Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wishful Thinking {a guest post by contented me}

Wearing red lipstick. Doing a handstand in yoga. Diving off the high-dive. 

I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m not brave enough to do any of these things. 

Even as a kid, I wasn’t ever what you would consider a risk-taker. You wouldn’t catch me peddling down the street on my bike waving my hands in the air or signing up for the school ski-trip. (Embarrassing confession #2 – I’ve never been downhill skiing.) I was always just happier playing it safe. Keeping both hands on the wheel. 

And until now, I’ve been perfectly OK with my safe-seeking tendencies.  Frankly, I think I’ve gotten along just fine. And with all of my bones still intact, thank you very much. 

But (isn’t there always a but?), I’m starting to feel like a little bit of a hypocrite. 

You see, I’ve got two year old twins at home who, like all other toddlers, are busy exploring their world. And while my son, who doesn’t seem to have a scaredy-cat bone in his body, will take on any challenge that comes his way; it’s his sister who digs in her heels when something seems scary or difficult to do. I want her to know that it’s OK to feel scared sometimes, but that it’s also important to be brave and try new things. I nudge her to go ahead and take that step or slide down that slide because I don’t want her to miss out on things. And seeing the joy in her eyes after she’s accomplished one of those challenges (that wasn’t so scary after all) leaves me beaming with pride.  

Which gets me to thinking about all the things I’ve missed out on because I didn’t dare to try, all the unanswered challenges that would have bolstered my self-pride.  Kinda makes me wish I had done differently. And makes me wonder what my courage-stores might look like now if I had only been building them up.  

And so that’s my wish. To be brave. To try new things – even the scary ones. To be an example to my children of the value of courage.  

The next time my yoga teacher asks us to get into handstand, I’m going give it a try. And if I fall down (which is very likely), I will try again. And I will keep trying until I get it because I know that I’ll never forget how great it feels to accomplish something that was once out of reach. 

Contented Me is authored by the adorable and beyond sweet Chicago interior designer, Kristin.  She always leaves comments or sends lovely emails that put an extra happy kick in my step.  And oh how I wish I could be there for the moment she stands tall with her hands ~ it's one of the best feelings in the world!  Go Kristin Go!


  1. I loved this post.....

    I too have a son & son has no fear whatsoever & says yes to everything whereas my daughter is a typical sensible & cautious eldest child.

    I'm confident now and would do most things (albeit with my sensible head on!) but like you (and most mothers I am sure), I want my children to be fearless and to take on the world. I do think that children make you braver though, more willing to put yourself out there.

    Good luck with those headstands, you can do it :)

  2. What a beautiful post! I was the (somewhat reckless) risk taker and my son definitely takes more after my cautious husband. It used to be quite frustrating for me. Now, I've come to realize that it can actually be a strength for me. He needs to survey it all before he can give it a go. And the older he gets, the braver he gets. But I have a feeling I will be glad he is a bit cautious when he is a teenager!

  3. Excellent post! I married a dare devil and have learned to try new things and to challenge my inner scaredy cat! When we take that leap to try new things, in the midst of what we thought was hard suddenly becomes easy.
    Cheers to you and your head stand!
    Bravo for bravery and courage.

  4. Beautiful post.

    And *so* true. I've been wondering about courage lately, wondering if it diminishes with age (I have a toddler too, who is fearless). I used to be so brave, and now.. Not so much.

    I need to be as brave as my 2 year old it seems.

  5. Such a beautiful post. Wonderful thoughts, and it's especially interesting to think about how much having kids pushes us to improve upon ourselves. "What we want our children to become, we must first become ourselves."

  6. Thank you all so much for your kind comments! It was such a pleasure to write this up for Mel - and a bit eye-opening to me as I really started to think about how I react to things that test my courage.

  7. oh this is one of my favorites!!
    kristin is a golden girl! i love her blog!

  8. I love this post...especially the quote. I think it is so interesting how we can learn so much from our kids and how wanting to set a good example for them can make us so much better.

  9. Oh boy, I am so not a risk-taker. Give me the rules and I will follow them. So annoying. I think I need some risk in my life these days. This has me thinking for sure...


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