"An adventurous life does not necessarily mean climbing mountains, swimming with sharks or jumping off cliffs. It means risking yourself by leaving a little piece of you behind in all those you meet along the way."
I woke up to the noise of pots and pans clanging from downstairs in the kitchen. I rolled over to see my husband laying beside me. It dawned on me then that it was mother's day and the kids were probably downstairs unattended making me breakfast. This could be interesting. Mark and I laid in bed talking for a few more minutes before I ventured downstairs to check on the progress. The menu was eggs, bacon and homemade donuts, a very ambitious menu to say the least. They were mixing up some gooey looking batter for the donuts, a recipe they had found online that not even I would tackle. In that moment I had a choice. I could choose to freak out over a messy kitchen or embrace the chaos and the adventure of my children making me mother's day breakfast. We did end up of vetoing the donuts and Mark helped them finish the eggs and bacon but I was blessed with the breakfast they made me, mess and all.
As I was helping to clean up my mother's day feast we were talking about what we should do that day. The weather forecast was warm and sunny, a glorious day. Out of the blue Mark suggested a spontaneous beach trip to Ocean City, New Jersey. My heart leaped at the idea. That would be fun. I love the beach! But then my practical mom mode kicked in and I started to calculate the amount of work, money and time it would cost me to do this day trip. The voices inside my head were at war with each other, the adventurous Heather versus the practical responsible mother. I was able to push past my head to my heart and choose adventure and had one of the best mother's day ever. It was seriously a great day with those that I love.
I am recognizing one of my biggest hurdles to choosing adventure is counting the cost. I too often stop and calculate how much work, how much money or how tiring something will be and then talk myself out of it. This is a joy stealer and an adventure killer. Yes, I am a mother of five and yes going anywhere requires a lot in this season but was the trip worth the mounds of sandy towels and bathing suits and clean up I had to do the next day? I would say yes! It was worth it for the look on Eden's face of pure delight as she ate an icecream cone on the boardwalk. It was worth it watching the boys dig up and count thirty sand crabs and seeing Sarah and Hope come to life in the ocean (the very frigid and cold ocean). It was worth it to drive three hours with the man I love listening to music, holding hands and talking about life. It was worth it to put my feet in the sand, sit overlooking the vast ocean and inhale deep breathes. It was worth the time, the energy and the money. It was worth it for the pictures and memories and moments spent together.
Not counting the cost is something I want to get better at because adventure is not just a spontaneous beach trip. I tend to think of adventure as traveling or doing something crazy. But in this season of life adventure might look different than traveling the world. Adventure might be letting the kids try that hard sounding donut recipe, embracing the mess and chaos in the kitchen (this is harder than it sounds). Adventure is going to that class at the gym that pushes me out of my comfort zone every.single.time and still going back because the feeling at the end is awesome (minus the couple of times I cried). Adventure is letting the kids build a fort in the backyard however hill billy it might look. Adventure is getting on the back of the motorcycle again even though I am scared to death. Adventure is striking up that conversation with a stranger at the gym. Adventure is doing something new not knowing if I am going to fail or not.
I want more adventure in my life.
Writing this is scary because I know I will be challenged on it. That's the way it goes.
Saying yes to the adventure will be saying yes to the mess and chaos and letting go of what it will cost me (my time, my pride, my money, my ideals). But I know adventure is worth it.
"Life is either a daring adventure of nothing at all."
"Adventure may hurt you but monotony will kill you"
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didnt' do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover."