just on hanging on through a view so different from your own – but because you are most likely already enjoying the adventure and relishing every minute without hesitation. Yeah for you.
But if you’re like me, let’s make ourselves a promise. Let’s promise to be brave. But more than brave, let’s look at what we’re doing and realize how amazingly amazing it is. Let’s enjoy the adventure when we’re right smack dab in the middle of it.