James and I have been married for just over 21 years. When we were engaged we discussed our hopes and dreams of the future together. We envisioned a family, success, happiness, order, service, and love. It’s not that we were completely naïve, but we certainly didn’t know exactly how challenging life would be.
One of the bigger challenges we’ve faced has been moving so much. We’ve slowed down considerably in the last 10 years (averaging 2-3 years in a location). All in all, we’ve moved 25 times in our married life. It’s been really difficult on me. First of all, moving is HARD! I don’t think I know anyone that loves packing up all their things, taking them to a new location, and unpacking and getting settled into a new home. Sometimes it’s more exciting (like when you’re moving into a new home you really love) and sometimes it’s really difficult (like when you’ve lost your job and you need to move in with someone until you can pull things together). Regardless, it’s always a really big job. Add to that the fact that you never really feel like you fit in anywhere, and it’s difficult to develop real friendships because many people (including yourself) are afraid to really reach out because they fear history will repeat itself and you will be moving again very soon. Yes. Moving is really, really difficult!
Some time ago, I started to notice that I was making moving a lot more difficult on myself because of my bad attitude. I realized that having constant melt-downs and negative feelings wasn’t helping anything. I decided to change my entire outlook on what moving was. I started by calling it an “adventure”. Because an “adventure” is a lot more exciting than simply “moving”.
I’ve experienced many “adventures” since choosing to use that word to describe difficult things. Any time I face something exceptionally challenging and difficult I take a deep breath and say to myself, “Okay! This is going to be an adventure!” And then I push forward hoping to come to the end of my “adventure” triumphant and successful.
I view “adventures” as something really difficult and perhaps even risky that has the potential of providing a spectacular outcome or reward. Pursuing an “adventure” means you are embarking upon a journey that could be dangerous and challenging. It requires taking a chance. And most importantly, it requires moving forward in complete faith that the outcome will be worth the challenges you endure.
Recently, a friend pointed out to me that many people don’t view adventures as I do. Most view adventures as “a trip to Disneyland, or white water rafting, or climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.” She told me “an adventure is voluntary thing, something you save for, and plan for and enjoy as part of the “dessert section” of your life.”
Under that definition, an “adventure” sounds like fun, right?
And let’s face it: if adopting three orphans from Ukraine were that type of “adventure”, everyone would be doing it!
So, if most people view “adventures” as really fun outings, then I’ve changed my mind. This is NOT an adventure I’m on.
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