Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Take A Risk...and Turn Your Life Upside Down!

by KJ Howe

I've always had a fear of heights, but I adore adventure. Given the chance to do the zip line in Costa Rica, I had to seize the moment and, boy, am I ever glad I did! It may sound strange, but although I was on open steel platforms that were quite high, not once did I get scared or feel dizzy. Now it could have been that my body was thumping with adrenaline or it could be those adorable Costa Rican guides distracted me...but what a rewarding experience. The lesson I learned from the opportunity was to give new things a try. I have now viewed the world from a unique angle and I am so glad I did it! It made me realize that you can find new perspective by shaking up your life and trying something new.

What new thing would you like to do in 2009? Happy Holidays to everyone!!!

And don't forget, one of today's commenters has a chance to win a fab prize in the Banditas Twelve Days of Christmas!

And tomorrow, on Christmas Day, one lucky random commenter will win our fabulous Bandita Christmas Basket!! We hope you'll stop by and say hello!


p226 said...


p226 said...

I'm terrified of heights. But sometimes, you just have to do what you have to do. Like standing on a helo skid eighty feet off the ground and reaching out for a rope. Then sliding down that rope. Wheeee. Of course, that wasn't really about "trying new experiences." That was about getting the job done.

As for shaking up your life, well, I won't go into that. But life doesn't get much more shaken up than it's been for me for the past few months. Shaken up, turned upside down, inside out, having your soul pulled out through your nose... yeah. Perspective. I'm getting that in spades.

But I suspect there are a great deal of new experiences in store for me in 2009. Hard to tell yet what they'll be, but there's going to be a whole lot of "new" for ole p226. Yep.

Minna said...

Happy Holidays!

The Declaration of Christmas Peace has been a tradition in Finland from the Middle Ages every year, except in 1939 due to the Winter War. The declaration takes place on the Old Great Square of Turku, Finland's official Christmas City and former capital, at noon on Christmas Eve. It is broadcast on Finnish radio (since 1935) and television and nowadays also in some foreign countries.

The declaration ceremony begins with the hymn Jumala ompi linnamme (Martin Luther's A Mighty Fortress Is Our God) and continues with the Declaration of Christmas Peace read from a parchment roll:

"Tomorrow, God willing, is the most gracious feast of the birth of our Lord and Saviour, and therefore a general Christmas peace is hereby declared, and all persons are directed to observe this holiday with due reverence and otherwise quietly and peacefully to conduct themselves, for whosoever breaks this peace and disturbs the Christmas holiday by any unlawful or improper conduct shall be liable, under aggravating circumstances, to whatever penalty is prescribed by law and decree for each particular offence or misdemeanour. Finally, all citizens are wished a joyous Christmas holiday."
The Ceremony ends with trumpets playing the Finnish national anthem Maamme and Porilaisten marssi, with the crowd usually singing when the band plays Maamme.

I'm not sure, but I think the link should open on the right side of the page (Suomen Turku julistaa joulurauhan, TV1 ke 24.12. klo 11:55-12:10 (Koko maailma)
24.12.2008 11:55 (0h 15min)
). The program starts 11:55 am Finland's time.

Virginia said...

I am really afraid of heights myself and I know that I couldn't do what you did. I will try new thing though, but I am a bigger chicken then I used to be. That happens to us as we get older. I have been on a motorcycle at 100 miles an hour, but there is no way I would do it now. I am suprized I did it way back when.

I really don't know what ahead in 2009 but I will take it one day at a time and see what happens.

Donna MacMeans said...

Wow KJ! I'm beginning to wonder if there's anything left new for you to try (grin). I've never been afraid of heights, and to tell the truth - I think zipping through the tree tops sounds like great fun. I'd try that. Not sure that steel cable is thick enough to hold me though (grin).

New in 2009? I'm going to really, really try to get up at 8:00 AM and write every day - no distractions will deter me. Of course this will reguire that I actually go to bed at a decent hour...but we'll see.

Merry Christmas Kim - Hey, you hang in there - okay?

Donna MacMeans said...

Hey P226 - You got the Golden Rooster! Any particular plans? I understand the fine fowl can crow out a decent rendition of Oh Holy Night.

limecello said...

Congrats on the GR p226!

I think I'd take the chance and grab a zip line... or I don't know. I'm not good with heights. It's a near phobia. My heart rate skyrockets, I shake, sweat, the works -and we're talking slotted stairs. (Like a regular flight of stairs but there's only the part you step on - and you can see through?) :P

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, p226.

