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6 Reasons Taking a Risk is More Important as We Age

May 4, 2017


My muse has taken a break from musing.  Yep, she (that would be my 94 year old Mom) made a conscious decision to take a risk.  She elected to have her right hip replaced in February.  She had her left hip done a few years ago and came through with flying colors.  Not so much, this time. According to the doctor, she is two years older and healing takes longer.  “Well, at your age…” is how he began his conversation. (That phrase is the subject for a blog, another time.)  The truth is she has friends who elected not to have the surgery.  They were in good health but the risks, they felt, were too great.  Consequently, they will be living with high-powered drugs that only mask the severe pain, for the rest of their lives.  Not Mom’s idea of quality of life.  So, even though it’s taking her longer to feel great, she has no regrets, which started me thinking about risk taking.




Here I am, right this minute, taking a risk.  I’ve been so focused on Mom’s recovery that the creative flow vanished.  Being exhausted from it all hasn’t helped, either.  My first reaction was panic.  What if it never comes back?  Well, like my Mom, if this isn’t perfect and it takes longer for the full force of the ‘flow’ to return, then so be it.  Ready or not, I have to jump in.


A good friend said, “Risk taking is a conscious decision.” I agree.  When we were younger, most of us thought less about the consequences associated with taking a risk.  As time goes by, we tend to forget how elated and proud we were when something we jumped into worked out.  It seems now we concentrate more on the “I think I’ll remain in my comfort zone because I don’t need to prove anything anymore” mode.


The questions we ask, before taking on something new, change.  10 or 20 years ago we might have said, “What do I have to lose?”  Now the questions become, What do I really want? What am I missing? Am I happy?  If the answer, especially to the last question, is no, take a deep breath and dive right in.


Taking a risk:

  • Keeps you in touch with you
  • Keeps you interesting
  • Keeps you involved in life
  • Keeps you healthy
  • Keeps you engaged with others
  • Keeps you excited


Set a goal

Take that trip


Take the class

Cut your hair/change the color

Get healthier

Speak up

Go on a blind date/On-line date

Learn to dance

Engage in eye contact

Smile a lot

Laugh more

The list goes on and on.


Really, if you think about it, what do you have to lose?


Start today.




Originally posted 2014-03-31 20:56:34.

Jeanne Binder
March 31, 2014 at 9:04 pm

Love this, Pamela. Especially relevant to me right now! Thank you

March 31, 2014 at 9:55 pm

Good for you! The truth is that we only ever own the current moment and “risk” is pejorative term for fear of the future. Like William James said, “It is only by risking our persons from one hour to another that we live at all.” (
    April 1, 2014 at 12:14 am

    Exactly the point. Thank you Ivan.

Janet Garber
March 31, 2014 at 10:52 pm

As I read your rant/rave, I started to smile. And by the time I was done reading it was a full-blown grin! And I don’t think it’s leaving any time soon! Thank you so much for your candor, bravery, and WISDOM!!!! All you said is SO TRUE! And I needed it. Right now! Thank you!!!!!
    April 1, 2014 at 12:42 am

    Thank you Janet and Jeanne. I needed it too!!

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