“Be afraid. Be very afraid.”

Actress Geena Davis, who uttered this famous phrase while sharing the silver screen with Jeff Goldblum in 1986’s The Fly, certainly had reason to fear. The quirky scientist guy she was dating (Goldblum), was turning into a monstrous insect before her eyes and she was pregnant with his child/baby bug/whatever. Ew.

Unfortunately, creepy horror movies are not the only things inspiring fear these days. Watch the news, tune into the internet or pick up a newspaper (yes, they still have those) and you’ll consider crawling under the bed and hiding with the dog.

Yet fear isn’t all bogeymen and bugs, real or imagined. Sometimes fear is, well fun.

Remember haunted houses? Roller coasters? Scary movies that didn’t involve bugs? Fear, and the jolt of adrenaline that comes with it, can make us feel alive. So, as we move onward in life, it’s not a bad idea to scare yourself—intentionally.

As younger adults, often parents, we focus on keeping everyone, and everything in our lives, safe. But now that the kids are on their own, careers are winding down, and life is a little, dare I say it, easier, scaring yourself on purpose can remind that you’re still alive, and there’s lots of adrenaline left to get your juices flowing.

Several years ago, my husband and I took up kayaking. Sitting in that boat, with only eighteen inches of fiberglass between me and whatever was swimming below, was terrifying. Until it was exhilarating. By the time we were heading back into shore, riding the waves, I was whooping and hollering like a kid again.

And It. Felt. Amazing.

Here’s a commandment to live by: “Thou Shalt Scare Thyself.” Find something that scares you, even a little, and do it. You don’t have to jump out of a plane, maybe just try Thai food. Or go left when the GPS says go right. If you’re really feeling wild, sing karaoke. I promise you won’t die of embarrassment, and it’s a hoot!

Scare yourself, dare yourself, a little every day. Suddenly, life not only won’t seem scary, it’ll be a lot more fun.

Award winning author, speaker, humorist, and teacher, Mary Fran Bontempo has been writing for and about women for over 25 years.  Her latest book, “The Woman’s Book of Dirty Words,” is available on Amazon and BarnesandNoble.com, along with “Not Ready For Granny Panties—The 11 Commandments for Avoiding Granny Panties,” published in 2012, and her first book, “Everyday Adventures or, As My Husband Says, ‘Lies, Lies and More Lies.’”

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