Evan tried out for the Ice Sharks AAA Atom hockey team. He didn’t make the team. It was bitter-sweet.
Evan was nervous to try out. He said, “Mommy, these guys are all really good, and I don’t think I’m good enough to make the team”.
I said, “Evan, if this is something that you really want, I mean really want, you have to give it all you’ve got. You have to not be cautious. You have to not be afraid to lose. And if you do all that, then you did your best and you can be proud.”
I watched him out on the ice trying his best, and it occurred to me that, in my life, I wasn’t following the same advice that I gave Evan.
I’m a hypocrite.
Because of my fathers illness, the family got together and asked what was the one thing that he really wanted to do that he had not done. He wanted to go on a train. Done. We quickly made arrangements and were soon bound on a train for Moncton on Via Rail. I thought it was such a shame that we wait to check things off our bucket list only when we’re going to die.
I revisited my list. On it was to act in a play. I saw an ad in the paper for auditions for Hansel and Gretal produced by South Shore Players. I changed the wording on my bucket list however, to read, “audition for a play.” I thought, I shouldn’t be penalized if the director didn’t see my raw talent when it was standing there in front of him.
Evan came with me for moral support. I was freaking out! I sang American Pie and Evan got up the nerve to sing Happy Birthday. We both got parts but only he was brave enough to take it. And while I checked it off my list, I regretted being too scared to actually take the role.
I added a new item to my bucket list. Do something that makes me scared.
Today I pitched a manuscript I’m writing to 3 publishers, and about 30 people in the audience during Pitch the Publisher, in Halifax. Myself and about 9 others presented our synopsis for constructive criticism. I was the last one, and I nearly died. In fact, I almost left. But all I could think of was Evan, my nine year old boy who struggles with anxiety daily, and who continues to fight his worry beast, is going to ask me how I did. And I am suppose to be his role model.
That night, he met me at the door with a big grin and said, “Well Mamma, how was your day? Are they gonna print your book?”
All of my excitement, pride and disappointment welled up in my throat. ”It was a good day, Evan. I faced my worry beast, I did something that makes me scared and, regardless of what happens, I can check something else off my bucket list.”