We all need some adventure to spice up our lives occasionally. We see this need in male children as they explore, test their physical prowess, role play, and go off in flights of imagination. As a child I loved exploring the woods at the end of Silver Mine Road. There were remnants of an old excavation in the hillside, piles of wooden planks left to rot, and the thought that maybe someone had struck it rich…or not. Down the hill from the “mine” was a bubbling stream, flanked by garter snake nests, ferns and boulders. It was my private world, my personal adventure.
Before World War II over 40% of the American population lived in such rural surroundings. For them daily life itself was an adventure, sometimes full of risk and uncertainty. Drought, floods, attacks by wild animals, plowing, harvesting, milking, livestock, mining, and simply surviving disease and early death made life risky.
As more people in suburbs and cities removed themselves from the wildness of nature, they’ve taken radical steps to find adventure. A first many could not afford to travel to foreign lands, so world’s fairs and international expositions brought the exotic to their doorstep. Eventually world’s fairs gave birth to the modern theme park and theme vacation concepts. These permanent installations fill many people’s need for adventure where no one gets hurt, the risk is more in our imagination, and we get to expand our horizons a bit, albeit artificially.
But maybe we’re too focused on the need to go out of our daily routine for adventure. Most families can ill afford such expensive outings anyway. If we look carefully we will find plenty of adventure in our daily routines.
With a perspective of finding wonder and awe all around us, we can turn each day into one filled with adventure. For example, a friend of mine is turning her estrangement from her narcissistic husband into a new life for herself, full of promise and personal growth. And she’s invited her friends along for the ride…and what a ride’s it’s been!
A great issue for a client and coach to work with is our need for adventure. Is it being met? Are you able to find it daily, in the simple tasks of your life such as cooking, cleaning the house, homework, catching the train or meeting a new client? Life itself ought to be an adventure that engages every part of us. We needn’t retreat to a theme park for any more risk and excitement than today already brings.
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