Take a Leap

Man LeapingEver been to a place with water so clear, you couldn’t wait to leap in? The Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios was such a place for me. As I contemplated what to write for Leap Day, I couldn’t help thinking of the waterfall there and how I leaped in. But this post isn’t about that trip, which happened several years ago, so don’t expect a travelogue or personal photos. 😀 But I’ll at least leave you with this one:

Dunn Falls

Happy Leap Day! What a great day to post! After all, February 29 only comes around every four years!

leap-day-2012-a-text

You’ve heard people talk about making a bucket list—places to go or things to do before you die. Ever thought about making a leap list? I think of this list as things to do to help you live the kind of life you’ve always wanted to live. Perhaps a bucket list and a leap list might seem to be the same thing. But so many people make a bucket list for the future. A leap list includes things you can do right now. You don’t have to make a long list. Just decide to do one thing.

Maybe you’ve been on the fence awhile. Could it be time for you to come off that fence? Maybe you could . . .

Become a fighter for a cause. My mom’s surgeon became a doctor to fight against breast cancer. But at some point, she had to make a commitment to do what was necessary to be an effective fighter (i.e., go to medical school). What cause will you champion? How far are you willing to go to fight for that cause? Think of a simple step you can take to start. When you engage in a fight, expect to get knocked down sometimes. The important thing is to get back up and keep fighting. What do you believe in so strongly that you’re willing to keep going toe to toe in a scrap?

Boxer Kitty
Take a leap of faith. This could be as simple as making the leap from doubt to belief. Or it might involve doing something you’ve been afraid of doing, because you were afraid to fail. I can’t help thinking about my friend, Jill Weatherholt (many of you know her), who took a leap of faith by entering a Blurb to Book contest. You can read her story here.
Kick a habit. You don’t need a pair of rain boots or fancy sneakers to kick a habit. You just need willingness and determination that this time, nothing will stand in the way of your success. Don’t let your doctor be the one to force you to do it!

Boots
Forge a new relationship or renew an old one. Perhaps you have an acquaintance whom you’ve wanted to get to know better. Or, perhaps a relationship has been interrupted in some way. Are you willing to be intentional about building or rebuilding a relationship? Make a memory as my friend (and a friend to many of you), Andra Watkins, talks about on her blog.
Try something new. Choose something you’ve always wanted to try. Or, return to something you loved before. As for me, I’d like to return to my art roots and take an illustration class. I’m a bit rusty!

When you’re about to leap off a diving board, do you tend to look behind you? While there are some dives that require you to stand at the edge of the board with your back toward the pool, generally you face forward before leaping off. That’s what we need to do when taking a leap. Looking behind at past failures might be a detriment to taking a leap.

Of course, taking a leap doesn’t mean throwing common sense out of the window! I don’t know about your mom, by mine used to ask, “If all of your friends leaped off a bridge, would you leap off too?” as a caution against giving in to peer pressure. So facing forward still means looking before leaping!

By the way, Marie of 1WriteWay, get ready to leap! You have won The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye. Congrats! Please comment below to confirm.

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Leap Year image from prettylittleliars.alloyentertainment.com. Man leaping from thankingthespoon.com. Dunn’s River Falls from islandbuzzjamaica.com. Other photos by L. Marie.

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50 thoughts on “Take a Leap

  1. Interesting list idea. Honestly, spontaneity seems really hard to achieve at times. Feels like the older you get, the harder it is to throw caution to the wind. Made a few jokes last week that adulthood comes off as a horrible trap that nobody warns you about when you’re a child. The difficulty in dropping your responsibilities for a day and doing something for you is one of those issues. Probably thinking more financial restraints than anything else here. Why is it so much of a challenge to carve out a little fun every day?

    • I know what you mean, Charles. It must be infinitely harder, since you’re a parent of a small child. Plus we think of the “have-tos”–earning money to pay bills and stuff like that. Spontaneity goes out the window! I miss being able to leap on a plane whenever I wanted and take off for another city. That was back in the day when I worked two jobs and had a lot of disposable income. 🙂

      • That small child does limit some of the things we can do. Then again, I was never into bungee jumping or hand gliding, so it isn’t that different. 🙂 Feels like spontaneity is actually punished in society these days. I’m thinking of this credit score commercial where the person talks about being wild in her 20’s and now credit companies refuse to acknowledge she’s matured. All in a script, but the concept is rather telling. Once a person acts by instinct and indulges in an itch, they kind of get branded.

      • Sad but true, Charles. We have to worry about things like credit scores and insurance liabilities.
        My niece is having great adventures in Ecuador. She’s doing things I was too cautious to do when I was her age. Now I wish I’d done them, though I wouldn’t bungee jump or hang glide. I couldn’t make myself skydive either. But I would like to travel more.

      • I really hope the person who invented insurance got sick and was denied coverage. Mean thing to say, but it’d be one of karma’s best acts.

