Keeping the Peace

Fight or Flight…Travel, Blogging, and the Courage Factor

Here I am, exactly two months from the launch of my blog, working on a whopping third blog post. I had the best intentions of making this a regular thing, but time has escaped me. Let’s be honest, blogging looks a lot easier than it is really cracked up to be. It’s not like you can just sit down one day and land the perfect piece, photos and all. A certain amount of thought has to go into these things. You want to be creative, current, witty, grammatically correct, and all with the perfect photos attached to it. What’s so hard about that? Aside from the time needed, which no stay-at-home mom has on a regular day (and much less during summer), there’s the whole courage factor.

I know, it sounds crazy to think one would need courage to blog, but it’s so true. I worry if anyone will even like what I’m writing? Will anyone even read it? What will they think of me? Not only that, but I’m being very candid about our struggles and also sharing a lot of our joys and victories on here. Does anyone really care though? Will it be appreciated? Can I make an impact on a life? It’s all very daunting and it does carry a lot of responsibility. I want happy readers! Make this a weekly blog post you say? Ha ha ha! I’ve eaten up two months already just by agonizing over whether or not my writing will be accepted and whether or not my pictures are up to par. Will you settle for bi-monthly? I’m scared of commitment (just kidding).

Actually, this lack of courage thing has been a constant in recent years and not just when it comes to my writing capability. It’s scary to take risks sometimes. In the last few years I’ve developed a fear of flying, which is crazy coming from a person who has flown all over the world, without a second thought. I didn’t have the courage to travel alone and I most certainly didn’t have the courage to attempt flying with my family and my daughter with autism. I would rather drive wherever we wanted to go and stay on the ground, pure and simple. In my mind it was never going to happen!

We recently took a very last minute trip to Puerto Rico for my company’s launch there and to visit some family. I thought that a short flight was the perfect opportunity to put ourselves through the supposed torture. I did gain a lot of courage and learn a valuable lesson from both my kids on our first flight together as a family. I learned that making a situation fun for them made it fun for me. Tinkerbell had sprinkled pixie dust on our plane, so of course we were going to have a magical flight! You would have thought when they received their plastic wings from the flight attendants that they were valuable gems. I secretly have my own pair stashed in my drawer because they were just plain cool. Their courage to just hop on board and make the adventure without a second thought reminded me of being a kid; innocent, unscathed and carefree. My daughter especially floored me with her excitement and her pure joy for the adventure. She didn’t question one sound or bump (whereas I call every noise and shake into question).

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We had an amazing trip together! There were a lot of firsts on this trip besides the flight and the visit to Puerto Rico itself. For the first time they visited National Forest (well, they slept through most of it, as you can see) and Luquillo beach, they saw Old San Juan, they had their first piragua (this is basically the Puerto Rican version of a snow cone), they ate their first pan mallorca (if you visit, two of the best are at and La Bombonera, both in San Juan), and they experienced a little bit of the culture and the paradise that is our Isla Del Encanta (island of enchantment). There are so many amazing things about PR, so make sure to visit if you ever have the opportunity.

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So, as much as I wanted to dodge all the things I was afraid of this year, the journey of peace I’ve been on has had different plans for me. I’ve discovered that without courage, there is no peace. If I didn’t have the courage to write and be open about our experiences, I would not have the peace of knowing that I’m out there sharing our story and making a difference in the lives of others. So, I will be making this writing stuff a regular thing. As far as flying and that whole scene, let’s just say, it’s still not my favorite thing to do. I’m able to relax somewhat and breathe through it (granted a glass of wine would probably improve things). More recently, our Puerto Rico trip gave me the confidence I needed to make a flight to New York on my own and conquer that fear. The main thing is that I’m doing it and I will continue to do it. My kids learned a little bit about their family history and culture and fabulous memories were made. There’s no way I’m missing more of that! Is it still scary to write and put yourself out there? No doubt! Do I still cringe on an airplane? Yep, totally! (wine needed if that’s going to ever change) Here’s the thing though…It’s actually taking that leap and doing whatever scares you the most that will propel you from being paralyzed by fear, to living courageously, intentionally and fully. It’s been more important for me to stay in the game and fight through the challenges, instead of taking “flight” and trying to escape them, if you get my drift.

Speaking of leaps, she also took her first ride on a bigger water slide than she’s ever been on and since this pic, she conquered an even bigger one than one I thought she’d ever do. Another first.

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I often think about how my daughter has courage every day to face autism and her fears. I face anxiety and my instinct is to run away. She faces anxiety regularly, meets her fear head on and moves past it in the time it takes me to decide whether or not I want to confront mine at all. She doesn’t even really get that she has this neurological disorder that has taken pieces of her away that we are all slowly trying to get back and put together with her. Maybe she knows she’s a little bit different or maybe she doesn’t, but hey, we are all different, right? Label aside, she just works hard every day to learn and grow more through her challenges. Most of us can’t even imagine challenges like these, yet we still live in fear of what we don’t know or what a particular outcome might be instead of just enjoying the journey.

Here’s my advice…travel, blog, and do whatever your heart desires! Don’t let fear keep you from your dreams or keep you from sharing the unique things you have to offer to this world. Embrace the challenges, don’t run from them. Take some leaps or even baby steps, but keeping moving forward. Make the adventure with your spouse, a family member, or your best pal. Most importantly, enjoy your journey and by all means, be brave!

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2 thoughts on “Fight or Flight…Travel, Blogging, and the Courage Factor”

  1. Enjoyed what you shared. Being Brave is something we do everyday in the seemingly small tasks and bigger ones too. How lucky we are to be able to see our kids be brave and to admire their courage whenever they do something out of their comfort zone. Keep blogging, keep posting, you are doing great!!!! You are brave to take on blogging!

  2. Kristi Vannatta says:

    Well done! I agree that writing takes courage. I feel naked every time I put something out there. What if someone doesn’t like what I say? What if I am making a huge grammatical error? Or worse, what if nobody gets my jokes? I will say that like “successful” parenting, the rewards that come along with writing are immeasurable! If it brings a little peace to your soul- you’re winning! 🙂

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