Living Life Large

Bath Time AdventureHere’s the deal:  Life is what you make it.  The Adventure is where you find it.

As a child, every bath is an under water adventure.  Every pine tree is a potential fort.  Every mud puddle a new discovery.  We find excitement in the every day.  We relish in the little things.  Why?

268I think part of the reason is that all things are new to us.  When you reach the age of 50, you’ve taken over 18,000 baths or showers (assuming you are fastidious about your hygiene).  At some point, there are no more grand discoveries below the bubbles.  But, is that really true?  Aren’t there always sea monsters lurking below the deep?  I propose there are just as many undiscovered treasures today as there were when we were three.  We simply stopped looking.

Our lives become regular acts of function.  Our activities, if they don’t serve a purpose are assigned to the column of “wasted time” or “foolish endeavors”.

Look at a 4-year-old as she walk down the sidewalk. Do they simply put one foot in front of the other?  Do they see this mode of transportation as nothing more than a means to take them from Point A to Point B?  NO!  They hop.  They skip.  They wander from one side of the pavement.  They intentionally splash the mud puddle.  They walk on the grass instead of the path laid out by grown ups.  It isn’t just a walk…It is a grand adventure.

When is the last time you watched your neighbor get their paper from the mailbox?  Did they hop to the curb, twirl around twice and reach into the box with a flourish?  Of course not.  They are too old for that kind of foolishness.

174Some of the happiest people I know are children because they see life as an adventure.  They go through each day with energy and pizazz.  And we could learn something from them.  Where we see yards that need mowed, they see a jungle that holds dangerous lions and exciting discoveries.  Where we see walks that need shoveled, they see a winter wonderland of fun and magic.  They look beyond the mundane and see the new and exciting.

I propose that we live this day to its fullest.  Today we strut with our heads held high, instead of walking with the weight of the world on our shoulders.  Today we sing our favorite song loudly and slightly off key when we are in the bath, instead of mindlessly performing our routine of wash, rinse, repeat.  Today we wear clothes that are garish and bright and do not match because we like them and for no other reason.

500If this is too much for you, start small.  Wear miss-matched socks.  Swing by GoodWill and find the ugliest tie you can buy for $1.99.  Wear your tennis shoes with your suit.  Sprint to the car and then hop up and down until your are out of breath.  Eat your toast…up-side-down!  (I know, whacky, right?)

Life is an Adventure.  Unfortunately, too many of us have stopped living it that way.  Instead of a great mountain climber, we’ve become an old retired Sherpa.  Instead of a deep see explorer, we’ve hung up our fins and snorkel.  It’s time to come out of retirement, if for no more than one day.  It’s time to get the gear down from the closet.  It’s time to make life grand again:  One hop, skip and jump at a time.

The Change Challenge: Checking In

So?  How ya’ been?

Several months ago we started the Change Challenge.  We started looking at our decision making, our choices, our direction in life and realized we could alter the course of our world if we took calculated, determined steps.  Some of you took this to heart and tried it.

Some of you tried reading books.  Some of you tried having a different attitude.  Talking to family.  Eating better.  Moving more.

Some of you even gave up TV or tried to quit smoking.

I don’t know one person who has all of life figured out.  No matter how “together” we might appear, we still have areas in our life that need a little attention, that need a little focus, that need a little help.

And so, now that summer vacation is over and we’re back to the routine of life, what is the area that you will work on?  What is the struggle that needs some resolve?  What is the one thing that you can do this week to make you a better You?

The Life of Gary

“Gary” lives in frog-like bliss under the new waterfall.

Last September I bemoaned the poor frog who decided that residence in my plastic water feature was the perfect home.  I wrote about it in “A Very Shallow Gene Pool”.  In my mind, the frog, affectionately named Gary, wasn’t long for this world.

I don’t know if it is because the weather was so mild this winter or if Gary is just more hardy than I realized, but I saw him earlier this spring bouncing from one plant to another as if he hadn’t a care in the world.  We caught him once and marveled at his survival powers.  He slipped from our hands and jumped away.  I haven’t seen him for weeks and just assumed he’d found better lodging along a REAL waters’ edge.

Earlier this week I tore out the plastic water feature and replaced it with a bubbling water and rock ensemble.  Can you believe it?  Gary is still hanging out, enjoying the splash of the water in the cool of the morning!  Gary is now the size of a small goat and seems to be very content hanging out near our back door.

And Gary reminds me of life’s simple truth:  No matter the conditions, the hardship, the situation, we ALL have an incredible ability to survive.  And in some cases, we are even able to thrive.

I don’t know what you are facing today, but if my friend Gary can make the most of disruption in his life, I know you can make it, too!  Now get out there and hop like you mean it!

This is HARD Work

Never let the sun go down on a difficult situation.

Have you ever struggled with a sticky situation?

Have you ever danced with a difficult dilemma?

Have you ever wrestled with responsibility?

Have you ever grappled with a growing grief?

It’s hard work. AND, it’s work that should never be faced alone.  Facing life’s challenges by yourself is foolish.  Some burdens just can’t be carried by one.  So, surround yourself with wise people.  Develop a team of experts.  Pull in people who have faced the same tough task and came out on the other side.  Choose people you trust.  Select people you respect.  Find people who care for you and who are willing to help you through.

And when you do find this team, they will come along side, pick up the burden and walk with you.  They will make the situation simple.  They will help diminish the dilemma.  They will reduce the responsibility.  They will ground the grief.

In the end, the hard work is made easier by the strength of many.