Leaping Into the Great Unknown

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Image via Flickr/ m01229

After months of planning, selling, saving, waiting, and praying, all that was left to do was to actually GO. The night before our departure – the big leap into the great unknown, we were all a bit nervous. As I put my son, Hayden, to bed he said, “Mom, I have butterflies in my stomach. Maybe we shouldn’t go. 

I knew exactly what he was feeling. I’ve been in this situation many times before; the night before leaving for college, driving to the hospital to have a baby, strapping myself into a new roller coaster ride, or taking on a new business venture. It’s always the same cycle; I eagerly anticipate it until the moment actually arrives and then that limbic part of my brain (that’s in charge of self-preservation) kicks in and wants to shut the whole thing down. Tonight was no different. Even though my house was occupied with renters and our possessions were in storage, a part of my brain was panicking and wanting to go back to the familiar, not wanting to risk failure by moving forward into an unknown future. 

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In moments like these I have to choose between my head and my heart. Will I listen to my head trying to make rational sense of the situation? Or will I listen to my soul as it encourages me to expand my horizons and grow? Deep down I know that every time I’ve followed my spirit, I’ve never regretted it. All that’s left to do is to make the choice – take action.

As I lay next to my son, stroking his hair in the dark and listening to his chest rise and fall, I recalled a sage piece of advice someone had given me once. Our bodies experience excitement and fear with the same flush of biological reactions. We choose in our minds which label to attach to the experience. 

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When I shared this with Hayden he took a moment to think about it and then simply said, “My butterflies are excited.”  I squeezed him and replied, “Mine too, buddy.”  

The next morning we took the leap, and haven’t looked back since. 

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Leaping Into the Great Unknown

Shannon is a mother of 3 teens, who hit 40 and decided that instead of a "mid-life crisis", she wanted an adventure of a lifetime. She convinced her wonderfully open-minded husband to pack up their house, sell most of their possessions, and travel the USA in an RV for a year or two. Besides homeschooling her kids, running their online program, Watts in the World, Shannon loves to explore new places. Nothing is more exciting than waking up in a new city everyday, and discovering what's great abou ... More

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1 comment

  1. peanutc86 says:

    I had something similar happen to me as well. I am 26 and suffer from anxiety. I have trouble with change, big changes at that. We were suppose to move recently. We have a three year old daughter and we wanted a bigger place with a fenced in back yard so we could get her a dog that she could grow up with. A place where she was even safer to play outside away from stray animals and strangers. But something in my gut just told me it was wrong. At the time I didnt know if it was the rushing around to get it fixed up and move in ready (which seemed alittle odd at the time considering it was my parents old home that I once lived in for a couple years) or if it was that I really didnt like it there or what. I called the move off before it was too late to back out. After not sleeping or eating for three days I decided that to move just wasnt the right decision. Call it fate, angels, god, preminition or a plain ole gut feeling but I am so very glad we didnt move. Two weeks had passed and my husband lost his job at work and we had then found out that the home had been invested with some bug that probably came from the neglected neighbors yards and it was causing children to get this infection when bitten. My daughter had been bitten when we went to take all of our cleaning supplies and what have you out of the house. She was taken to the ER and put into emergency surgery for this infection that was in her leg and was trying to spread. Thankfully she is okay. But the doctor said to never bring her back to where ever she had been suspected to have gotten the bites from. If we had moved we would have possibly killed my daughter or made her very very ill and we would have probably been homeless because with my husband losing his job we would have not of been able to afford it.
    Not all gut feelings are correct. Some are trully excitement of the unknown and they dont mean something bad is going to happen or that it will be a mistake. But in my case my gut knew what was going to happen.

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