I recently met Joy Tanksley through her post on Lance’s blog–check it out at http://www.jungleoflife.com/2010/04/29/four-surefire-strategies-for-getting-seriously-silly/ Her blog–Being Joy–is full of fun and creative ways to embrace the joy in your life. She is not afraid to be bold, to be different, to stand out, and I *love* that!!! I think I am all of that–bold, different, not afraid to stand out–but Joy inspires me to reach out even farther, and I will. I am honored to have her thoughts in this space.
The Three People You Meet on a Hot Air Balloon
By Joy Tanksley
I did it. I dropped the cash, took a day off work, and made it happen. I took flight in a hot air balloon on the peak day of the fall colors. I mean THE peak day. If I had waited just one more day, I would have missed seeing the fireworks of fall from 400 feet. If I had waited one more day, maybe, just maybe, I would have never had the same opportunity.
Among the others sharing this experience with me, I noticed three kinds of people:
- The Scared-to-Death Person:
My husband didn’t want to miss the opportunity to do this with me, but he was pretty freaked out about it. He spent a lot of time worrying in the days and hours before lift-off. But once we were up in the air, he saw there was nothing to be afraid of and had a wonderful experience. All that worrying for nothing! He robbed himself of the joy of pleasant anticipation. Fortunately he didn’t let his fears of the future keep him from following through. I wonder how many people looking at our balloon from the ground were wishing they had the courage, but were just too afraid to ever take a chance.
- The Waited-my-Whole-Life Person
Most people in our balloon fell into this category. They were 70+ and had always wanted to take a hot air balloon ride, but told themselves they didn’t have the money. Or the time. Or the nerve. So they had waited. Maybe they enjoyed the flight on a level that we younger folks couldn’t grasp. But more than one mentioned wishing they hadn’t waited so long. Not one said, “Make sure you wait your whole life for these special experiences. It makes ‘em better!” As the oldest gentleman in the crew struggled to get his body over the high-sided basket before the balloon took off, there was a moment where I held my breath, wondering if he would physically be able to get in the basket and go on the ride. I had to wonder if maybe he had waited too long. If he had waited one more day, if any of us had waited just one more day… well you never know.
- The Seize-the-Day Person
This was me! This hasn’t always been my personality type, but in the past year I’ve become quite the risk-taker. For most of my life, I made decisions based on what was safe and practical, only following my heart if it “made sense.” Now, I have a different concept of what makes sense.
Unlike my husband, the Scared-to-Death Person, I was able to enjoy each moment leading up to our take off. The anticipation was almost as good as the ride itself! I loved it all: scheduling the flight, waking up early, riding out to the launch site, and watching the balloon inflate. Letting go of fear – ditching the “what ifs” – makes sense to me now. Staying stuck in worries that will likely never come to pass seems downright nuts.
I also don’t think being a Waited-my-Whole-Life Person makes any sense. Why save the good stuff? This world is full of wonder and beauty. There’s no chance of running out of new experiences. I say you had better get started now if you want to experience even half of what this world has to offer. The fact is, not a single one of us is guaranteed tomorrow. Waiting is crazy! Downright dangerous.
So which kind of person are you choosing to be? Are you a Scared-to-Death type who is stuck squandering all the joys in life because you are afraid? Are you a Waited-my-Whole-Life type who is always waiting for the right moment – waiting until you have enough money or meet the right mate or get the right job – to start enjoying your life? Or are you the Seize-the-Day type? If you’re not, why not? The present moment is always the peak season of your life. So hop in the basket, take flight, and enjoy the view. What are you waiting for?
Insights on Joy from a Gal Named Joy:
#1 by Lance on May 7, 2010 - 12:18 pm
Joy squared!!! I love it!!
Hi Joy!! Hi Joy!!
You two are AWESOME – great to see you both together!
What a great trip!! And it reminds me of the time a few years back, when my wife and I went skydiving. It was that moment of realization – life can end at any time…and will I have done what I wanted to? Personally, the skydiving was scary for me (although mostly on the plane ride up…and then that first step out of the moving plane). So – in a way, I can relate to your husband. What I took from that whole experience, though, is really that life is to be lived, NOW. And since then, I have just continued to embrace life and what IS possible.
….and now I’m thinking….that hot air balloon ride looks pretty sweet!!
#2 by Susan Scofield on May 7, 2010 - 1:30 pm
The balloon’s on my list! In the meantime, I’m loving the quiet (or loud) joys I get everyday in my classroom, like right now . . .
