We were on the phone the other day with a friend who is off exploring on his sailboat for a few months. He’s a really colorful guy with a great sense of humor and shared some stories from his trip. Happily he said, “I never know what’s around the corner”, expressing a sense of adventure. I get that. Even though we’re not taking off sailing, I feel a sense of adventure. It took me 30 years to stop trying to like my uninspiring career, even though early on I knew it wasn’t a fit. Finally, I chose to walk away from the paycheck, the corporate medical benefits and whatever else was attached to all that. My medical benefits aren’t marvelous and I only made $100 this year. But that was the most exciting money I ever made because I was doing something I really and truly enjoyed. I called my tax person and excitedly told her, “I made $100, what do I do?!” and then I opened a new checking account. I feel terrific because now I have a kick-ass life doing what I love.
We’re in the same age group as our friend and we also own a sailboat. Many, many people in our age group, that have sailboats, take off for parts unknown, usually South. We have very cool friends and I’m genuinely happy for them because they’re doing what they love. That also goes for the friends I know that want to keep working, because they still enjoy their work. Or for the first time, they’re working for themselves pursuing their own ideas. After many years of following the ways of so many others, I know I don’t have to follow or share the same dream, outlook on work, retirement, or especially around anything pertaining to adventure and fulfillment. Anyway, if we all did the same thing it would be boring. Incredibly hair frizzing, massively humid summers aside, we’re staying right here. As we usually do, we’ll anchor our little sailboat in remote places, watch the stars, cook, sleep, and explore on it, for days at a time, many times a summer. For now, we’re staying put. Winters are awesome and that’s why there are fireplaces.
I wake up every day and look at who I want to be and practice all the new habits and thoughts I have as they’re becoming more second nature. I wouldn’t trade this time in my life for anything. And I’m becoming less concerned what anyone thinks of me in how I’m choosing to be. One or both of us (depending on whose idea or dream we’re talking about) might try our hand at making furniture and see if that’s as enjoyable and creative as we think it might be, there’s painting, writing, delivering talks, inspiring kids to be themselves, hosting house concerts, having our home be a canvas for our creativity, growing a small vegetable garden, inspiring others by creating a platform for stories about how others have made changes in their lives and are now impacting their own lives, their community and the world.
Adventure can be a bit disconcerting as it stretches me. It’s also exciting because I don’t know what the next step, after the next step is. As Roberto Assagioli said (I have no idea who he is, but I like his quote), “There is no certainty; there is only adventure.”