Pushing My Boundaries

A small branch of manzanita, growing over an old dead log in Bryce Canyon.

In the last couple years, I’ve noticed a change in my approach to life. For several years, I was largely content to just coast along in most areas of my life, living by the philosophy of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But recently I started making choices that pushed my boundaries, doing things that were new to me or outside my comfort zone.

I believe this started with my decision several years ago to work on losing weight and/or getting in better shape. That journey has been a very mixed bag of success and failure. I’ve failed almost completely to lose any real weight. But I HAVE greatly improved my general health and fitness, so I’ve decided I’m not worrying about the weight aspect anymore, and just focusing on making good choices about health and fitness. Eventually the weight will come off. Or not. But I’m still happy I did it. I feel so much better about myself, and more confident in my ability to do what needs to be done.

Then, I got involved in amateur radio after years of wishing I had my license. This was triggered by the removal of the morse code requirement. I’ve greatly enjoyed my exploration of the hobby, and the volunteer opportunities it has provided me that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I’m not normally an extrovert, and typically avoid going out and interacting with the public. But when I’m providing a valuable service, it gives me a real rush. The events I’ve helped with have been the highlight of my ham radio experiences, and have allowed me to meet people I never would have otherwise.

Finally, I recently started on a new experiment that some of you are aware of. I’m recording and publishing a Let’s Play series on YouTube (Utoxin Plays). For those not familiar with the concept, a Let’s Play consists of recorded gameplay footage, usually with some form of commentary. I’ve been recording at least two episodes a week and discussing the game and my life in general. Again, I’m normally an introvert, and this has been a bit of a strain on my normal boundaries. But it’s been a great experience, and I’m finding that I enjoy it a lot. Knowing that other people are enjoying my episodes is a thrill.

What have I learned from all of these new ventures and achievements? That I’m capable of a lot more than I used to give myself credit for. If I set out to do something, I can probably accomplish it. It’s been an eye-opening set of experiences, and I’m very glad to have had them. I just have to wonder what challenge I will set myself next…

Whatever it is, I’m sure I’ll have a blast. Allons-y!

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