How to Still Find Adventure in a Season of Routine

How to Still Find Adventure in a Season of Routine

I was asked why I started my blog and I wanted to share my answer with you. 

I started Adventure Mom out of a desire to still pursue adventure as a parent. (solo, with friends, family, or on a date)

When my kids were young, I just wanted to feel more alive again after so many sleepless nights. I really craved adventure when I felt trapped in routine. I also wanted to creatively finance my family’s fun for free. I try to inspire and encourage others by trying new experiences all the time. “Investigative journalism” has stretched me to try to model that and has led to some pretty random adventures from playing underwater Hockey to trying the luge.

So let me elaborate on that a bit.

Each of my boys did not sleep through the night for over a year during their first year of life. That meant that I was a functioning zombie for over 2 years. It’s amazing how someone can function on small increments of sleep in between feedings. During their younger years, we were in a crazy season of work/volunteer life that left me feeling a bit lifeless with the constraints of routine.

Now routine and structure can be very good, but sometimes it can make someone feel as if their life is on auto pilot all of the time. I felt like I had no control over my schedule because the schedule didn’t allow for much variety. I needed something to help shock me back to life every now and then. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my kids and there were many great moments along the way when they were young…..I just needed something to make me feel alive again too. When I felt more alive, I became a better parent.

Each new season of life comes with some degree of routine.

Breaking the routine from time to time brought me back to life. Whether it was a night out with friends for coffee, a solo visit to an art museum, a date night to a restaurant that we had never been to before, or just visiting a new place together as a family.

There is always work on both sides of pursuing adventure.

There is the prep work before and after. That looks different now that I have my site but how can that translate for you? The research, the rearranging of your schedule, the financial resources it takes to be intentional to make it happen, and how the disruption affects your way of life afterwards.

My intention vs. The Resistance

“If you want to do something bad enough you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse.”

– Jim Rohn

(My all time favorite quote)

How many times have all of us said that we want to do something and yet we don’t put a plan to action to actually do it. I’ve recognized that there are some things that I like the idea of more than the dedication to actually do them.

Two of my personal examples…. I wanted to be a cool chic snowboarder but in reality it was painful and frustrating when I only went about once a year. I either fell on my butt or face planted. I loved the idea of playing the guitar but I was unmotivated and undisciplined to learn more than a few chords. I’m also a horrible singer.

We have to get over the idea of what we want to look like and step into the reality of counting the cost to pursue things that breathe life back into us.

At the end of the day, I’ve found other activities that challenge me and breathe life back into me but I have to be intentional about the start.

We have to fight against the resistance!

Action can overcome the excuses. You just need to get the momentum rolling.

So how can you still find adventure in a season of routine?

Make time to do something enjoyable EVERYDAY!

That doesn’t have to be extreme. It could be as simple as drinking a cup of coffee with your favorite creamer, a 5 minute phone call with a loved one that you’ve been meaning to call, writing, taking a long run, a really long shower, painting your nails, playing an instrument, playing a sport, painting, taking a hike, eating a meal outside, or reading a chapter of a book for fun.

Whatever those things are that help you recharge.

Find something redeemable that you enjoy in your day.

Again, I understand the days where getting a shower IS an accomplishment when you have little ones who can put you in a constant state of cooking and cleaning. It’s still important to try to carve out at least 5 minutes for you whenever you can each day.

It might even be as simple as writing down 5 things you are grateful for each day.

Gratitude helps change our attitude.

I love this picture of my mom and my brother because they both look so relaxed and I think it captures her beauty from the inside out.

I witnessed this with my mom growing up. She was a former art teacher who chose to stay home to take care of my brother who had cerebral palsy. Taking care of my brother was physically and emotionally draining. He was non verbal and he never walked due to his physical limitations. Before he had a feeding tube for formula, it would take up to an hour for my mom to feed him baby food. He would go through multiple outfits a day. As he got older, he became heavier to lift. My mom would carry him downstairs to our finished basement so that she could do laundry and cook on one floor.

Brian 001

Her life was an endless cycle of routine… and yet she would stay up into late hours of the night creating.  She needed that outlet more than sleep.  She needed parts of herself shocked back to life. She would paint, create floral arrangements, crafts, you name it in that small craft room. I think that her faith and perseverance to create, helped her to cope with the cards that she had been dealt.

Toward the end of my mom’s life (from battling cancer), she was still creating. The cancer in her bones was extremely painful but the artist in her needed to create, to feel alive, when life was being taken from her against her will. So she began creating with her less dominant hand. As she was confined by her physical limitations due to cancer, in the very same room that was my brother’s former bedroom, she would find inspiration and art around her. One of her 1st left handed paintings was inspired by a vase with flowers that someone brought her.

Left handed painting

So what is your thing?

What is that thing that brings you back to life? That thing that has been calling you but you’ve been ignoring it, suppressing it to be an action taken …someday.

My thing is adventure. I like variety. I don’t necessarily want to commit wholeheartedly to a hobby because I enjoy sampling. When I step out of my comfort zone, I feel more alive. When I share an adventure, I connect with those I care about and create a lasting memory. When I face a challenge or a fear and still try it scared, I learn that I am stronger than I realized and that I’m braver for the next adventure. I’m in constant wonder of amazing people and places that I’ve met along the way and I’m so grateful that you’ve joined me on this journey. I’ve found what works for me and I hope that this post and my site encourages you to find what works for you.

Red River Gorge




2 thoughts on “How to Still Find Adventure in a Season of Routine”

  1. Thank you for sharing Barbara! I encourage you to take a few minutes each day to enjoy a photo walk…even if it’s just in your backyard. I totally understand the struggle between routine and recreation.

  2. This hit me where I am, knowing I need to take a shower and cook today but unable to move myself from my computer. I am almost in rebellion against my routines, including my computer routines. I do want to go get back out on photo walks. I suppose those photo walks are as close as I come to a hobby, since they encourage me to sample local art, local events, and nature. Your mother must have been a strong woman with a big heart.

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