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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12 thoughts on “Everyday Courage

  1. I think it boils down–largely, that is, since few things in life really boil down to two neat items!–to questions of choice and control. On the one hand, you’re able to take wild adventures that fall outside your day-to-day life. You’re creating circumstances for yourself where you’re allowed to climb ginormous mountains and do the opposite by submersing yourself in great depths. By creating a space for these things in your life, you’ve got these awesome outlets of expression that fall outside your day to day life. It’s easier to do and be as you wish when you’re drawing on a blank page than when you’re trying to find little places to jot notes on a piece of paper already mostly full.

    In day to day life, the consequences of your choices impact the people who make up that day to day life and in turn impact you. Behaving the same with classmates, girlfriends or your mom as you might with someone you encounter 14k feet up has longer term impacts on your day to day life and happiness; those moves must be considered and made a little more carefully.

    These are interesting questions for this adventurer to contemplate! Much more interesting than doing what I was supposed to be doing with this block of time, I daresay . . . 0:)

  2. Just a suggestion maybe you need to tackle the everyday stuff like diving off a cliff or climbing a mountain. I think we all hit a rut in our daily lives and just have to figure out how to shake things up again. I try to find creative outlets when I am in a rut and need courage and a boost of self confidence – cooking, creative writing, reading, exercising, etc. When all else fails I just take a break from the everyday stuff and go on a vacation to recharge my batteries. No alarm clock, no set schedule, no meetings, minimal communication skills required, etc.

    • All really good suggestions. Unfortunately, the vacation is over and the pictures are posted on Facebook… so I’ll have to create a break some other way. But… where there’s a will, right?

  3. I feel ya. Doing what’s right in everyday life is just plain hard sometimes. Where singular acts of courage are sprints, everyday life is the marathon…and sometimes relay race. Hang in there!

  4. I really liked this post. I think it’s just part of being an adult. A lot of times I wish I was that innocent little girl in preschool again who knew nothing about the world, and whose most favorable place was her mind. Adulthood can be a stinker!

  5. Joanna,

    Rockford Kingsley’s Word of the Month for August is Courage.
    As we do for every Word of the Month, we select a few websites
    and provide a link to those websites on the Word of the Month
    page. This month we have selected your website to be linked
    to the page. The page will be available later today. In the meantime
    if you would like to visit Rockford Kingsley’s website, you can
    visit us at: http://www.rockfordkingsley.org.

    Thank you,

    Ed

    Edward F. Gibbons, Jr., Ph.D.
    President and CEO
    Rockford Kingsley, Ltd.
    445 Broadhollow Road, Suite 25
    Melville, New York 11747

    Phone: 631-608-0598
    Fax: 631-608-0599
    E-mail: egibbons@rockfordkingsley.org

    • Hi Ed,

      I am honored and humbled that you would choose my blog as a link to discuss “Courage.” Thank you for letting me know! I hope that it provides some inspiration to your readers since courage, though something that we don’t often think about, is vital to so much of what we face everyday.

      Sincerely,
      Joanna

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