I'm afraid of heights, too. I've always thought it would be cool to bungee jump, but I knew it was impossible because of my fear of heights. I'm not sure if I'm ready to tackle this feat in 2009, but maybe someday soon. Happy Holidays.

Helen said...

Congrats p226 enjoy your day with him he may need a little exercise

WOW Kim I could never do anything like that I am so scared of heights and I am just not that adventureous I applaude people who have the fortitude to do these types of things.

Something I would like to try in 2009 retirement so as I have more time for reading see how adventureous I am.

Merry Christmas Kim

Have Fun

Maureen said...

I am very impressed Kim. I don't know if I would be brave enough to do that. One thing I have to gather my courage up for is to go driving with my teenaged son. My husband has been taking him driving but has informed me that I have to put my time in. I don't know if I've recovered yet from going driving with our daughter when she was learning. The cars parked on the side of the road seem to come right at you. Merry Christmas to everyone!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Congrats p226, it has been a while so there is no doubt the GR needs some exercise.

I am not so sure I could do that zip thing, I am not the most graceful of people on solid flat ground it could get really ugly hanging in the air, I have no doubt I really would be upside down and sideways. I can see me now slamming backside first into the other side.

I am all for trying new things but as mentioned above, I really prefer to try those new things on solid flat ground with a safety net.

Gillian Layne said...

Congrats, p226!

Kim, that is impressive! Happy Christmas Eve to all of you.

Buffie said...

Kim, I would so be there with you on the zip line. That is something I would love to try. The hubby, not so much. He hates heights. He won't even get on a roller coaster!

I'm praying that 2009 will be a great year for my family. 2008 has been tough, with the hubby out of work for over 3 months and the the resulting tightening of the financial belt.

Christie Kelley said...

I'm not much of a height person either. My husband would be right up there eager to do the zip line.

Merry Christmas to all our bandita buddies!

PJ said...

Good for you, Kim! I don't know if I'd have the nerve to try the zip line. I'm terrified of heights.

Congrats on nabbing the GR, p226!

I'm hoping 2009 will bring a new job for me. I'm ready to go back to work. The question is whether work is ready for me! lol

Merry Christmas to all my Aussie friends! The big day for you has already arrived, yes?

Louisa Cornell said...

Merry Christmas to those of you in the land of Oz!!

Hey p226, way to go! After all of those Tim Tams and lazy living the GR needs a little manly intervention!
Hope your 2009 is better than the end of your 2008!

Wow, KJ, awesome adventures! I love doing stuff like that or at least I did when I was a bit younger. Haven't done any bungee jumping, hang gliding, mountain climbing or spelunking in a few years.

My only death defying act recently has been submitting my books to editors! EEEEEEK!

Hmm, in 2009 I would like to try being a published author. Might be a nice thing. LOL I also want to finish my third and maybe even my fourth book. And I want to get my writing on a regular schedule of pages per day and STICK TO IT!

And I might just try one of those other adventures - zip lining, hang gliding, something just to celebrate the fact that I have survived half a century!

Merry Christmas Banditas! And ... GERONIMO !!! Take that leap!

p226 said...

In case you guys are wondering, the GR will be training on ########## #### ####### ## # ######## ##### ####### #####. After that, he'll be ######### ### ####### ##### ####### ######## ## ### ##### ####### ####. Once this is complete, he'll be going to ###### ######## ###### for ######### ####### # ####### ###### ### and ########.

I feel that afterwards his ########## ###### his ###### ### #### ######## and ######## #### ###########.

(this message redacted by DoD)

Kim Howe said...

Amazing how common fear of heights is! Good luck to all those who are set on conquering it--and all those other fears.

I'm traveling home today, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to access the internet, but I'll try. Wishing everyone a fabulous holiday! Thanks for all your support this year.

Kim Howe said...

p226...it's time for the GR to have some secret training!!! Congrats!

Kate Carlisle said...

KJ, you are such a wild woman!! I would love to take a ride on a zip line, it just looks like so much fun. And it's probably over before you can get too nervous about it, right?

Come home safe--and have a happy holiday!!

For 2009, I'll be trying a new schedule and I'll need all the help I can get. Discipline's a concept I'm not too familiar with!

Yo, p226, nice job rescuing the GR from that cushy life he was leading! He needs to be whipped back into fighting shape. :-)

jo robertson said...

KJ, what an amazing picture! I've always been a little afraid of new things (I'm sooooo not a risk-taker), so I admire people like you who are willing to dig right into something different.

P226, how cool! The rooster hasn't had some survival training in a while. You might have to whip him into shape!

I agree that shaking up your life is often more unsettling than trying daring physical adventures.

Anna Sugden said...

