As I reflected on my 2013 adventure list goals, I noticed that there were a lot of adventures still left on my list by the end of the year…and that’s ok. What I love is that when given the opportunity to cross something off my list, I took it. There are so many moments that are once in a lifetime that you can only experience if you take action, that moment, that time, that place.
If you have been a reader of mine for a while, you know that a big motivation for me to live to the fullest is because of the death of my brother and mother. (“Why Death has made me want to live”)
A conversation with my mom on her death bed has also fueled me. You have to understand that she was full of life but the circumstances of taking care of my brother for years, all four of my grandparents at various points in time and her own cancer chipped away from her time and zest a bit.
During my mom’s final months, she began painting again. She was an incredible artist but she had a new challenge. Her right arm had cancer in her bones which made tasks extremely painful. So she took up painting with her left hand. Her paintings created by her left hand displayed more talent than I’ll ever know. In her final weeks, she shared her talent and her prayers with those she came in contact with.
So let’s take on 2014 and let our challenges become opportunities to become a different kind of Awesome- No Excuses!
1. Sometimes if you want something bad enough, you have to overcome going alone.
Several of my most popular pictures this past year were from explorations by myself. It gave me time to think, be grateful and FEEL ALIVE. For example, there is a historic cemetery in our area that several people told me was beautiful. During a gorgeous fall day that I had a few free hours, I decided to seize the day and cross it off my list.
Here is an example of a small one. The blogger/author Glennon Melton was in my city for a book tour. What I love about her writing is that she is authentic and is REAL about challenges and embracing the BRUTIFUL. Life can be both brutal and beautiful. Was that moment going to happen again where I was available to go and she was in my city? Probably not. Other friends could not make it, so I went…by myself. I ended up being the last person in line and Glennon hugged me like we had been friends for years. We chatted for a few minutes and I was so glad I went. She inspired me to carry on despite some of the challenging circumstances we have faced this past year.
2. Do it Scared
This past year, I was blessed with the opportunity to do three separate segments on two different news stations over the course of one year! I realize for some people that isn’t a big deal but for me it was HUGE! I was sooooo nervous and wondered if I would freeze and choke. I couldn’t sleep each night before the taping. The first and second time were within the same week. There was a last minute cancellation for the second time slot and the opportunity arose. I had a bit more confidence because of the first one earlier that week but I was still really nervous. I knew the opportunity outweighed the risk.
3. Don’t put limits on your dreams
You don’t have the extra income for some of your goals. Who cares?! That’s where creative FUNancing comes in.
One of my all time favorite quotes is
“If you want to do something bad enough, you will find a way, if not you”ll find an excuse.”
How many times do we talk ourselves out of something that we want to do.
Sometimes it’s timing but other times it’s just because we don’t want to put the work into it.
I admire the people who travel the world for months at a time (like Connie) because they decided that the experience trumped the excuses.
Several years ago, I was able to get last minute tickets to see Oprah Winfrey tape a live episode with members from “The View.” That moment was a once in a lifetime. Those people gathering together during the last season of Oprah’s show was an experience that could not be replicated. There were challenges. My friend was 6 hours away, the kids needed childcare arrangement, there was a short window of time to make it happen. We did it and I have no regrets. There was a bit of a finacial sacrifice too but again I have no regrets because we recognized the value of that moment.
4. You are not to old to start
Ok, so there are some things that you can’t go back in time to do. Like little league or becoming a gymnast if you are 35 …..but there is so much you CAN do. A few years ago, I took a snowboarding lesson for the first time. I was concerned about being too old to start. I was 30 and that FELT OLD compared to the kids that I saw on the slopes. My snowboard instructor told me something that shattered that mindset. He said his oldest lesson taker was in his 80’s!
80’s!!!! He valued challenging himself to experience new things over the excuse of the why not.
The key word is to START! Get moving and get out of neutral. Baby steps…any step to start momentum.
5. Don’t allow fear to stop you.
I’m scared or intimidated to try A LOT of my adventures but each time I face my fear, I have more confidence for the next thing. I have even witnessed that in my kids as they face their fears and also don’t put limits on their dreams. We’ve been blessed to share so many incredible experiences that they truly do believe the sky is the limit.
6. Find people who get you and who challenge you to dream big.
There are people who don’t understand me, the way I’m wired, and why I’m passionate about living to the fullest. Some of those people are closest to me but that doesn’t stop me. I can’t let their disapproval or misunderstanding of my motives stop me because I’m more concerned about their opinion. I would have missed out on so many incredible experiences these past few years if I would have paused to filter whether I thought everyone would approve. I’m choosing to enjoy and live my live to the fullest. That can look different than other peoples visions and that’s ok. I also have people in my corner who do understand me, encourage me and push me when my insecurities start to hinder me from moving forward. Going back is not an option.
7. When you step out of your comfort zone, you make comfortable people…uncomfortable.
When you see someone go for a goal, it challenges you to evaluate what your doing, question why you haven’t gone after your dream, and lean on excuses. I have a friend that has lost a lot of weight. Observing her transformation has challenged me to think about what is getting in the way of my healthier lifestyle goals..time, laziness,excuses.
What you do with that uncomfortable feeling is what matters. Do you step up and improve your life or do you try to sabotage and bring that person down so that you feel more comfortable? It happens all the time. Sometimes people might not even realize they are doing it to someone else.
