Everyday Courage

So I’m sitting here thinking about courage. In part because I’ve always admired it in others, but mainly because I find myself in desperate need of some lately.

No, I’m not charting a course to sail around the world, or scaling Mt. Everest or taking up spelunking (not that I haven’t considered it) I am just finding myself in short supply these days. However, let me be clear about one thing though… Oddly, I don’t seem to need courage for Life’s big things… these I’ve always sort of handled… well, better anyway. It is the everyday things that get to me.

At first I considered compiling a list, just for me, of ALL of the courageous things I’ve done for as long as I can remember… These would include, but are not limited to: Wrestling into submission a 250 lb. college football player whose sole responsibility was to try and drown me during my lifeguard certification test… and prevailing! Traveling via train across the country by myself when I was just 18, climbing 14,000+ ft. mountain peaks, learning to SCUBA dive in the open ocean and taking up kickboxing to ward off fear.

Perhaps thinking back on those “Gut Check” or “Swallow-Your-Fears-and-Dive-Right-In” experiences would help me summon the courage I need to tackle the regular stuff? And you may be wondering what IS the regular stuff? The “regular stuff” consists of (but is not limited to) accepting myself for who I am. Right now. Today. Letting things go. Forgiving a slight. Forgiving a grudge. Forgiving myself. Holding my head high in the presence of that person who “just doesn’t like me.” Smiling brightly when on the inside I am crumbling. Doing more for others. Doing the right thing. Telling the truth. All the time. To everyone. About everything. Being a better daughter, sister, aunt, girlfriend, co-worker, team-player and friend. Occasionally it is even as simple as getting out of bed in the morning and taking care of business when all I want to do is pull the covers over my head.

So why do these smaller, everyday things require so much more courage than literally diving off a pier into unknown waters? I haven’t quite figured that mystery out yet… perhaps I never will. But I suppose if I can continue climbing up the side of a mountain long after my body and my lungs have said “HELL NO”…  I can certainly get out of bed each morning and tackle the everyday things that life will inevitably toss my way.

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