I had a conversation recently about how different people handle different scenarios. Some people are very regimented, their itinerary listed and if they deviate from the itinerary the entire day, for them, is ruined. If the most amazing things come up, sure, they’re amazing, but it stresses them out if that’s thrown off their day.
My late father-in-law was one of these people. If you went to see something – the case in point for me in this one being our one trip to Yosemite with my late wife’s folks – he had an itinerary. Now, bear in mind, none of us were usually consulted on this itinerary. None of us even knew there was an itinerary. Yet, there it was.
I don’t say this as an insult to the man. On the contrary, I assume that, being married to my now late-mother-in-law, this was a necessity or the day would have gone madly out of control. He was yin, she yang (or was it the other way around in reverse?). They balanced, even if they constantly sniped at each other through the entire thing.
Then you throw in my wife, Andrea, and the entire thing goes in a thousand different volatile directions. I have to be honest, I don’t know which category to fit Andrea into as she sort of fit both. She never wanted to go anywhere without knowing what to visit or where . . . but the itinerary was never right if it wasn’t her itinerary. Again, that’s not necessarily a bad thing unless you have four children with you. And her father. Then it goes mad. This, I’m afraid, was our sole full-family trip to Yosemite. It lasted a day.
I know what you’re thinking, no, there’s no possible way you can see everything in Yosemite in a day. You’d be right, by the way. Still, that’s what happened. Between my children wanting to spend the time looking for one of the waterfalls (that had too little water to fall, but they didn’t know that) and my father-in-law having his own agenda and my wife having her own . . . it was mayhem. The 2-3 day trip ended after one day.
I don’t act either way, really.
“Where’s the adventure in that?!” was the line that came from the person in my discussion. They’re right, too.
Since Andrea passed away I’ve talked a lot about making life far more adventurous for us. That doesn’t mean, though, that I go jump out of airplanes. (Not that I wouldn’t, but . . . well . . . maybe . . . ) What it means is that I don’t let even the little things skirt by.
I detailed a number of things we did in the last year here. 2013 wasn’t a stellar year emotionally but in terms of adventure, we grabbed it. No, we didn’t climb Kilimanjaro or hike the Appalachian trail but we did go to Folsom lake and see the ruins of the old Mormon Island, usually submerged (not now due to drought). We fed birds at a sanctuary, just did amazing things. Not all of them meet the criteria of “bucket list” things, but that’s fine.
Life is full of adventurous moments, you just need to grab them when they come. Even three years ago I sat on a couch and binge-watched TV shows with my wife. Now I feel restless if I sit for more than an hour or two watching TV. There’s always a chore to do or someplace to go.
I don’t discount the value of television and games and things, we have them. This isn’t a lecture. But it is a realization: I rode the wave of itineraries for so long I realized it’s time to throw it out. When I see something that looks like we’d enjoy it, I do it.
Therein lies the adventure.