Is a zip line like a Death Slide? I did that in my younger days, even though I too am terrible with heights. I found that easier than walking across a gap between two planks of wood 40ft in the air!

I'd like to sell my first book in 2009 - that would certainly be something different! And I'd like to try a calmer and less crazy year too LOL.

Anna Sugden said...

Young P226 - hope your year is full of good experiences - sounds like you've had your fill of the bad stuff.

Helen - hope you get to try out retirement - my hubby retires Jan 1 and can't wait.

Buffie - hope you have great things for your family - you deserve the best!

PJ - best of luck with the job search - whoever gets you will be getting a treasure.

Louisa - here's hoping!

Anna Sugden said...

Merry Christmas to all our BB's - thanks for making the Lair such a fun place.

terrio said...

Congrats on the GR nab, p226. Sounds like he'll be quite the busy poultry today.

I would love to try that zip line thing. I'm all for adventure and taking risks. What I really admire is all the travel you ladies do around here. That's my dream, to start getting to all these fab places.

In 2009, I just want to finish my first MS. And once I get that degree in June, I'll have LOTS more time to do that. Or at least I keep telling myself I will. LOL! I'm with Anna, I want a less crazy year. Please?

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Nancy said...

p226, you snagged the bird! Congratulations! Er . . . please do not teach him any more covert ops techniques. You were just kidding with all those ### insertions, right? Little holiday joke, huh?

I hope the coming year will be smoother for you than the last few months have been.

Kim, what an interesting post! I always say you take way cool trips. I'm terrified of heights, so I don't think I'll be doing a zip line anytime soon.

Minna, what a beautiful tradition! Thanks for sharing that information and link.

Virginia, I also am a bigger chicken than I once was. Maybe age gives us greater appreciation of mortality--our own as well as other people's.

Lois said...

Happy Holidays!!!! :) I'll take anything for 2009, I'll be happy with anything. I like heights, just prefer to be in something while doing it. . . but don't want to ever do anything to do with bugs and snakes. Keep them away from me period. So none of that in 2009, pretty please! :)


Minna said...

New thing? Hmmm. Learn to make socks or more precisely, the heel of a sock. Not excatly a new thing, but I have totally forgotten how those heels are made.

Nancy said...

Dianna, the GR seems to have been fed very well recently. He could certainly use some exercise, though I really hope he won't pick up any actual skills in the process.

Buffie, I'll be on the ground cheering for you and KJ and Limecello and Louisa and Kim and Terrio. I hope the dh finds a new job in '09 and it's one he really loves.

PJ, I also hope you find the job you want this year.

I see lots of people seeking first sales, Anna and Louisa and Terrio and me. I have fingers crossed that those of us seeking our first sales get them and those seeking follow-up sales also have what they want.

Plus peace and love--and sunshine alternating with gentle rain. Seriously.

As for me trying something new . . . maybe I'm in a rut. Nothing is coming to mind. Except I was toying with getting Sensei to give me (and the boy, if he wants) quarterstaff lessons since I'm working on a book idea in which the good guys use staffs. Hmm. That would be good. And it's on "solid, flat ground," as Dianna says--well, mats. And the main risk would be hand-bashing, for which I could wear my hand pads from karate. Or a fall, for which there are the mats. Hmm.

traveler said...

I cannot do anything with heights. I become extremely ill and am useless. I believe it is genetic since my late mother was the same and so is my sister. You are a brave soul. I would like to travel and that is something that I rarely did or do so that would be amazing for me to experieice.
Best wishes.

Nancy said...

Minna, I'm impressed with the sock project. I couldn't make the tube part, and never mind the heel!

Lois, I'm okay with heights as long as I'm in something, too. Well, if it's something fairly substantial.

Safe travels to KJ and Donna and anyone else who's on the road today. Watch out for people who aren't watching out for themselves OR for you!

Nancy said...

I actually am trying something new. I'm the new PRO liaison for my local chapter.

ellie said...

Heights scare me to death so I avoid them all the time. I try not to shake up my life since I am happy with things as they are, my health is the prime consideration but I wouldn't mind a little fun and perhaps a nice trip somewhere interesting. Happy holidays.

Beth said...

What a great picture, KJ! I'm not big on heights but I'm not really afraid of them either - although that doesn't mean I'd do the zip line :-)

We've had a year of new experiences in 2008 and my whole family is looking forward to a few new things in 09 including my husband's new job.

Happy Holidays to All!

CrystalGB said...

I would like to learn how to knit. Happy Holidays everyone.

Nathalie said...

I am scared of heights!

