In spite of fear and hesitation

When we push through and accomplish something we’ve been afraid of, or dreading, the satisfaction at the other end is often enormous: relief, surprise, happiness, pride. Even if it’s nothing particularly remarkable in the eyes of others, it’s the doing in spite of hesitation, the overcoming of inner resistance, that makes it seem a personal triumph.

An example for me is my recent road trip to Alberta: eight days away, about 2500 kilometres. Helmut and I enjoyed road tripping, but he did most of the driving. I might spell him off for an hour or two, by which time I was tired but he’d had a snooze and was good to go again. He liked driving; I felt he was better at it than I was. I suppose it was just one of those intuitive patterns couples fall into over the years. In fact, I ‘d never filled up the car with gas until the last year of his life, when it occurred to me I might need to know how, and he showed me. He had always kept track of everything about our vehicles. Besides, if need be, there were gas stations like Domo or Co-op where I could pull in and they did it for you.

Anyway, back in winter when everything concerning summer seemed possible, I agreed to attend a school reunion with my long-time friend Miriam, and decided to combine it with visits with other long-time friends — Eunice and Ruth — in Edmonton and Calgary, as well as my grandson Ben. As July neared, however, I grew nervous at the prospect and kept wanting to change my mind! But I’d promised, and I knew I should give it a try.

And I did. Every destination I reached, thanks to the lovely guiding voice in google maps (whom I thanked aloud more than once, as if able to speak she must also be able to hear) boosted my confidence. The visits were good, and the reunion after 50 years, though a “time warp” in Miriam’s words, had its surprises and gifts. I was kept safe and returned home with the satisfaction of it all, and perhaps a little more pluck.


Mount Robson

Out of quite a few, just two memorable moments: my first glimpse of Mount Robson, highest peak in the Rockies, crowned with clouds, as I rounded a curve on the Yellowhead Highway from Yalemount towards Jasper. And, finding that, unbidden, tears were sliding down my face during the grand entry (with its drumming, colour, glory), thinking especially of the women, at a powwow my photographer friend Ruth took me to in southern Alberta.


Credit: Ruth Bergen Braun. See more of her powwow photos at

Do you have any recent stories of “pushing through” to reward on the other side?

7 thoughts on “In spite of fear and hesitation

  1. A bit more about the photo you chose. This is my former neighbour’s mother — the neighbour who, a champion jingle dress dancer herself, invited me to a powwow and said “bring your camera.” She’s over 80 and survived a serious bout of COVID this past year. I always make a point of greeting her. She never remembers my name but she does flash me a smile when she can.

    • There was so much wonderful dancing and it was hard to choose, but I was very drawn to this older woman’s face and being. Thanks for filling in some information about her. I’m even more drawn to her now.

  2. You have no idea how many times last week I said aloud, “I’m so proud of you Dora!” You had mentioned your “second thoughts” — hesitation at biting this off— before you left! I marvelled at the orderliness of your car — you knew here everything was! You had really risen to the challenge — and when I offered a map on. PPE napkin after dinner you blithely responded, “Oh, GPS will get me there! And so it did, with no trouble at all! Yes, many times I said under my breath, “I’m proud of you!” And I am!

    • Aww, thanks, Miriam! I’m so glad I did because those two days with you were such good ones! And I see you, same age as me, continuing to stretch yourself in so many ways.

  3. Dora, it was wonderful to have an in-person visit with you, always affirming and encouraging. I value our friendship more than you know. To spend time with you and revisit growing up years as well as delve into many other topics was refreshing. As Rick commented, “She’s well informed on anything we talked about.” I’m so happy you braved the trip and now feel stronger for having accomplished it!

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