        I never had the urge or money to travel. Only place I’ve been to is Israel, which was okay. Though I did always like the idea of driving around countrysides and staying in a more rural area even for a bit. Just a slower pace where I can enjoy the peace and not have to worry. Odd that my dreams involve that instead of a grand adventure.

      • I don’t think it’s odd. You have a great family and friends. Life is already a grand adventure. 🙂 But I’m sure you could use less stress. And temperatures in the 60s and 70s.

  2. omg omg omg! I won The Ordinary Princess!!!!! Can you tell I’m excited 😉 Thank you so much, Linda! Also, what a great post! This is what gets my way of taking leaps: “Looking behind at past failures might be a detriment to taking a leap.” I’m always looking back and that definitely slows me down and makes me hesitant to take chances. As I get older (and older), I try to remind myself that what might have been a mistake or failure a few years ago wouldn’t necessarily be one now. I feel that way most strongly about my writing. I can gripe all I want about not trying harder or trying and failing to publish my writing 20 years ago. But I can honestly say now that my writing probably wasn’t ready for prime-time then. Now is a different story. Leap of faith is something I need and I’m working on it 🙂 Thanks again, Linda!

    • I think we all do that, Marie. We get so cautious. I haven’t rollerbladed in ages out of fear of possibly breaking an ankle. I never cared about doing that before.
      I sent you a message through your blog Facebook page. I need your address and stuff. Left my email there. I messaged you under my “real” name.

  3. Wow! Thank you so much for this inspirational post. I’m further inspired by iWriteWay’s comment above. I, too, have felt regret at waiting so long to pursue this dream. But leap I did. At that time, I didn’t realize that making a commitment to change means that the big leap must be followed by lots of smaller leaps. But that’s okay. I’m becoming a champion leaper 😉
    Also, I think I need to print out Hello Kitty with her boxing gloves for future motivation.

  4. I have always thought Feb. 29 should be a holiday – just so that we could try new things! Thanks for this – I’m going to try to LEAP more and shy away from change less.

    • You’re welcome, Jill. 🙂 So proud of you!
      The boots and sneakers are Shopkins–tiny collectible figures by Moose Toys. 🙂 A kid at church and I discuss them whenever we meet. They were toy of the year last year, I believe.

  5. This is a riveting post, L. Marie, and you have me thinking.
    I have fought for causes, the public good, wrote letters to the editor (back-in-the-day), but, I’ve been feeling the need, no, responsibility to “stand up” against some rhetorical bullying I’m hearing, and there is a friendship that while not severed could use some mending. Some good incentives from you, for which I say thanks.
    I do hope you take that leap into reviving your art and maybe I’ll take the leap and join a photography group.

    • Wow, Penny. Please keep me posted on what you decide to do. You have a lot going on.
      I hope you’ll join that photography group. You take such lovely photos. The orchid photos were so beautiful.

  6. I never really thought about doing something special on Leap Year. But you’re right that since it only comes around every 4 years it is a great chance to do something special or make a big change!

  7. As a list-maker, the Leap List is a new one for me. Definitely a keeper…
    Hopefully once you re-enter the realm of illustration (hint-hint) you’ll share a few of your sketches with your blog-community.

    • If I have the nerve, I will, Laura. Currently, I’ve been sketching in my little journal. It helps me think of scenes for my book. Kinda like storyboarding.

  8. I like ” become a fighter for a cause “. This makes me think of a poem of Victor Hugo .
    “Ceux qui vivent, ce sont ceux qui luttent ; ce sont
    Ceux dont un dessein ferme emplit l’âme et le front.
    Ceux qui d’un haut destin gravissent l’âpre cime.
    Ceux qui marchent pensifs, épris d’un but sublime.
    ———————————————————-”
    Amitiés
    Michel

  9. Oooo… A Leap List. What a good idea. I happened to take one yesterday, so Ill wait a little bit to take my next. Maybe……. Publish a short story while Faerie Blood is on hold.

  10. Diving is a good metaphor for taking a leap. It made me think about my swimming lessons when I was a child. The first dive we learned to do was a kneeling dive from the dock. It was easy because we weren’t far from the water, but it helped us get the feel of going head first. It really worked for me. Some of our leaps are scary off-the-cliff leaps. Others are one step at a time.

    • It’s great that you can look back at your diving lessons and see the point of taking a leap, Nicki! And you’re taking a leap by getting rid of your carpet! Bravo!

  11. Oh, no! I missed the day! Unfortunately, my Leap Day was taken up at the vet because my dog came down with that doggie stomach flu that’s going around. At least it’s not contagious to humans, but I had a rug to save as well. Love that picture of the waterfalls!

    • Winter is always tough. I don’t know what it is about February that seems so much harder than January. A lot of people have been besieged by doubt. We’ll get through this somehow!

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