Something new for 2009, learning how to drive!

robynl said...

for the New Year I can take 'shaken up and stirred' if it is a good thing but please no negative thing. I too am so afraid of heights; even going up a ladder I half freeze.
For 2009 I plan on taking a train trip from Canada with dh for overnight at a hotel in the US and then coming back to Canada. This in itself will be an accomplishment for me as I tend to want to stay close to home the older I get.

anne said...

Cannot take heights and never will be able to.
Not being into daring feats at all I enjoy the norm of fun, travel and visits to friends and family.
Happy holidays!

Helen said...

Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas everyone Santa has been here in Australia and is on his way to everyone else, the tree has heaps of presents under it I now just have to wait till everyone else is awake and the rest of my family arrive to start opening them
Have a wonderful day everyone

Have Fun

Trish Milburn said...

How cool that you did the zip line. I think I'd like to try that at some point.

p226, LOL on your blacked-out message. :)

Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah, everyone. And safe travels. No snow here, thank goodness, but it's pouring rain like crazy.

Minna said...

1Celine Dion - Happy Christmas (War Is Over)

Queen: Thank God It's Christmas

Sylvian joululaulu-Sylvia's Christmas Song

Mari Palo - Tonttu -elf

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, P226, I can see he's going to be put through his paces before Christmas! Or perhaps he thinks with all the poultry on dinner tables across the land (well, at least here in Oz), he needs to brush up on his self-defense skills!

Minna, I think the Christmas Peace declaration is fantastic! Wish we could get it to work on the whole world!

Kim, you're amazing! Wonder Woman! I'm not good at those physical sort of challenges. I fall over on flat land, sadly! I'm seriously thinking of going somewhere exotic next year, somewhere I've never been with a non-Western European culture! Now, that's daring for me! A few of my friends have broken out recently and gone new and interesting places like Turkey and Japan and I thought, "Life's too short - let me at em!"

Anna Campbell said...

Buffie, I hope everything works out for you and your family! Life socks us in the jaw sometimes, doesn't it?

PJ, you'll knock 'em dead! Hoping we get to meet next year!

Louisa, you go, girl!

P226, you're just a big tease. The rooster just sent me a jpeg of him sitting back with a beer and some chips watching TV! You're not making him suffer at all!

Terrio, good luck with finishing the manuscript!

Actually I forgot to mention the queen of exotic travel, our own Kim Howe! You go to the most amazing places, KJ!

Anna Campbell said...

It's Christmas in Oz so I'll say it again - MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

Kate Carlisle said...

Merry Christmas, Anna!!! And Merry Christmas to all our Aussie buddies!!

My authorities tell me that Santa Claus is currently flying over Saudi Arabia and he's moving FAST!!

Nancy said...

Trish, we're also due for rain tomorrow. I was thinking of heading to the mall in search of all the wonderful bargains supposedly available, but inertia took hold. And I'm really glad. The dh drove by there on a quest for Christmas pudding and reported total parking lot insanity. He eventually found a pudding but no brandy butter. We'll have to make do without it--he wages of procrastination.

Merry Christmas to those who celebrated it, and best of the season to everyone else!

Nancy said...

Uh--that's THE wages of procrastination. *sigh*

Crianlarich said...

KJ - you are one brave woman! Holy guacamole! You deserve a medal in courage. Yikes alive!

Myself, I'm a loves-her-comfortable-old-shoes kind of gal. No wild and daring feats for me, thank you very much, Banditas.

The most daring thing I ever did was many years ago when I rented my first car on a UK holiday. I hate coach bus tours and am a loner and prefer solo trips. Just me and the places I want to explore.

That being so, and loving wild and lonely places that require a car to get to... well, it was get a car and drive myself or not see the places I wished to see.

So I took the left-driving plunge and haven't looked back. Now, on every UK trip, I always have my own car and drive myself wherever I wish to go.

Left driving no longer scares me, round-abouts no longer make me break out in hives, and I no longer feel like fainting when another vehicle roars at me from the opposite direction on a road that is about as wide as a ribbon and - of course - doesn't have a shoulder.

Now I -love- driving over there and am so glad to have my freedom and time and pleasure -on my own- when I am there.

But way when back, it was terrifying and daunting to rent that first car and set forth, alone, driving left.

Other than that, I am too chicken-hearted to even go on a rollercoaster.

So here's to you, KJ. I am really impressed.

Happy Christmas!

diane said...

I won't be anywhere where heights are involved. Forget it.
Must be exciting and fun though to be able to experience.
But I still fly and derive a great deal of pleasure from travelling. That is what does it for me.
Have a great holiday!

catslady said...

