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A couple Fridays ago, when many in Hardin County were waking up to an ice-covered world, our Pomeranian, Tybalt, discovered the hazards of weather.
In his normal fashion, after my significant other, Rebecca, attached his leash, Tybalt excitedly ran out ahead of her as she opened the back door to take him out. He was greeted by an icy concrete porch and patio that resulted in a few slips before he could regain his footing.
After that, he did not rush out the back door for a few days. Instead, he would walk onto the porch, avoid the icy areas and jump from one corner of the porch into a flower bed along a back wall, completely avoiding the icy step that led to the icy back patio. Once in the flower bed he would jump over the icy sidewalk, which runs parallel to the flower bed, into the back yard.
Days later, when the ice was gone and Tybalt was sure things were back to normal, he resumed his routine of running enthusiastically out the back door and into the back yard.
I’m glad his experience didn’t completely deter him from continuing to dive headfirst into an activity he obviously enjoys, regardless of what lies beyond the back door.
I don’t ever want to be deterred from diving headfirst, either.
While I’m careful about of a lot of things in life, I also enjoy the excitement of spontaneity and putting myself out there on a whim. Diving headfirst into something, just out of sheer joy and excitement, can be an exhilarating experience.
I don’t mean dangerous or irresponsible behavior.
I’m talking about enjoying an unguarded moment, following a harmless impulse or engaging in uninhibited entertainment.
I think sometimes it’s what keeps some of us youthful.
Whether it’s impromptu karaoke or a spur-of-the-moment Sunday drive with no destination in mind, sometimes I enjoy diving into something without a lot of planning, just allowing myself to have that moment to abandon any fears, concerns or self-consciousness. Not even abandoning them, really. More like being so totally oblivious to them that they are not even a factor.
Sure, that kind of behavior doesn’t come without risks. Sometimes diving headfirst into something results in scraped knees from falling while getting a running start or bruises from an unsafe landing.
Metaphorically speaking, of course.
Those scrapes and bruises might be disappointing, but more disappointing to me would be the proposition of never allowing myself the opportunity for such failure because it would mean never allowing myself the opportunity for success.
Failure hasn’t deterred me from still taking the occasional headfirst dive.
The good experiences are more memorable than the unsuccessful ones, at least for me.
Yeah, I’ve broken into dance to get a smile out of my girlfriend. I’ve danced in the rain, too, if just briefly, just to coax that smile out.
So what if my karaoke rendition of “Shake Your Booty” might have frightened some co-workers at the last office Christmas party? I was in the moment.
And those moments mean something to me.
They are the result of taking chances, no matter how insignificant or small. They are the kinds of chances I admire others taking.
It probably explains the fun and good-natured people I am privileged to call friends.
They are like me: they understand the value of such unguarded moments and are not deterred when headfirst dives don’t turn into pleasant experiences.
And we have the scraped knees and bruises to prove it.
Robert Villanueva can be reached at (270) 505-1743 or firstname.lastname@example.org.