I've always wanted to wanted to go on a hot air balloon ride.

So the other day, I did.

hot air balloon

I decided not to think about my height issues until about halfway up our 4,000 foot ascent, at which point I recognized the idea that dangling in the sky from an inflated piece of cloth probably wasn't the most logical decision. Then again, neither is jumping out of a fully-functional airplane with a limp balloon strapped to your back (but I have every intention of doing that someday, too)!

hot air balloon

I used to be cautious. I used to carry band-aids in my purse and avoid walking over metal grates. Then, a close friend of mine was in a severe motorcycle accident. Being one of the most determined people I know, she decided to continue to ride. Which is so very like her. When we were teenagers, she got thrown off a horse and broke her collarbone, but was back in the saddle the instant the doctor took her brace off. Asked how she overcame fear after nearly losing her life, she responded logically in turn.

“Chelsea, a woman was standing in Central Park the other day posing with her baby for a photo. That moment, a tree branch snapped and landed on her, killing the child in her arms. Accidents happen. People die every day. I want to really live, fully, while I have the chance.”

It's such an easy decision: Live Fully. We see it everywhere, saturated into the core of the American way. Seize The Day. Just Do It. Eat Pray Love. For us organized think-it-through planner types, however, it can be hard to let go. We have responsibilities. Bills. Family. Life gets in the way of living.

My own way of finding a balance with these competing priorities is list-making. I marry my need for organization with my desire to do everything right now. Prepare for the future while enjoying today. I'm actively setting life goals, prioritizing, and working my way through them in a way that makes sense for me. So while going to Oktoberfest in Germany may not be in the financial forecast at the moment, riding a mechanical bull or learning to surf is totally doable and would make me really happy right now. Getting certified to scuba dive can wait, but learning to speak German can be tackled today.

hot air balloon

What about you…do you let fear hold you back? Is there something getting in your way of living fully? What's on your bucket list, and how do you prioritize your goals and responsibilities to live an exciting life?

Update: I posted my bucket list over in a post called Live Fully. I've been actively updating it as I complete my goals.