In the writer’s club I belong to, a topic was brought up which made me think about what role risk has played in my life. I was never afraid of taking a risk as long as I could evaluate the downside and conclude that I would be able to live with the worst-case scenario. So where did that side of me go?
A visit to France and Belgium and time with cherished friends is something I desire with all my heart. So why don’t I jump into a plane and go? Am I hiding behind my health? Have I become so dependent on the Mayo Clinic that everything has to be within driving distance? Am I afraid of taking a risk?
I recalled a time, when I still owned my real estate company on the East coast. I urgently needed surgery, but I had a very big transaction being closed on St. Kitts in the Caribbean. The local broker was trying to cut me out and I needed the money for my company. My surgeon told me that I could bleed to death if I did not have surgery as soon as possible. When I asked him how long it would take me to bleed out and he gave me his estimate, I did some research and learned that I could make it in an emergency with an airlift evacuation from St. Kitts to Florida to get the surgery and necessary blood transfusions. It would be tight, but possible. It was a risk I was willing to take. I flew to St. Kitts, walked into the closing to the surprise of the local realtor, and made sure a check was drawn for my company. All went well, I flew home on a regular commercial flight and had the surgery in New York.
This memory also brought back how I felt when I took risks. I recalled feeling empowered and like a winner. The question I asked myself was why have I changed? I came to the conclusion that it was indeed my fear of being too far from the Mayo. I also realized that this was completely unjustified. There is a very well-known hematologist-oncologist in Paris who I met a few years ago, and who specializes in myeloproliferative neoplasms. Much research is being conducted in Europe in that field of medicine, which includes Myelofibrosis, the rare blood cancer I suffer from, but I am certain I could find a qualified doctor should I need one.
After this soul-searching experience, I am now seriously considering the idea of a trip to see my friends, and I am evaluating if I am strong enough to handle security, check-in, luggage, layovers, jet lag, etc. I will also look at the downside, like becoming seriously ill and requiring urgent medical attention, such as blood transfusions for example. Another consideration will be how it would affect Steve and our little Romeo. One thing I am sure of is that the excitement of returning to Europe and seeing my dear friends could play a big role in my wellbeing.
Some of you might be afraid of taking a risk like I was. You might not be aware of it, and the fear might be disguised as a justified hesitation or concern. It might even have become a habit. Keep in mind thoug, that fear may limit you and slow your personal growth.
Spring is a time for renewal of nature and also for ourselves. Let’s evaluate our feelings and get rid of fear. Even if I don’t go to Europe, I am grateful the writer’s club brought up the topic and prompted me to think seriously about risk. It opened a door for me, and I found the old Silvia again, who is no longer afraid of taking risks as long as I can accept the downside.
I wish you a happy Easter and a beautiful Spring.