Use that uncomfortable feeling to bring positive change.
8 Add to your list all year long and be open to new experiences with different subcultures.
So many incredible experiences that I had this past year were not on my original list. I found out, from my friend Heather, about a Wolf Encounter. We added it to the list and we later experienced it. We tried this incredible ropes course inside Mega Cavern, I went to art shows, plays and other places that I didn’t know existed when I wrote my original list. Some of the most interesting people I’ve ever meet were from subcultures of hobbies that I normally would not come in contact with.
9 Opportunities take Action. Your list is your list. Live your OWN dream!
Should is a lame word because it implies feelings of guilt and shame. What are your interests and talents? Comparison is the thief of joy and don’t allow comparison to others keep you from becoming the best you!
For example, cooking is not something that I’m naturally passionate about. I LOVE to eat good food but I just don’t have the gift or passion for creating incredible meals. Unfortunately, I still have to cook for my family so I can make the best of it but I’m ok with not being awesome at it.
When you are passionate about something the work doesn’t bother you as much. I put in A LOT of hours into this blog but it’s something that I LOVE and it motivates, intimidates and challenges me all the time but it’s my passion.
10. Set Goals BIG and small and share the experience with people you love when you can.
ALWAYS have something to look forward to. It could be as small as taking time to drink your favorite coffee in front of your favorite landscape or taking time to plan a game night. Don’t just wait for an event once a year to look forward to. Find beauty in each day and always have something on the horizon coming up soon.
I decided to look back on my adventure list for 2013
I didn’t do them all but I also had the added bonus of many adventures that were not on the original list.
I would not have dreamed that I would have been able to be able to cross off so many this past year.
I’m going to continue to add items to the list because even though I didn’t do all of last year’s, I still have so many incredible adventure memories shared with my family and friends because I set goals and took advantage of opportunities to accomplish them.
One of my favorite things to do is a share a first time experience with someone. It could be something as little as sharing someone’s first time driving a golf cart. There is magic in the firsts.
2013 Adventure List
Cross country skiing
*take the boys tubing at a ski resort
*take the boys snowboarding
Anti gravity yoga class
Run a marathon- hesitant to write that one down
*Do another type of sprint triathlon
Adult hip hop class
Belly dancing class
* try crossfit
Paint your own picture with a group class
Blow glass art
Make pottery (I halfway did this one so I won’t cross it off until I have a finished product)
Create art regularly in honor of my mom
Meet regularly with friends to make something from Pinterest
(Specific places or Adventures)
City Museum in St. Louis
Go up in St. Louis Arch
Visit world’s largest treehouse in TN
Take pictures with Superman at Metropolis,IL
Fair Oaks Dairy Adventure
Haiti for a humanitarian trip
*former subway tour at Cincinnati Museum Center
*visit the “Christmas Story” house in Cleveland
*Stay in an ice hotel
*Jubilee experience at Gulf Shores
(Not specific places)
Stomp the grapes
Nascar ride along experience
Watch a drag race
Go to an unexpectant destination for vacation
Trip to a destination riding on a train
Amish buggy tour ride
Ride in a Zorb ball
*Regularly volunteer at an organization that assists the poor
(We visited Buffalo Trace that isn’t on the “official” trail)
*Ride on a Zamboni
Attend the Kentucky Derby
Watch a Civil War Reenactment
Host a street party to get to know my neighbors
*watch a moto cross style event
(In or On Water)
White water rafting (partial – went downtown South Bend)
Cable wake boarding
Sailing on a smaller sail boat where I have to help
Fan boat ride
Swim with a dolphin
Swim with manatee
Group speedboat ride
Underground Cave Boat Tour Bowling Green,KY
Jump on a blob
Shark cage experience
Shoot clay pigeons
Indoor Sky Dive
Successfully find a geocache
Segway Tour in a big city
Hot air Balloon ride
Fly in a small plane
*climb a volcano
*Tree climbing adventure course
Progressive dinner with friends or at several restaurants
Dinner in the Dark (blindfolded meal)
Eat at least one restaurant listed on Man vs. Food and Diners and Dive and Drive ins ( maybe even try a spicy food challenge..maybe)
Sushi making class
Pasta making class
Wine tasting class
Grow an herb garden
Make one new recipe a week (….baby steps)
*Eat at a restaurant where you sit on the floor
**New 2014 Adventure list Additions
Take an adult ballet class
Take a surf set class
Take kids to Mammoth Cave
Attend a UK basketball game
Revisit Red River Gorge with kids
Go to the Columbus Zoo
Take kids to the Indianapolis Children’s Zoo
Ride on a gondola
Go to Football Hall of Fame (for my boys)
Visit Put n Bay
So here is the start of the running tab. I reserve the right to add to the list as my curiosity continues to become aware of new places and experiences to try.
Some are way more ambitious than others, but I figured I might as well go with the quote:
“Shoot for the moon and if you miss you are still among the stars”
Travel wise I would love to go all over the world but I’m willing to start a little smaller. The list could really go on and on…….this is just scratching the surface . So I guess this is my start but I don’t ever want to stop adding.
Remember a “Goal is dream with a deadline.” Don’t let time get away from your dreams.
Even if you don’t achieve all of your adventure list goals in a year, you can still create a lot of incredible memories.
What’s on your “shoot for the moon” list? What should I add to mine? Who wants to join me?