Thursday, December 22, 2011

better sorry than safe?

it is 7am on my first day off for the holiday, and i have already been up for an hour.
i am sitting in my quiet kitchen with a cup of coffee when i should be loading my snowboard into the back of someone's truck and hitting the road for a day on the slopes.

why am i in my kitchen instead of off on an adventure?
because i tend to live by the motto "better safe than sorry."

it's snowing in flagstaff today, which could mean great conditions on the slopes but not so great on the road. so even though the weather isn't supposed to get bad until tonight, i decided to stay home and "not risk it."

but i'm sitting here thinking that decision is a risk as well - a risk that i will miss out on a fun day with friends, that the winter weather advisory will fizzle and i'll wish i had gone, that there won't be another opportunity this season to snowboard during the week when lift lines are short.

every time i'm "better safe than sorry" -- a little part of me ends up sorry anyway. sorry that i didn't take a chance.

that may be part of why i write - to create characters who take the risks i don't, to live vicariously through them, to explore "danger" from the safety of my own living room.

but on quiet mornings like this, when i'm a little disappointed in myself for being too careful, i'm painfully reminded that writing about the smell of pine trees and the breathtaking view and the wind on your face as you soar down the slopes... can't hold a candle to actually experiencing those things.

photo courtesy of

so writers, while i hope you create characters who feel truly alive... i also hope you get outside and live a little yourself. sometimes risks are worth it. and maybe sometimes it's actually better to be a little sorry than safe.


Anonymous said...

Hi Erin

I know what you mean, though it's summer here and wont be snowing for about 6 months. But i think it's true that we can also spend so much time editing to be on the safe side and put off submitting so we won't be sorry. Or we submit before we're ready and get rejected based on fixable mistakes but not rejected based on our writing skill. Which is another way of saving our feelings and playing it safe. In the past i was guilty of both. My new years resolution is to throw caution to the wind and survive!

Merry Christmas.

erinjade said...

Merry Christmas to you as well!
i like your resolution. i'll probably never quite be able to throw caution to the wind, but i do plan to take some calculated risks in 2012. ;)