The other evening, while sitting on the couch after bedtime…Ahhh, at last an opportunity to do some deep couch sitting, I said to Chris, “You know the Dos Equis Guy, the Most Interesting Man in the World? Well I feel like the opposite of that.”
Chris raised an eyebrow, “What do you mean? You survived a bank robbery this week.”
That definitely elicited a chuckle.
I did happen to be at a branch office while a bank was robbed on Friday. ACTUALLY an exciting and interesting experience. A demand for cash – a swift response to silent alarms – a getaway and police chase on foot through dimly lit alleyways – a wipe down of the whole property, crime scene tape and all – news vans and on scene reporting.
But the thing is, the exciting bank robbery isn’t what is top of mind.
For some reason something as unusual and salacious as a bank robbery floats right out of that space between my ears. Instead, that space is filled with thoughts about toddler mealtime routines, laundry and conference calls. My calendar is packed between 6AM – 8PM yet has a string of available slots on weekend evenings. And when someone asks, “What’s new?” My gut reaction is, “Nothing much, the normal routine.”
My life is a far cry from the upbeat nightclub scene and the man in the perfectly tailored suit with just the right amount of disheveledness and a beard with just the right amount of grooming who recalls times of freeing an angry bear, catching marlins, and winning tense South American arm wrestling matches all while looking his best and being surrounded by beauty and youth.
You know what…you’ve got nothing on me most interesting man!
If we pan to the most interesting and adventurous moments of my life…
I am swimming under a magnificent waterfall in crocodile infested waters and climbing out unscathed.
I am skydiving with a view of the Atlantic coast and landing gracefully in a field of wildflowers.
I am climbing the highest mountain in Central America and admiring the view of both oceans.
I am sipping cocktails on a yacht in the Persian Gulf and exploring the creation of new islands.
I am hitching a ride up a mountainside in Italy and arriving at a picturesque Tuscan villa.
It’s undeniable, these moments were exhilarating and enjoyable and I am having just as much fun reliving them right now, in the comfort of my neighborhood coffee shop. But some of these things were just plain stupid. In full disclosure – I did not know about the crocodiles until I got out of the water and you better believe I did not get back in! Crocodiles aside, it has been a while since I did something THAT adventurous; I mean 2.5 years feels like ages ago.
Yet I DID choose this life
A life that is more low-key. I specifically picked out a quiet neighborhood with a mix of suburban and urban elements in which to raise our boys. I recently chose to move to a new role at work that would limit travel and exclude international travel altogether. But is my life really lacking adventure? I think not.
Stuffing twins into life jackets and maneuvering the whole family into a canoe has to be equivalent of – if not more difficult than – freeing an angry bear.
Completing a diving catch as your son jumps off of the table that he so artfully scaled (with the help of his brother as a stepstool) produces the same amount of adrenaline as jumping out of a plane.
And what makes those adventures so memorable anyway?
Sure, the experiences themselves created an atmosphere of risk and growth that alone makes them memorable. But it’s REALLY the people I experienced them with that make them the most memorable. And it just so happens that the memories of playing in mud puddles and taking the boys down the BIG slide at the playground are just as special to me as the glamorous ones.
Could this stage of life be a little more glamorous? Provide a little more raw adventure? Sure. If the only things I’m missing are a teensy bit of glamour and a teensy bit of raw adventure that can be easily fixed.
Schedule an eyebrow wax – check.
Rent Vespas for exploring the eastern seaboard on our anniversary trip – check.
Make reservations with another couple for dinner at a bustling wine bar – check.
Plan a staycation day with the boys exploring our city – check.
Of course there are no guarantees about the restaurant vibe the evening we go out. And although unlikely, if I rescue a stranded baby seal while speeding around on my Vespa I’ll let you know. But my eyebrows will have just the right amount of grooming!
The more adventures I plan with family and friends, the more great experiences I’ll have.
Some memories will fade and some memories will last a lifetime. If I just put in a fraction of the effort I put into scheduling childcare into seeking adventures, the possibilities are endless. I think focusing on the adventure, the openness and quantity of opportunities for new experiences, is bound to produce those special, remember-forever moments.
And if I’m lucky, the next time someone asks, “What’s new?” Something besides my next meeting or our latest battle over sitting in the high chair at dinnertime will be top of mind – something a teensy bit more adventurous – something a teensy bit more glamorous.
I am unleashing my adventurous spirit. I am leading by example so that my boys will have a thirst for life.
Stay thirsty my friends.