The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.”
I get it, you have to make a living, pay the bills, take care of your responsibilities, the kids and think about the future. That’s a lot of stuff to take care of. You don’t have time for anything more. So you settle for your predictable daily life routine.
Road to Perdition
Everyday, hardworking people like you and me settle for a less than fulfilling life where your biggest adventure is deciding what you will have for diner or what color socks to wear. You are suffering from “common life syndrome”.
Don’t panic! Common life syndrome is curable. Typically Symptoms include but are not limited to
- Feeling like life is ordinary and routine.
- NOT living your life to the fullest
- Making little or no time to do things outside of your responsibilities. Things that matter to you and just might make you happy(er).
- You endure the common life syndrome because you see it as a kind of sacrifice for the GREATER GOOD of you and / or your families future.
- You believe HAPPINESS and FULFILLMENT will come LATER right?
Is this all there is to life?
You’re only human and as time passes, a lot of time, you realize this is just not sustainable. Eventually you start to get fed up with the monotonous routine of it all. That’s when you begin to wonder if this is all there is to life? Where is the adventure, excitement and fulfillment in it all?” You know you need to do something, anything to break up your daily routine but you don’t know how, what or don’t think you have enough time so you do nothing.
MEDIOCRITY: AND ROUTINE
It may sound over dramatized but that is exactly how I felt a few years ago. I felt like I was stuck in a rut. It all felt very dissatisfying. My daily routine WAS my life while my dreams, passions and any sense of adventure were fast becoming distant memories. I complained and moaned to myself but that’s all I did. Between work, the kids, cooking and cleaning, I was just too busy to make time to change and too paralyzed by my routine and comfortable lifestyle. I often wondered if this is what golden handcuffs feel like.
But Like the frog who sits in a pot of slowly boiling water and doesn’t jump out, life slowly became what it was so I just sat there. I probably would have kept going like that but as luck would have it, I received the equivalent of a blast of cold water to my face that shocked me into change.
CATALYST FOR CHANGE
The catalyst that shocked me into change came in the form of a bittersweet situation. Both my husband and I were laid off on the same day during a recession and during some of the highest unemployment rates in history. As scary and hard as it was, it was the break we needed to get us out of our rut and we began to see this bad situation as a way to rebuild a sustainable lifestyle while maintaining and fulfilling our need to have a safe family life.
LIFE SHOULD BE AN ADVENTURE
Overnight we had to do what we should have done a long time ago but never did. We had to rethink the way we did things, how we spent our time, money, how we lived our life and MOST importantly we had to change our routine.
In a way our life suddenly became one big adventure. Everything we were doing was like exploring uncharted waters. It was new, risky, daring and exciting. Changing old habits gave us a new perspective on life and both my husband and I started putting more focus on doing more of the things we used to put off for later.
Baby Steps: Little adventures
We began to get adventurous. But just a little. I say a little because not every adventurous thing we did was earth shattering. In the beginning just changing up little things was enough to appease us. it’s hard going from living a very practical and safe life to one where you break from the norm and start doing things that actually fulfill you in other ways than just your basic needs.
My husband started writing that book he always wanted to write ( In progress) among other things.
I worked on my own bucket list. (here are some examples from my life)
- Sports & Health: I took up kick boxing
- Food: became a better cook ( maybe even gourmet level , I wish)
- Hobbies: I learned how to sew
- Hobbies: I improved my HTML skills and learned to take good photographs.
- Entrepreneurship: I turned my hobby into a home business and started making specialty sleeping masks.
- Kids/ Hobby: I learned how to crochet cute things like sushi and animals with my son.
- Leisure: I took walks.( I never did this)
Eventually my husband and I got bolder and we decided to do something really adventurous but it took us over 2 years to get to that point. In 2010, We left our home in California to replant seeds on the east coast. We Spent a year living like vagabonds in Montreal and Maryland.
Then in 2011, we got even more adventurous. As of this writing, we are spending a year abroad in France with the kids, also known as a sabbatical, career break and adult gap year. If we can swing it, we’ll stay longer but that’s a whole other story.
ADVENTURE IS THE CURE:
The point to all of this is life is too short. Don’t wait until you are forced to change like we did. Your choices will be limited.
If you feel like your life is too common or boring do something uncommon and adventurous today, now. You don’t need to travel the world or do anything TOO adventurous. Even small little changes to your daily routine can make your life more enjoyable.
- Wake up earlier to take a walk.
- Start a new hobby.
- Ride your bike to work.
- Change your eating habits. ( I gave up carbs for a week, crazy I know)
- Make more time to do the things that matter. ( I started reading for pleasure again)
Then if you feel up to it, work your way up to the big adventures you never thought you would ever get a chance to do.
I’m not saying adventure is going to fix everything but it’s a good step in the right direction. And most of all, it will make your life feel less common and more meaningful.
Just remember, adventure is everywhere and you can weave adventure into the daily fabric of your life. Even a conventional life.
Best of all, Its an all natural remedy for the common life.