Opening Doors with Kim

Kim Ades of Opening Doors lets you in on her frame of mind.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

For the Birds

My kids and I were standing on the platform at the train station waiting for the train to pick us up and take us back to Toronto after a long weekend in Montreal visiting family. Ferne spotted a bird. It was a plump bird and it looked warm and snuggly, resting peacefully in her nook as though it had found a reprieve from the perils of the world. She had found a cozy spot to lay down her feathery load right on the train tracks.

Seconds later we heard an announcement on the speakers overhead “Last call for train # 57 heading to Toronto.” As we looked up, we saw the train approaching. My daughter started to panic and wave her arms in an attempt to swish the bird away. My son started to shout at the bird, “Bird! Move away!” I became nervous as Ferne moved toward the tracks desperately trying to help the bird. Seeing the train come closer, I held her back. The bird showed no intention of flight. We prepared to witness a bird squashing of colossal proportions.

I wanted to shield my kids from the imminent tragedy. I wanted to protect them from witnessing such a gruesome death. I was still hopeful that the bird would flee at the very last moment with the increasing vibration of the train on the tracks. The bird did not move. As the train came closer, I held my breath and waited for the impact…

There was no impact. She was sitting on the itsy bitsy part of the track that is tucked neatly beneath the place where the wheels of the train connect with the rail. She was safe. Holy smokes! We could not believe our eyes! The bird was smarter than us. She knew that she would be safe and did not have a shroud of fear or panic in her demeanor. She was so calm in fact, she appeared to be asleep.

We were the ones who were in panic mode. Even when there was nothing we could do. We had no trust that the bird knew what she was doing or that her instinct for self preservation was at work. We were terrified with the anticipation of what we were certain was going to happen. We knew better. In no uncertain terms, that bird was going to die.

And it didn’t.

We are frequently terrified of certain disaster that never materializes. Sometimes it’s due to hype (like when we all ran out and bought 50,000 tones of water in preparation for the clock to strike midnight on the new millennium), and sometimes it’s due to paralyzing fear, or outside influence. Either way, we end up selling ourselves short of amazing experiences and cherished moments. Of course, I still don’t recommend you find a cozy little spot on the rail road track to take a little snooze. But I do recommend living on the edge a little bit and stretching your comfort zone and trying things that ordinarily might seem a little bit daunting or scary.

The real recommendation is this: imagine you are 99 years old and you look at yourself in the mirror and reflect on your life… think of the regrets you might have living your life never having experienced certain things. What are those things?

Those are the things that you need to make sure you incorporate in your life before it’s too late. Those are the things that you need to make sure you experience so that you live your life without regret.

While it’s true that the bird’s resting spot freaked us out imagine the bird’s life without the discovery of the train track? Imagine all the discoveries you have yet to make… are you up for it?


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