Well done, Joy!
#3 by Joy Tanksley on May 7, 2010 - 2:31 pm
Thanks, Susan. Oh, yes, the joys of the classroom. It’s certainly never boring, is it? 🙂
#4 by Joy Tanksley on May 7, 2010 - 2:30 pm
Skydiving? SO COOL! I think being scared in that circumstance is totally legit! Lance, you are such an inspiration. Hot air ballooning is WAY MILD compared to skydiving. But it really was awesome. Extremely peaceful, magical, totally other-worldy. Here’s to living in the moment!
#5 by Jay Schryer on May 7, 2010 - 4:38 pm
Oh! Hot air balloon ride is something that I definitely want to do someday! And skydiving, too!
Hmm Maybe I should actually sit down and write a life-list soon, so I can remember to do all these awesome things…
#6 by Joy Tanksley on May 7, 2010 - 7:40 pm
Hey Jay! Yes – make a list! Make a list! 🙂
#7 by Wilma Ham on May 7, 2010 - 11:59 pm
Square Joy, I finally got that, Lance!
I have stopped waiting to live my life finally. Two years ago I left the city, even when the city house did not sell. Okay there was some worry about what to do now, but I got that under control and all fell into place. Now I work from home, living in nature. Okay there is some worry but I am learning to let that go as things always fall into place.
Joy T, I totally endorse YOUR way of looking at things and how awesome that you indeed did not wait to grab that attitude. Way to go to live the most exciting life ever. If we have any sense we will go with you all the way. Thanks Joys, Love Wilma
#8 by Joy Tanksley on May 8, 2010 - 2:12 am
Hey Wilma! Wow! Sounds like you’ve really made your dreams happen despite the fear. This is how I’m trying to live. And yes, I agree – there’s some worry! Hooray for letting the worry go and watching things fall into place. I’m kind of new to the process, but so far it seems to be working. Much love to you!
#9 by unfoldingyourpathtojoy on May 8, 2010 - 3:46 am
Joy squared–I absolutely *love* it!!!
Thank you, Joy, for sharing as you did today! I’ve been on a hot air balloon ride–it was exhilirating, amazing, awe-some. I am short, and was a bit concerned over how I would get into the basket (what if the balloon took off without me???). Pretty indicative of my life then…what if life had all of these wonders, and I was left on the sidelines???? I’ve always been a seize the day person–a seize the moment person. I want to experience, explore, embrace fully. I know no other way. However, I understand Scared and Wait….but Seize to me equals Faith…so I choose Faith over Fear each and every time..and if the balloon takes off without me well–I know I showed up, it wasn’t meant to be at the time and some other grand adventure is better suited.
#10 by Joy Tanksley on May 8, 2010 - 9:56 pm
Oh, Joy, it was such a pleasure to be a part of your site! Love your balloon story – glad you made it in the basket! XO!
#11 by Tess The Bold LIfe on May 8, 2010 - 8:41 pm
Hi Joy n Joy!
How cool is that?!?
I am the Seize the Day type…how ever the older I get (56) I can see how easy it is to fall into the Scared to Death type.
The great think about all of my young blogging buddies is I share my wisdom and you all share your courage and youth. Isn’t life grand? Oh by the way I bought that domain;)
#12 by Joy Tanksley on May 8, 2010 - 9:59 pm
Hey Tess! I just think you’re awesome. That’s all. Big, joyful hug, ladybug!
#13 by Melissa Anderson on May 11, 2010 - 2:05 pm
What an awesome experience Joy!
I tend to fall into the “scared to death” category about most things, until I get completely fed up with all that nonsense and then turn into a “seize-the-day” type (which probably looks from the outside like impulsive).
Ahhh, such things to ponder. Thanks for that.
#14 by Jean Sampson on May 16, 2010 - 1:51 am
Hi, Joys! I think you can also live on the edge in creative work. I love to paint a painting and not have any idea where it is going—-then follow it almost to completion and change the thing I thought I liked the best about it. Then, of course, at that point, I am doing another painting, taking all sorts of chances, not being afraid to give up something good to get something wonderful. This process might drive a normal person crazy but I seem to thrive on it. And what results from doing that as many times as is necessary is a much more exciting and surprising work. The same holds true for revising poems—you can’t stay in the ordinary, “safe” zone. You MUST float around in the realm of the absurd where images you have never imagined before frolic and invite you to chase them down. It isn’t safe and it is scary as all git-out. But it gives the poet or artist an exciting ride.