35 with a Skydive

The time to hesitate is through, no time to wallow in the mire…

– The Doors

Yesterday I turned 35.  And, I did something I’ve always wanted to do.  I, along with my two brave siblings, went skydiving.  I gotta tell you, It. Was. AWESOME.

Lately I’ve been letting things get to me – work, motherhood, relationships… Letting them pile up and pile up – carrying the weight of those stresses, worries and fears on my back and shoulders. I’m like that – I’ll let things weigh upon me and then there will be some thing, some final thing, that will get me ranting and raving and leaving everyone wondering where the crazy bitch lady came from.

When I decided to skydive on my birthday, I knew I couldn’t do it alone. I’m pretty brave, and according to one friend I “like to flirt with death”, but I needed the extra support and motivation of another person there to have the courage to actually do it. Knowing I would want my husband planted firmly on the ground (one of us needed to stay on the ground for our girls), I called upon the first two people I could think of, my sister and brother.  We’d always talked about skydiving, and looking back the three of us have been the more adventurous of our family as it pertained to jumping off things, speed and heights – together we searched out the highest cliffs at the lake to jump off of, the fastest and tallest roller coasters, take us to a carnival and we’d pick the rides that flip you upside down and inside out with the gnarliest looking ride operators.  If one was going to do something, you could be sure the other two would follow, because my family is also a competitive bunch. (Don’t ever try to play a board game with my family. We take that shit seriously.) But I also like to think it was because we always have each others backs. The love between siblings is quite an incredible thing.

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Pre jump – all suited up and ready to go!

Up in the plane I was so excited I could hardly talk.  I thought about my brother and sister, and wished I could turn around to tell them that I loved them (but I was securely strapped to my instructor so I couldn’t really move). I thought of all the “stuff” that I had been letting weigh me down. And made the decision that I was going to leave as much as I could up in the air in that plane. That when I jumped, only the things that were truly important would follow me. About that time the photographer turned around and asked me if I was scared, and I remember saying (and thinking) “not really”. I was ready to jump.

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Clearly I was having fun…

Words cannot describe how amazing and peaceful it was. I loved it up there.

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Ready to jump again!

After yesterday I feel like I have a new pep in my step.  To use my sister’s phrase, it’s as if a new fire has been lit from within. I jumped out of a plane. If I can do that, I can certainly take on the stresses of “everyday” life. Some of you may be shaking your head at my finding it necessary to jump out of a plane to kick me out of my funk, but I like to look at it this way…. We all have moments when we need a swift kick in the arse to get them in gear. My kick just happened to be in the form of celebrating turning 35 with a skydive.

-Shan

PS – Much love to Stacy & Seth (my awesome sibs), and my hubs (who didn’t get why I would want to skydive but supported me anyway).