Stay within “whistling distance”.

That was the rule.

My dad has a hellaciously loud two-finger whistle.

When my brother and I were growing up, we played outside with 10-15 other kids just about every evening. From racing bikes, jumping skateboards, hide-n-seek, basketball, football, wiffle ball, to newspaper tag under the light pole at the foot of the cove, we were always into something. We were travel to do what we liked and play as we wished, provided that when my dad would whistle, we hauled butt back to the house.

The first whistle meant it was time to get moving. Sometimes, if the game or the mischief was heated enough, we would wait for the second whistle (which was usually only punishable by an angry, scrunchy face from the old man), the third whistle….was “hot cross buns in the oven” (that was the greatly feared, but seldom initiated term for the spankings which he doled out.

Keep in mind that different variables affected how far and how loud the whistle would travel, but that had no bearing on the rule. Keep within whistling distance, no exceptions.

It was always a gamble.

It was a matter of timing.

We were free to travel to France, assuming we thought we could make it back before the whistle. The fun was at the edge of whistling distance. Life begins at the edge of whistling distance.

At the very edge, where the safety net is the weakest, this is where I learned the most about life. –Tweet this

Playing in the front yard and waiting to be told when to come inside was a safe bet. The constant supervision and familiarity with my surroundings made me a constant slave to safety and was sure to squash creativity and hinder unique thinking. “Playing it safe” is hazardous to my health, my happiness, and my growth. It can be fatal.

Today is no different. Keeping within the safety of whistling distance doesn’t give me the excitement I crave. I want to keep my toe in the waters of questionable judgement if it is at the risk of a life fulfilled. Certainty is great, but I know how that movie ends. I can’t expect myself to get out of bed every morning to watch a movie for which I already know the ending- it’s too boring and my hips get tight if I stay in one place for very long.

I encourage you, step outside of whistling distance and see what sort of fun, mischief, excitement, and creativity awaits you. If your life is not fun and fulfilling, you are doing it wrong. Take a chance and go beyond the border. The punishment is probably less than the crime. I was threatened with a lot more whoopings than I ever received. “Hot cross buns in the oven” was never as bad as the old man made them out to be.

Go for it.

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,