Erring on the side of “to hell with it”.

Ask anyone. I’ve always been a very cautious person. That being said, I’ve done many things that my friends and acquaintances have said to me, afterwards,  “You did what?!” I think some things I’ve attempted, to the uninitiated sound crazy.

I’ve started a business (more than once) and failed. I took on a change of career at age 39, when I already had a fairly successful start in another calling. I’ve picked up everything I own and moved to a strange part of the country (Saskatchewan to British Columbia when I was 30), and then to another country (from Canada to the USA when I was 40). And not just the USA, but Texas! About as far from Canadian civilization as you get!

I’ve taken on dogs and cats that no else wanted, and turned them into lifetime companions. I’ve done the same with several human beings. And it’s not that I’ve considered myself daring or a particularly willing risk taker. It’s just that when I’m faced with a risk–or something that others might consider hazardous–I just don’t see the risk! Call it a sensory deficit, if you will. I just don’t see anything wrong or risky about a lot of things that when friends or relatives say, when are talking to me later, “Oh, I could have never done anything like that!”

Do I have a couple of scars here and there, on adventures that didn’t quite turn out right? You bet. But somehow, none of the bumps and bruises I’ve gotten really hurt all that much. So, besides having a sensory deficit (not being able see when something might up and bite me), I really must have a fairly high pain threshold. Regardless, I can’t see myself having chosen any different when confronted with those choices.

Last, but not least, I don’t consider that I have even the tiniest grain of heroism or bravery. I’m as chicken as they get. I can’t climb a ladder over six feet without getting dizzy. I have a mortal fear of surgical stainless steel. (How the hell did I ever become a nurse). I worry as much as anybody about getting bitten by garden variety insects. (Yet, I have absolutely no fear of scorpions–lots of those in Texas!)

My mom always said, “You do something, and think about it afterwards.” I’m not sure now that she was telling me that, because it was a bad thing. My mom, also a nurse, may have just been saying it as a clinical observation. Not that there’s anything wrong with it. That’s just that way I’m put together!

Is there much chance of changing as I grow older? Well, I’m now 63 years old. I don’t notice a change in either the quality or quantity of stupid things I’ve done in the last couple of years, so know I don’t think so. If you see me coming, I’m not suggesting you run in the opposite direction. Just, for your own safety, you might want to hang on to something solid. If you’re with me, it could be a wild ride.