Fear has never really been part of my life. It’s not that I’m fearless but more that I just didn’t have time to deal with fear as a factor on how to live. As a kid, I circled a copperhead, daring it to strike me, finally grabbing it by the neck as it lunged.  Then I killed it and cooked it.

As a teenager, I drove my ’57 Ford as fast as it could go, tempting the limits of adhesion of retreaded tires and antiquated suspensions.  At 19, I totaled my Mustang but survived with a broken shoulder, fractured skull and shattered leg.

Did it slow me down? Not a bit.

Call it youthful stupidity, nothing more. I’ve jumped out of perfectly good airplanes, charged into burning buildings and faced nutcases with guns  and never, once, for any reason that remotely resembles heroism. Stupidity is not heroism.

I’m an adrenaline junkie.  Life is not worth living unless it is lived on the edge.  But it is also unfair to those who love you and who depend on you. Over the years, the aftermaths of broken bones, torn muscles and replacement joints start to rebel and say “enough is enough.”

As the primary caregiver for my aging mother, I need to be around when she needs me. My wife, while never complaining about my excessive habit of risking life and limb, has suggested she would prefer more than just a life insurance check as a companion for our later years.

So I’ve got to adjust my thinking and my approach to life. My both has been trying to tell me this for years now and I’ve been too stubborn to notice it.

Can I do it? Damned if I know. I’ts going to be an interesting ride.

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