A few months ago during my lunch break, I was taking my usual walk around campus when I noticed several stunning cherry blossom trees in the distance. To get to them meant that I’d have to journey uphill about a mile away from the building that I work in, and I was already pretty tired from walking my usual route. What if I got up there and didn’t have the energy to turn back?
I decided that I’d have to risk it. The cherry blossoms were too beautiful to pass up. If I got too tired to return? Well, I’d just have to deal with it.
The cherry blossoms were more stunning than I had imagined and served as a breathtaking backdrop to a statue of Mary and Jesus. I lingered for a while, in awe of its innate majesty before returning to my office, tired, but reinvigorated all at once.
As I reflect on this memory I’m reminded of the book that I’m currently reading, Chasing Wonder by Ginger Stache. The book is about adopting an adventure mentality, which means, challenging ourselves to do things that may be a little out of our comfort zone, but will likely be worth it.
I may not have the courage to place myself directly in harm’s way like Ginger has –like being shot at while doing volunteer work, or climbing out onto a sketchy tree branch overlooking a cliff– but I can still chase wonder every day.
Here are a few small adventures I’ve been on lately that wouldn’t have been possible without adopting an adventure mentality.
- Stumbling across a cherry blossom festival and taking the time to stop and enjoy it.
- Checking out a local free concert, and climbing up the steel stacks overlooking it
- Finding a website with free therapy worksheets to help with everything from anxiety to relationship maintenance and growth
- Experimenting with a recipe for chocolate chip cookies, even though I’m pretty terrible at baking cookies from a recipe, let alone developing my own. (Surprise! They were the best I’ve ever made)
- Buying our first house–we love it but it was a fixer upper
- Deciding to make my wedding decor from scratch with the help of my family.
- Upping my skin care routine (Two words: moisture and SPF)
- Discovering the show Zoe Bakes and giving it a shot. I love it.
As you can see, none of these “adventures” are exactly groundbreaking. I didn’t have to board a plane or spend tons of money–In most cases, it saved me money. But it did take some bravery or pushing myself beyond my default tendencies or plans. Even the last one–trying out a new TV show isn’t hard. Yet how many times do I find it easier to re-watch Gilmore Girls or Good Witch instead? What defines our adventures isn’t their grandeur, but how they influence us as individuals.
You are the only one in charge of your life. No one is going to pull you out of your current narrative and into a plane headed for the Isle of Skye, or force you to bake croquembouche for the first time. But, if they did, would you have the courage to? Or are you a little too comfortable (and perhaps even bored)?
Friends, I encourage you to develop an adventure mentality. What small tweaks can you make to your day so that it’s more exciting?