Monday 8 May 2017

R. I. S. K.

For some of you RISK is a board game!  I don't play that!  The dictionary defines risk as putting yourself in peril or in danger.  I don't do that!

I find myself fairly frequently talking to myself negatively.  Do you do that?  It isn't good for you.  It isn't good for me!  I think of myself as 'risk averse'.  I often used to think I was middle-aged and boring.  Now I often think of myself as older and boring.  But I'm not OLD - just in case you wonder why I put 'older'.  Basically boring equates with not taking risks.   I certainly wouldn't do this - although I was walking on the glacier at the time I took the photo.

Mark Zuckerberg said "The biggest risk is not taking any risk... In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks."

Recently I have been talking and thinking about changing my perception - mostly about my creativity but it applies to my life as well.  In 2014 I wrote a blog post about changing my perception: From under the sideboard.

I often don't learn things the first time!  And I have to go back to it again.  Years ago a speaker was talking about dealing with things and that it's like walking up a spiral staircase so that you keep meeting the same thing but from a higher viewpoint.  And life goes on - somewhat daily - and we need - I need - to keep revisiting things but from a different viewpoint.

So lately I've been thinking about what it means to take a risk.  I looked up the synonyms of risk and here are some of them:  opportunity, possibility, prospect, uncertainty, openness, speculation, venture.  Do I embrace any of these?  Have I embraced any of these?

Just as it's good to count your blessings, it's good to look back and see what you've done.  So where have I had courage and embraced opportunities and uncertainty.

In 1967 I took myself to London to my college interview.  I had never been to London and had no idea how the Underground worked!  Back then parents didn't take you to see the college.  And I got in to the college and spent 3 years there negotiating the public transport system!

In 1971 I bought a maisonette at a time when women didn't really buy property.  My Dad had to be the guarantor for my mortgage - that's how it was back then.  Women couldn't take out loans and mortgages without a male guarantor!

In 1972 I gave up a teaching post without another job to go to.  I got the next job - teaching! - two days before term started.

I got married.  And I got divorced!  I yet again gave up teaching without knowing what I would do next.  Actually I went back to teaching!

I bought a house.  This time without needing my Dad's signature.

I met Roger.  I sold my house.  I moved in with Roger.   Someone suggested I keep all the money from my house in the bank so I had a backup for if Roger & I didn't work out.  I thought about that and then went out and spent it all.  I decided that I had to make it work this time.  I didn't think it would be good to be thinking about it not working out.
May 14th 1983

And 30+ years later it's still working out!

We had a baby.  At the time having a baby aged 37 was a risk.  So the medical profession were telling me anyway.

You might be thinking this is all old history.  Have you done anything risky at all since 1986?

I gave up teaching.

I took up being creative again.

I started this blog and occasionally write personal stuff like today's post and this one on my choice of One Little Word for 2014.

I set up art challenge blogs and creative bible studies not knowing whether anyone would join in.

Each year for 5 years I have travelled on my own to the United States.  Once I invited myself to stay with someone I only knew via Facebook!

I helped set up a creative space at church without really knowing whether anyone would use it.

Most recently I travelled to Washington DC on my own and spent time sight-seeing.

And a couple of weeks ago I spent 2 days being mentored by Christine Chester at her studio which I will tell you about in the next post - along with another venture I'm part of.

In looking for quotes about risk I came across this one from e e cummings: "Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit."

Let's take a closer look at our lives - maybe the curiosity, wonder and spontaneous delight can be found in the every day.  Perhaps we should stop looking at it as the 'daily grind' and see it as the daily opportunity.

What risks have you taken recently?

Thanks for stopping by.


  1. What a great post Bernice. I really enjoy reflective writing and admire the fact you go to US on your own. It also made me recognise what I find boring in some people and it is their lack of risk. Something for me to think more about...
    Can't wait to hear more about Christine's mentoring weekend!!

  2. Awesome post, Bernice! So inspired by your risk-taking!


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