Life Reimagined with Wendy Deacon

Reimagine and Look For Your Next Adventure

July 29, 2020 Wendy Deacon
Life Reimagined with Wendy Deacon
Reimagine and Look For Your Next Adventure
Chapters
Life Reimagined with Wendy Deacon
Reimagine and Look For Your Next Adventure
Jul 29, 2020
Wendy Deacon

If your idea of adventure is narrowly defined as a young person screaming down a mountain on a bike or bungee jumping off a cliff, I invite you to consider a much broader perspective.  I believe life itself is an adventure and it's how you plan for your next adventure or how you deal with some of life's curveballs that makes up the wonderful stories that create your life's book and memories.  Adventure can mean so many things and it may be different for each person, but either way, as Helen Keller once stated, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”   So join me today as I share some of my "adventures", talk about the importance of adventuring in your life, possibly broaden your perspective a bit and hopefully inspire and challenge you to get out and try something new.

Show Notes Transcript

If your idea of adventure is narrowly defined as a young person screaming down a mountain on a bike or bungee jumping off a cliff, I invite you to consider a much broader perspective.  I believe life itself is an adventure and it's how you plan for your next adventure or how you deal with some of life's curveballs that makes up the wonderful stories that create your life's book and memories.  Adventure can mean so many things and it may be different for each person, but either way, as Helen Keller once stated, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”   So join me today as I share some of my "adventures", talk about the importance of adventuring in your life, possibly broaden your perspective a bit and hopefully inspire and challenge you to get out and try something new.

1.14 Reimagine and Look For Your Next Adventure - July 29, 2020

If your idea of adventure is narrowly defined as a young person screaming down a mountain on a bike or bungee jumping off a cliff, I invite you to consider a much broader perspective.  I believe life itself is an adventure and it's how you plan for your next adventure or how you deal with some of life's curveballs that makes up the wonderful stories that create your life's book and memories.  Adventure can mean so many things and it may be different for each person, but either way, as Helen Keller once stated, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”   So join me today as I share some of my "adventures", talk about the importance of adventuring in your life, possibly broaden your perspective a bit and hopefully inspire and challenge you to get out and try something new.

 INTRO

 I know and I get it.  You're in the middle of your workday or you're running around doing errands or you're trying to care for your older child or aging parents.  Your work environment has totally changed and everyone's schedules have been jacked with over the past few months.  Lots and lots of change that we've all had to deal with and you may not have been able to exercise like you want to.  It can be overwhelming and draining.  So what are you doing about it?  It might be hard to think about finding time in your schedule, but what are you doing to satisfy the need to nurture you and your soul in the middle of all of this?  

 Jaime Lyn Beatty is a musical artist I had never heard of, but I agree with her statement that “Jobs fill your pockets, but adventures fill your soul.”  adventures fill your soul.  I'll talk more in a bit about a broader definition of adventure but for now, I want to stick with the importance of living adventurously.  It can be easy to become complacent and just react and try to keep up with your hamster-wheel life, but if you keep going and don't do something to adjust or fix, do you really want to look back years from now and only reminisce about keeping the house clean or meeting that work deadline?

 Getting outside or doing something you consider adventurous means you get into something that takes your focus off all the other stuff, all the nonsense and all that in the end, really doesn't matter much, and lose yourself in the moment.  You have fun, you may feel challenged, and sometimes you feel accomplished.  Whatever you feel, afterwards, most of the time you're very glad you did it.  Come to think of it, I don't know that I've ever heard someone say they regretted the decision to adventure or try something new.  So going back to a previous podcast message to live curiously, I hope you don't also underestimate the positive power of living your life adventurously, because for me personally, every time I feel like I'm adventuring, I feel like a young kid on the playground or in the park.  I feel youthful, I feel confident and I feel alive.  I feel as though I can breath again and enjoy time with my family and friends.  I can enjoy the beauty around me.  I can much more easily forget or ignore the mini traumas of daily civilization.  The traffic delays, the running out of toilet paper or whatever mini-daily-hiccup-that-could-turn-into-a-fire-may-be.  By nurturing your soul and mental health, you become more grounded and reminded of your life priorities and the rest of the stresses don't end up becoming major issues.  It doesn't work 100% of the time, but I know for me, it makes a huge difference in my ability to handle the hiccups and daily fire drills.

So what do you think of when I talk about living adventurously?  Especially for those of us in our 40s, 50s or more?  For some, it may mean an activity with more risk or something on their bucket list.  President George Bush celebrated every 5th birthday after his retirement by skydiving.  By jumping out of a perfectly good and working airplane with a parachute.  He completed a solo parachute jump near his presidential library in Texas when he turn 75.  His last skydive took place on his 90th birthday in 2014, despite him being confined to a wheelchair.  Awesome.  I don't know yet that I'll add the adjective of skydiver to my life resume but I respect and love that he never appeared to lose his sense of adventure, even when he was unable to walk on his own.

Personally, I love almost any activity out in nature - that is my sanctuary - and where I'm willing to challenge myself a bit.  I'll share a bit about what I consider adventuring for me but then share other ideas that may surprise you.  If you have been around a bit to hear my stories or have a chance to visit my YouTube Channel, you'll quickly learn that I love being an athlete and playing outside and the one sport that has proven to be the most adventurous for me has been mountain biking.  I grew up a swimmer and am very grateful that my parents supported my love of being active throughout my life.  I've tried many sports but didn't really give mountain biking a try until I moved to Colorado - a geography that actually had mountain bike trails.  Which while this was wonderful and I was excited, I would say that starting my mountain biking career in my 40s - a more advanced age in the mountain biking world - has proven to be a bit more challenging than I expected and compared to what many others experienced.

