In my last life I worked 6 days a week.  Even when I made sure to go home on time, I still was mentally engaged.  Vacation?  What was the point?  I would get phone calls as I was leaving town letting me know all the stuff that everyone else was worried about.  No amount of preparation or planning could give me any length of rest.

Our old life gave us no margin.  We had no time for each other.  Even with all the money we made, we had no resources.

Every week we knew what would happen.  Get up, eat, work, eat, work, eat, worry about work, work, watch tv, pass out.

It took a few years to build the courage to change things.  Comforts makes complacency.

I read a lot about how to make things happen.  I am not naturally great at it.  I have worked many crazy terrible jobs only because I didn’t know how to better myself.  I didn’t have the courage or the connections to take advantages of situations as they happened around me.

I am working very hard to instill the ability for my son to take risks.  We were invited to go on a fall color drive through a national forest in the Appalachian mountains.  Everyone stood at the bottom of a waterfall and took pictures.  Then the boy crawled up to the top.  Then Tracy followed him up.

Everyone else, including me, stayed at the bottom.

water falls

shoes and socks

It wasn’t fun being at the bottom.  I was pretty worried.  I saw the boy wobble a few times.  I worried that he and the wife would have problems getting down.

Risk isn’t bad.  The risk allowed for an amazing memory.  “Remember when I climbed up the waterfall?”

Taking risk is something you have to build a tolerance for.  Fear keeps you in check if you are healthy, but it keeps you in chains if you are not strong enough.

Maybe you are not in a position right now where you feel like you can try for your dreams.  A great first step is to join a group of like minded people.

Hit up a forum and start asking questions.  Look at upcoming gatherings on craigslist.  Visit http://www.meetup.com and find some groups to join.

We could have traveled to the forest and taken the drive ourselves.  Google maps has the roads.  Instead we became followers and participants.  We were rewarded with a 3 hour tour through back forest roads.  We saw hidden valleys, out of the way vistas, rivers, and bridges.

bridge and family river river from up high tracy directions

Meeting people, and groups of people, is a risk.  It may not involve falling down a 30 foot waterfall, but those emotional wounds can still hurt.  RV parks are full of “independent” people who don’t want to help.  People who worked hard to get were they are at, and they don’t need anyone.  I recently talked to someone who was so happy to sell his diesel RV and buy a gas RV – “because those diesel pusher snobs hate me””.

 

The balance and tension of wanting to belong and wanting your independence is difficult.  Swinging too far in both directions results in a bad balance.  The joys and adventures of groups, mixed with your ability to be self-sufficient is a tough line to balance.

Its worth the risks of hurt feelings and rejection to be a part of a group.  Risk and Reward go together.

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Get involved in life
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Taking risk is something you have to build a tolerance for. Fear keeps you in check if you are healthy, but it keeps you in chains if you are not strong enough.
Brent Homer
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