Today I started to put up a few Christmas lights on our roof. This might not be a big deal for many people, but for me it was amazing.
1. I grew up in the Midwest where the land is pretty flat and have always been a bit afraid of heights. I used to get heart palpitations from just driving down a mountain road, thinking the car would surely fall headfirst down the slope. Until recently I'd shake at the top of a ladder. Today I walked across the roof with no fear.
2. I was not wearing good roof climbing clothes. I thought about changing into jeans and running shoes, but I didn't want to take time to change from my skirt and boots. The sun was setting and I wanted to get the highest lights up today while it was dry. My Honduran friend reminded me that lots of women there wear similar clothes while working hard, but I think my neighbors would think me a bit odd. Well, they probably already do, but I think they like me anyway.
3. I didn't really have to do it. I could have asked two of my kids to help me on the roof instead of me. They were pretty disappointed I didn't wait for them. Mr. I was at a friend's house, which was probably good because he has a cold. I don't think I would have trusted his balance today. It was better that I did it without him. Blackbelt Daughter loves to go on the roof. She used to go up there when the youngest kids were small, since that was the only place they wouldn't follow after her. Poor girl! In order to have peace, she was forced to the roof! Microbio Daughter did help me after she came home from work. That was pretty nice because by that time it was getting dark and we got the lights up quicker with her help.
Going on the roof was a lot easier for me this year. Like many fears, the more a person conquers a fear of heights, the easier it gets. I try to remember this when I feel anxious about something. My first response is a powerful fight or flight feeling. But if I can stick to it and make it through the first minute or so, the next time usually goes a little better.
I have to remember this with the kids. Some things are very frightening to them, and for good reason. They have seen and experienced too much and imagine the worst. Today, in our Bible study, we learned about how God told Joshua so many times to be bold and courageous. I hope I can teach them to overcome some of their fears so that they can be more independent and grow. I hope I can teach others to take chances, try to do awesome things that used to cause them fear, and to make a difference in this world. Sometimes practicing overcoming the little things, like climbing a ladder or going on a roof, helps me to take bigger chances, like fighting to get services for Ms. D. It isn't easy to step out of my comfort zone, but the rewards are awesome!