But still, I'm grateful that I can ride a mountain bike and that I have a chance to have spent time peddling on some of the most beautiful trails in my life.  I can continue biking in the mountains and near the wildflowers and lakes, hopefully for many years to come.  I know that in time, I'll scale back and take easier trails and that's okay.  I just know that I want to use the time I have now, when I can do these things, to get out there when I can.  The beauty of the sights, the wonderful smell of the forest, the quiet and still sounds only broken up by the mountain stream are too good to NOT experience.  That is soul-filling.

What fills your soul?  Or what have you looked at and thought you wanted to try?   We are not getting any younger and putting off trying something new may mean it's harder to try or start tomorrow.  So what are you waiting for?  If you keep putting it off, are you really okay that you may never try it?  When you're looking back on your life, is there anything worse than thinking "I wish I would've tried___?"

It doesn't have to be mountain biking.   It can be riding a bike on a flat dirt road in the woods.  It can be walking or hiking on a mountain trail.  It can be learning to swim.  It can be swimming in the ocean off a Florida beach.  It can be almost anything that gets you moving.  What about ballroom dancing?  Or curling?  Or fencing?  Or joining a bowling league?  Just because your risk of injury may be perceived to be low doesn't mean it's not an adventure for you to get out there and try it.

You can also adventure without it being something that is considered only for an athlete. What about yoga or pilates?  All of these can be a new adventure and something that helps you feel better physically and mentally.  Maybe even feel better emotionally.  What about meditation?  That's a new experience for most and for some, it can be intimidating or difficult to quiet the mind and focus.  What about travel?  Visiting another culture and place opens up so much in your world and not only fills my soul, it actually makes me want to do it more and more and more.  To see all the other places I have not seen yet.

You may be considering a career change or expanding your family by adopting - a whole new world of adventure.  What about cooking?  This is totally adventurous for me as I was not born with the cooking gene.  I thought I was really bad at it - and probably was considered by many to not be good at it - but in the last year I've become way more risky and gutsy and tried cooking more.  I'm living curiously and adventurously…right here in my kitchen.  It started when I removed gluten and dairy from my diet and I didn't like my options so I found some amazing recipes and it ended up working out beautifully.  Now I actually am pretty good in the kitchen and it emboldens me to take even greater culinary risks.

 This spring I actually planted my first garden - another adventurous step forward!  I have never thought about starting a garden and previously thought of it really for people "older than me."  I can buy what I need.  But I was inspired by a few friends and, like many fellow Gen Xers do, I googled and watched videos on YouTube to decide on the type of garden bed I'd need, the space needed, the watering system, recommendations on what to plant, etc.  I honestly thought the seeds I planted in my little dixie cups - actually my mom did this to get me started and my dad helped clear the backyard space for and my friend Zuzana found the used raised garden bed on craigslist. Ok - so it took a village. But getting back to it, I honestly thought the seeds I planted in my little dixie cups would never sprout and yield the awesome vegetables and lettuce I'm enjoying this summer.  Who knew?!  I didn't know anything about vegetable gardening and I've had to learn a bit - like when the cucumber is ready, but it has definitely been an adventure and such a great experience that I'll definitely do it again next year - even more boldly.  

So let's get back to you.  What do you want to try?  You must define the adventure you want.  Only you know your risk tolerance and each of us has their own perspective of what risk really is.  For me, cooking is much more dangerous than any stunt I can pull while trying a new mountain bike trail but for you, cooking may be a breeze and you have no desire to try biking on a trail.  That would be a shame and I'll come back to that and hopefully inspire you to try biking on an easy trail in a future episode, but the reality is you can get hurt - physically and mentally - trying anything.  Yes, some activities may seem more likely to cause harm but honestly, even though I've fallen off my bikes and snowboard and who knows what else, one of the worst injuries I had was twisting my ankle while walking the dog on the sidewalk.  Oy.  This is something we have to watch a bit more carefully now compared to when we were 29 or 35.  You have to prepare and possibly act a bit more cautiously (I'm adding knee pads to my mountain biking attire and I am a wussie with very thick oven mitts getting items out of the oven), but it doesn't mean you have to avoid it completely.

Avoiding something or not trying it means you actively making the choice to miss it in your life.  We are getting older and it will be harder in the future.  Our bodies may not function as well in 10,20 or 30 years, so now is the time to think about it and then do something about it.  Think about what you'd be most sad or bummed about never trying when you're hopefully in your 80s or 90s and looking back on your life.  I know our time on this beautiful earth is precious and by golly, I'm going to get out there and keep trying new experiences and traveling to new places.  

If you'd asked me years ago, I never would've thought I'd be a snowshoer, a mountain gal, an ice climber and glacier hiker in Iceland, a car camper, a cook (or a decent one at least), a gardener, or heck, even a podcaster.  What new adventure are you wanting to try and will commit to planning today.  What label are you considering adding to your life resume?  I hope you'll also go check out the corresponding adventure pictures and posts on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube and comment or better yet, post a picture of your adventure or adventures.  Keep em coming.

I've posted photos of my garden on Instagram and in my Facebook group this week with an adventure challenge, so check it out and comment.

I hope today you remember the importance of adventuring in your life, that I've possibly broadened your perspective a bit and hopefully inspired you to identify what adventures you will plan and then to really get out there and try it.  To get out there and try something new.

I love reading and sharing the wisdom of others, so I'll close today with a message from Dr Seuss “You’re off to great places, today is your day. Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way.” 

Thanks again for listening and remember that it's never too late to plan your next adventure.  Keep sharing your adventures with our DestinationU community and keep focused on you and your priorities and the key steps you will take today to make today and tomorrow your best next.