On Y Va … Let's Go!

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“It’s when you’re safe at home that you wish you were having an adventure.   
When you’re having an adventure you wish you were safe at home.”
-Thornton Wilder

Ah yes.  An adventure always sounds best when we’re bored, blue, or beginning a new year with old friends who have heard us talk about going on safari, learning to tango, moving to Las Vegas, or opening our own café ever since we were kids.

Adventures require a combination of imagination, information, and inspiration.  Seldom do we set out on an epic adventure without something or someone setting our soul on fire.

Of course, mini-adventures occur daily.  It’s just that we may think of them as “plans gone awry” or “stress fests” instead of opening up to the opportunity they may present.  Consequently, we may try to avoid “adventures” all together.

Adventures demand more than our average attention to detail, time, place, and purpose.  Mindfulness is mandatory.

Once we leave our comfort zone and enter the “adventure zone” there are an infinite number of things to keep track of.  Things like, “Where did I park my car?”,  “Who came with me?”, “Where am I?”, and “How much is this going to cost?” can squelch the joy right out of an adventure if we are not prepared.

And yet adventures are what keep us alive.  They keep us hungry for an existence that extends beyond our age, income, and gender.  They give us something to look forward to for two weeks out of the year or any time in between, if we’re lucky.

I remember when my sister used to live in Southern California.  I was living in Texas and would head west every chance I got.  Once there my life seemed to transform from this rather bland work-a-day routine into an exciting wonderland of sights, sounds, tastes, and tactile experiences. 

Suddenly everything was new – surfers, sand, palm trees, pink houses with purple shutters next to yellow houses with green doors, tofu and green smoothies were all part of Planet California. My enthusiasm must have been contagious since all kinds of characters tended to show up and “friend” me.

It seemed so different from my life in Grapevine that I didn’t want to miss out on any of it. I’d promise myself when I’d return to Texas that I’d seek out the thrills there as well.  Every day would be an adventure! 

That promise usually lasted as long as the plane ride home.  As soon as I’d step onto familiar turf, life lost its luster. The same thing tends to happen with self-improvement seminars.

I suppose that’s what prompted the big move to The Land of Enchantment.  That, or the fact that I was thirty, single, fearless, and had yet to embark on a series of self-improvement seminars.   I left a steady job and a social support system in search of a life that required full engagement and participation.

What I didn’t know when I opened myself up to full throttle living was I also opened myself up to a host of  accompanying experiences that I had no idea were part of the package.  If I had, I might have reconsidered the whole thing.

Years later I’ve learned that every day is an opportunity to reinvent some part of my life.  I can live large in small areas of my life.  I don’t have to leave home or remodel it to do so.  Although remodeling helps.

This year my big adventure has been to write 500 words a day for 31 days.  Ironically, doing this has the same impact on me as the palm trees, pink houses, and rollerblading on the beach did years ago.  And, the best part is, you are now part of the adventure as well.

On y va!*

*On y va  is one of my favorite French phrases or one of the few I remember from my time studying in Québec. It means “let’s go!” but sounds way more enticing, n’est-ce pas? When my nieces were little I’d always say it to them when we were off on a grand adventure just as we are now.

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