Monday – To be Daring…


01.11.12 waiting for the girls

So what are some of your deepest wishes? Have you always wanted to dance, to draw, to paint, to travel, to go to school or play an instrument? We all have “dreams”. Some of our deepest dreams that never seem to change and other dreams that are dropped as time moves on.

Years ago a principal from one of the local schools that my child was in gave me a ride home. It was unusual for me to need a ride and I have no memory about why he drove me. But I remember our conversation to this day.

At this point I was creating art quilts when I had spurts of time. Having three children with their sports and school, a husband who traveled a fair amount and and doing contract work here and there kept me rather busy. So I would obsessively complete a work and then not quilt for months until the next inspiration hit.

The principal and I had a conversation about creating art. He said longingly that he had always wanted to paint. It was his plan to paint after he retired and that his retirement was coming in the next few years. My response was “Why wait? Start now!”

A couple of years rolled past and his retirement was upon him. He and his wife had bought a house in another province and she went down early to start to get everything ready. He lingered here in Yellowknife, I assume because it was hard to leave. Yellowknife is a very special community.

The last while he and his wife lived in Yellowknife they lived next door in a basement apartment. So we talked. The day before his flight to leave Yellowknife he decided to go fishing by himself. He had done it so many times before. He loved all the lakes we have around here. He never made his flight. He drowned. It was very sad.

When I heard the news the next morning all I could think of is that he never got to take up one of his secret dreams. He never got to paint in retirement. He waited too long.

He dreamt but he couldn’t be DARING. He said he was too busy. Yes being a principal is busy. But he had summers. He could have gone for painting classes. He could have started…

Being DARING is hard. It requires us to take a leap. To be new at anything is very challenging. We have chatter in our mind that stops us, keeps us from exploring our dreams, keeps us “safe” from whatever the perceived threat is. But we are only 1/2 alive when we don’t DARE to follow our a few of our deepest dreams.

Following dreams requires work, energy, drive and down right determination. The hours it takes to learn a new skill and become proficient can be many. But the satisfaction of knowing your are following your heart can have a very very profound affect on your life. That satisfaction can create the motivation to continue to work hard towards your dream.

What would you do if you were feeling DARING?





  • Mom

    Thought provoking posting Shawna. I have to say I’m not going to die with regrets. I’ve mostly done more than I ever dreamed I would. I think only the balloon ride over Stockholm that we had to miss is something I wish I could have done and didn’t. Not bad for regrets in a full lifetime. Any regrets I have are not from passing up on something I wanted to do.


  • Judy Janke

    Thanks for this post, Shawna!! Where I volunteer, we’ve just started to help people (most over 70) find a way to cross things off their bucket lists. This Friday, we’re going to watch 3 ladies take a hot air balloon ride – IF – the weather cooperates! I have always thought I didn’t have a “bucket list”, but, maybe I do… or, maybe I should have! I’ll think about this! Life is good. Your art enhances my life! Thank you for that!


  • This is a very thoughtful post. My word for the year is Dare and I have been feeling the need to change it as my dare part is over (at least I hope it is, I am so far out of my box that I can’t even see the box!). But your post is making me reconsider. Maybe I need to stick with this word and just redirect where I dare. My dare so far was to leave a job I loved and move even further away from family and friends to take a new job (that I don’t love nearly as much) in a place that I adore. So it has been a mixed blessing of dare. And I am tired. But maybe I will now dare myself to get to work on the creativity that dwells within and is the main reason I moved to this new place. Much to think on. Thank you.


    • That is a lot of change Jody! I remember that you mentioned that DARE was your word for this year. I think that when we DARE and leap there are always mixed blessings because we have allowed change into our lives. It takes time and distance to see what we have gained that wouldn’t have been in our lives without daring to leap! I hope you make the time to be creative outside of your work and to connect with others who are creative in your new community. Keep DARING to be bold!!!!!


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