Birthday Scare

Every year for my birthday I do something to scare myself. It’s like having a bucket list only instead of doing a hundred things then dropping dead I do one thing and then eat cake.

After my dad died, I was cleaning out his desk and found a note. 1994: Start my own business. It made me smile. I kept opening the drawers. 1995: Start my own business. Hmm. 1996, 1997, 1998 – start my own business, start my own business, start my own business…

He got diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer and died soon after without ever following his dream. The timing was never right. Bills to pay and such. Don’t get me wrong – my dad had a wonderful life. He had a family that loved him, friends, heck even his co-workers donated their sick time so he could keep his job and medical benefits. But it always broke my heart a bit he never took a chance on his dream.

That’s why I do my birthday scare.

Here’s how it works. Pick a goal (or more than one if you’re an over-achiever). You have one year, birthday to birthday to complete it (or at least try like hell to make progress). When choosing a goal, here’s a tip. Be bold! Small dreams don’t have the power to sway you. Show me a person who says, “‘I want to tone up’ and I’ll show you a person eating chips on the couch two weeks later. But show me a person who says, ‘I’m gonna run the New York City Marathon’ and I’ll show you a person up at 6 a.m. every morning logging in miles until she crosses that finish line.

My birthday scare has led to try some interesting things. I’ve run the Marine Corps Marathon, done five minutes of stand-up comedy, entered a bodybuilding competition, skydived (’cause when you’re 39 and staring down the big 4-0 is there anything better to do than jump out of a plane?), wrote a novel I’m attempting to publish via the traditional route…

This year I’m revisiting a birthday scare I didn’t get a chance to complete. I wanted to do a fitness competition with a dance routine but had to drop out when my mom went into the hospital two weeks before the show. So, for 49, I’m going to do that, and hopefully not break a limb in the process.  I’ll be writing about my fitness journey on my other blog: if you’d like to follow.

You never know when your number is up, so push your own boundaries. When you try things that scare you (like writing your first novel), you might fail. But maybe you’ll fly. Make each year the best year of your life.

Lisa 😉

Dirty Dancing

P.S. – Here’s a picture from my 45th birthday scare – learning the lift from Dirty Dancing. Ask me if my husband liked learning the Patrick Swayze part. He did not.


Copyright (c) Lisa Traugott 2023. All rights reserved.

3 thoughts on “Birthday Scare

  1. Wow! Lisa, you are so inspiring! I loved your #45 birthday challenge and commit to prayer for you and your great success on your #49th adventure quest!
    Happy Belated Birthday!
    Love, Viv

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