Monday, January 3, 2011

Emergency Exit

I'm seeing a lot of emergency exit signs. We're on this giant project that has me walking through the basements of buildings in Chicago taking pictures of defects. This generally covers areas that are exits to these buildings.

It's been long days of being on my feet. I'm not used to that and, at my age, it's taking its toll. I would love someone to give me a foot massage tonight. On Thursday of last week, I would have given anything to have been able to blast out one of the emergency exits and drive straight home, I was so tired.

Sometimes that's life. Haven't you ever felt that life should have an emergency exit? Haven't you had hours, days, weeks, even years, where you'd give almost anything to be able to push the door open and exit this situation, just walk out into whatever lies beyond that door because it sure as hell has to be better than what you're in right now?

The thing about exit doors, at least in these buildings we've been in, is that they are one-way. If you go out, you can't get back in unless someone is on the other side and lets you in or you go back in the front door. Some of these doors open onto trash strewn, smelly allies. Some open right onto the construction project with dirt and mud and a thin strip of concrete to get you to safety. None open onto a grassy field with wildflowers, birds, sunlight and a string quartet playing Vivaldi.

Today, I got caught up on my newspapers and in the current USA Weekend, there is an interview with Jennifer Gray. I'd already been formulating this blog post on my drive back to the office from the city this afternoon. Something she said, however, seems to fit. "What if I did say yes to everything that felt scary, if there was an ounce of joy to be gleaned from it?" What would happen? She was talking about saying 'yes' to Dancing With the Stars and how scared she was to simply perform in front of people. But what if I said 'yes' to anything that felt scary instead of searching for the emergency exit?

There are things I will take risks on, but, by and large, I'm not a risk taker. I prefer the choices I can make that have options I can weigh. A or B and what are the pros and cons of each? Those are the risks I'll take, not something that's akin to dancing in front of millions where the potential to fall flat on my face is very real. What if I swallowed the fear and looked for the joy in each experience? What if I chose to ignore the emergency exit?

What if?

Beverage:  Water


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