Yesterday, we had a parent zoom meeting to discuss the things the kids did at camp. This was not a regular camp--this was an entire journey and experience. As her parents, we are responsible for supporting her after the journey so the transformation isn't lost. It feels like a huge responsibility; but of course, everything about parenting is (it's why I have so many gray hairs!). I won't go into everything, because really, it is not my story to tell. But I can tell you is that the children at camp were tasked with cleaning, cooking and positive risk taking. And I am beyond pleased to report that the camp director asked that we, as her parents, support these three areas, specifically and daily!
Lily, as you can imagine, is so excited to be tasked with MORE cleaning and cooking. In fact, she said was SPEECHLESS when I mentioned this directive from the camp leader!
Of course, positive risk taking, well that was something I had to think about. What does this mean exactly? And how does one discern a positive risk from the other type of risky risk? There must be levels of risk between talking to a new person and robbing a bank, right? How do you decide if the inbetween is positive or negative (Super risky? Dangerous?)?
I asked Lily and she was again speechless and then regained the use of the words and said, "You've been asking a lot of questions and forcing me to use my new coping skills, which include taking some time away." Then she went upstairs to discuss me with her new camp friends.
Or maybe she went upstairs to clean her room! Anything is possible!
Anyway, without her guidance, I decided to waste some time thinking about positive risk taking in my own life. I googled "positive risk taking" and I was mostly bored with the results (go rock climbing!). So I googled "positive risk taking for middle agers" (try chair yoga!) and then finally gave up and returned to my own thinking (which is what I typically do anyway and I really should just start with myself, always).
I sort of think, short of being totally reckless (like shouting insults at people or committing crimes or betting the house in a poker game), risks have the potential to always be positive, even when you fail.
I always try to teach this to my children; even though, I know in my heart we are always here to be their safety net, minimizing the risk. I think as I've gotten older, I know that I am my own safety net. I should say Mike and I are the safety net, because he'd do anything for me and always does. This makes taking risks--tiny or huge, really difficult. I also know that I've gotten comfortable and while comfort is wonderful, sometimes when you lay in bed too long, you wake up all sore and with a very uncomfortable crick in your neck.
And at my age, a crick in my neck is like major disability. I cannot afford to be comfortable because I'll miss out on an entire world of risks and rewards and failures and successes and lessons and wisdoms.
I have no idea what this all means; but it is what's on my mind tonight and as I begin yet another summer work week. What risks can I take this week to my career what I want?
I have no idea. But, I am certainly going to try to take some positive risks this week and knowing me, there will be chaotic, bumbling episodes which, if nothing else, will give me some Yokes.