I’m very excited to again this week join a talented group of women who, week after week, join in an online, unedited flash mob free write based on a word-prompt given to us by our fearless leader Kate Motaung. My timer is set for 5 minutes; let’s see where the word “abandon” takes me.

Again this week, Kate’s choice of word — “abandon” — gave me pause. It’s a word I rarely use and even more rarely contemplate. But as I did for a few minutes just now, I realized something.

I don’t live with abandon. No. I’m what at is nicely called a “type-a” personality (and not so nicely as “anal”). I thrive on organization and having a day planner that actually contains plans. Quite honestly, a few years ago when I tossed my paper planner (and oh how hard that was!) and vowed to live only with a calendar on my iPhone and iPad and not make detailed daily plans — yes, in my paper planner I had a daily schedule down to the minute, not that I always stuck to it exactly — that I was going to live more freely, with more abandon.

But now that I think of it, I haven’t actually done that.

Instead of having a written schedule, I keep an internal schedule. 

And I don’t step out of my comfort zone very often.

This past summer, though, I did just that. My daughter arranged for the 4 of us — her, my son, my son’s then-fiance, and I — to do an zipline eco-tour made up of 10 ziplines through the woods and hills of mid-Missouri. I’m actually afraid of heights, and I wasn’t too sure (to put it mildly) about trusting a stranger to attach me to a cable via a hook attached to a harness I was wearing and turn loose, zipping (hence the name) through the air.

But I didn’t want to be a spoilsport. And I did have “zipline” on my 100 Things to Do List. So I donned my harness and trooped out through the woods to the first line. Long story short, I moved from line to line, each one gradually progressing in length, height, and speed.

Finally, we arrived at the 9th line. It was so long we couldn’t see the end point, and it went across a deep and very wide ravine. It came my turn to step up onto the launch “box” and have my harness attached to the line. I stood there, looking down at the ravine. Then I did something that even 5 minutes before I couldn’t have imagined myself doing — I turned to the lady responsible for attaching our harnesses to the line and said, “Now if I lean back and stick my feet out, I’ll go much faster, right?” She answered in the affirmative. 

When I stepped off the box, I leaned back, stuck my legs straight out, and zipped along the cable, across the wide and very deep ravine, with 100% abandon.

And I loved it.

I’d like to say I’ve lived with abandon since then, but I realize I haven’t. 

It’s time — far past time — for me to do that.

This blog isn’t meant to be a lecture, but a conversation. I invite you to join in that conversation by taking just a few minutes to share your thoughts. Thanks so much!