Today, I sat down to figure out my general “to-do” list for my day off. Ugh.
It’s an uncharacteristically beautiful day outside, and believe me there is nothing I’d like more than to blow off that to-do list, and go on an adventure. But, here’s the thing about adventure. If you are unorganized and overwhelmed, adventures can lead to really bad things. Stress. Frustration. Poor decisions. Etc. Today, I’d love to pack up my car and drive away from it all, but my car is a mess, and frankly I’ve got a whole lot to catch up on.
The best thing I’ve learned on this journey of trying to live an adventurous life, is that when we use adventure to ignore life, the adventure ceases quickly and simply becomes a short escape. But, living out an adventure takes careful planning, and a whole lot of effort. My day could be spent heading to some place that I’d want to go hiking or driving aimlessly, but the fact of the matter is this would be wasted time, for several reasons but I’ll just list two.
1) When we confuse ADVENTURE for ESCAPE, we miss out on other adventures we may enjoy more.
If I were to go out and seek adventure, I’d really be seeking an escape from the things in my life that I have to do. I would be avoiding laundry, cleaning, not to mention a whole lot of purging I’d planned for today. If I avoid these things, they will be waiting for me tomorrow. If I avoid them tomorrow, they will be waiting for me the next day, and so on. You see we never truly get to avoid the effort we must put into our lives. The biggest repercussion of continuing to avoid this effort is that there will come an opportunity for another adventure one day, and we will be unprepared for it. Whether it be financially, or we can’t miss work, or we simply have put off too many things that can no longer be put off, we will miss out.
I have an extreme fear of missing out. I’m always afraid there is something better out there, or something more fun, or something I should know. I’ve on occasion allowed this fear to push me into making bad choices. Buying things on credit. Going on vacation before I had enough time off accrued. Quitting my job before I had one waiting. Jumping into a job before I realized what I was getting myself into. There are multiple ways I’ve talked myself into these bad decisions because I wanted to see if the grass was greener on the other side. I’ve come to realize that in some ways this seeking of greener grass is merely avoiding the work of my present circumstance. Which leads me to the second reason going trying to find an adventure today would be a waste of time…
2) Life should be lived, not avoided.
One way or another we all have done this. We have all wanted an out from the work being required of us. But, here’s the thing, as I’ve already established a true adventure requires a lot of work. We don’t get to miraculously have everything we want placed in our laps. In the past, when I’ve wanted to have an adventure, there was careful planning and preparation involved. My trip Italy for my 30th birthday took many years of saving, and it took almost an entire year of planning. Can you imagine, how much work that was, and I still didn’t feel fully prepared. When I finally got there, I wished I had sent more time learning Italian, and wished that I had read more about Italy’s driving laws. But, I cannot express how much of an adventure this amazing trip was.
So, what does that mean for our daily life?
It means we should expect that life will always be hard work, anything worth doing will be look like work. So, living an adventurous life will, of course, be a life where we must plan, prepare, and work very hard. Understanding this reality is our first step to actually living out that adventure.
Last post I said I’d keep a journal of the things I’m learning about living an adventurous life. I’m realizing that changing your mindset is the very first step to changing your life. Today my mindset has been challenged. I can no longer use adventure as my escape, instead if I want to live a truly adventurous life, I must make hard decisions, spend time preparing, and work very hard at changing the things in my life that keep me from true adventure.
As I said, earlier I had a plan to purge a lot of my stuff today. But, right now I’m going to purge my very first thing standing in the way of my adventurous life: my escape routes.
So, I’m off to begin laundry, clean, and keep purging as I prepare my life and myself for the adventures that await.