We often mark the new year by asking ourselves what we want to change about our lives. I suggest you ask a different question. When you are very old and death could come pretty much any time, what will you remember about your life?
I suggest that it will not be the moments when you felt safe and secure. It will be the moments you took risks.
We will recall the romance that was hot and heavy but ended with heartache.
The time you got up the nerve to perform Karaoke in front of 100 strangers and your mouth was so dry you thought you might not even be able to speak, much less sing. Or how about the time, when you were 10 and your chums dared you to walk up on the porch of the local haunted house and knock on door. And you did it, sweaty palms and all.
What about the girl you had a crush on your senior year in high school. She wasn’t popular or in the ‘in’ crowd but you invited her to the prom anyway, and she came to the door looking like a million bucks and you felt like a real mench.
Then there was that job you quit when you were 30 because you wanted to try something new and you didn’t have any idea how you were going to pay your bills.
These are the times we feel alive, the times we take control of our lives and do the unexpected; when our hearts are pounding and our breathing comes in excited bursts. We are scared but it is a life giving fear. Risk taking is life giving.
Meditation on the new year
What risks will I take this year to give myself more life?