I've been trying to get out and drive more. Hate blending into traffic and have no sense of direction so I really have held myself back from doing a lot of things. If I could stop stressing and just do it I'd be thrilled. I'd much rather stand on a cliff edge than drive the PA parkway lol.

M. said...

That looks straight out of 'Amazing Race'! I always think when i see the contestants do ziplines that it just might be the outside of what I could do - if it were bungee jumping I'd have to quit on the spot.

My big 2009 courage resolution is - starting to submit.

flchen1 said...

Yikes, no zip-lining for me, please! My husband and I used to watch The Amazing Race, and as much as I loved watching, I know that faced with one of those tasks, I'm break down like a baby and be sent home :)

Hmm... I think my husband's starting the shake up by dragging all of my assorted piles of stuff out into the common areas, forcing me to go through them and sort. Ugh. The goal of a decluttered home sounds good, but the reality right now is horribly painful ;p

Congrats on the GR, p226!

Pat Cochran said...

Congratulations, p226! I'll have to
remember not to attempt to snag the
rooster any time soon! Especially
since he is in training, I can't
remember if it was for ####### or was it #######?

Oh, well, it's back to the kitchen
for me to finish my cooking for tomorrow. Then I'll be off to sing
in choir for Midnight Mass!

Merry Christmas to all!!

Pat Cochran

Leslie said...

New for 2009? This may sound boring but I want to start riding a bike again. I've been saying for years that I wanted a bike. I don't like jogging or running but I think a bike would be fun and I'd get exercise too.

jo robertson said...

Leslie, that's a great idea. Biking is so much more fun than walking or running. And great exercise too. Good luck!

How fun to sing in a Midnight Mass, Pat. I loved singing in the choir and doing Handel's Messiah every year.

jo robertson said...

M, great new year's resolution. We writers need to submit and then submit again!

Flchen1, I'm shivering in my boots just thinking of de-cluttering my house. Holy smokes! I think I'm in denial. Here's to a clutter-free house in 2009!

jo robertson said...

Yikes, catslady, can't you start on something less intimidating than the PA Parkway? I never could get the hang of driving in San Francisco.

I love to fly too, Diane. In fact, I'm flying to New York on New Year's eve day. How crazy is that?

jo robertson said...

Crianlarich, I'm so impressed. That's quite a feat to learn to drive on the left side and to be comfortable with it. Kudos! You sound adventurous to me.

Isn't KJ amazing? Honestly, she's been just about everywhere and done everything. I admire that so much.

Nancy, it's been raining here in northern California all day too! We went out to watch the kids and grandkids roller skate with their other grandparents. At least the roller rink wasn't crowded!

jo robertson said...

Merry Christmas, Anna!! No fair that you Aussies get Christmas before us in the states. All our little grandkids are so wide awake and darling in their impatience for Santa to come!

Happy holidays to all our Bandita Buddies and your loved ones. And may 2009 be the best year of your lives!

Elyssa Papa said...

I've just been able to sneak on the computer after a long day of Christmas Eve activities. Hmmm . . . what would I do in 2009???

You know, I think that I can be my own worst enemy/critic. I often tell myself oh, you're never going to get an agent and you just an utter crap writer (hey, we Virgos have the perfectionist thing down to a science). So in 2009 I'm going to take all those can'ts and won'ts---2009 is going to be my year. Great things will happen in 2009---and sometimes, silencing that inner critic/enemy and seizing my dream can be the scariest thing to do.

kim h said...

happy hoildays to all peace and love

Crianlarich said...

Ah, Jo, don't know if I'm adventurous, but I am very determined when I set my mind to something. I knew the places I wanted to see most were the ones that were next to impossible to get to without a car. And hiring a guide to drive me was out of the question because, as said, I like to travel solo.

So it was drive left or nothing.

My burning urge to get to the wilder places won out over my fear of driving left. Now, many years later, it is second nature and I feel just as at ease driving there as here. But in the beginning it was hairy indeed. Verrry scary.

Anna C - being in Australia, if you want a great other-culture holiday, why not pop over to Bali and from there to Sulawesi? Sulawesi's Toraja-land is like stepping into the pages of NatGeo. Or an Indiana Jones movie. Cliff burials, caves filled with bones and chests brimming with skulls. Incredible funeral feasts and rituals and -if you're lucky enough to witness one- amazing weddings.

I once spent six weeks backpacking through Indonesia with a girlfriend and our stay on Sulawesi and getting out to Toraja was the highlight of the trip.

Happy Christmas, Banditas!
KJ - I'm still in awe of you.
Jo - if you learn the de-clutter secret, please share it.