Saturday, February 4, 2012

31 Days of Adventure ~ Recap

Day 25 | January 25

Break out of the habit

When you were young, did you ever read those books where you had to choose what decision the characters had to make at the end of every page?

Every day we face various situations and circumstances that allow us to choose to take action (or take no action). There are the safe and comfortable choices (e.g., having our favorite cereal for breakfast).

There are choices we make out of habit (e.g., driving the same route every day to work). And there are choices we make that feel riskier and have an element of the unknown.

Today, we challenge you to choose adventure. Write your own story today. What will you choose?

While I haven't really explained what exactly is in-store for my very near future, it envolves "retiring" in about 10 months, leaving everything behind (besides the dog, 2 cats and the new hubby) and hitting the road indefinitely in a 32 foot Winnebego. Since we will be surviving on a set income (the husband's retirement) we will most likely find ourselves working part-time here and there or participating in some sort of work/trade exchange. Although I actually work in a field where I might be able to pick up a temp job easily I decided to sign up for bar-tending school. I figure, if nothing else, I can be life of the party at the RV parks!

Day 26 | January 26

Reinvent your comfort zone

Adventures often require some sort of risk. Some action required that gets you out of your comfort zone, pushing your limits when all we want to do is curl up with a good book and a cup of chicken noodle soup.

Our comfort zone is constantly shifting as we grow and stretch our personal limits. You guys have been amazing this month and so we created today's adventure in celebration of stepping outside our comfort zones.

Today, choose an old comfort and add a new twist.

Maybe it's an almond butter and jelly sandwich instead of good 'ol PB&J. Or adding broccoli or bacon to your mac and cheese. It could be curling up with a non-fiction book you've been eyeing instead of your usual science fiction.

For a long time my 'thing' has been reading non-fiction. Tons of self-help, diet, spiritual, yoga, health and wellness books have occupied my time and filled my grey matter. I was {trying to be} ever improving and always challenging myself...cut out caffeine, eat more broccoli, forgive, etc., etc. And while I'm sure much of that reading 'stuck' and has helped me in many areas of my life, reading was beginning to feel a lot like work.

A few years ago I joined a small book club as a means to forcing myself to start reading fiction again. It's a lovely group of women with varying opinions and tastes...and they've really helped to open my eyes and heart. As much as I've loved The Lacuna, Devil in the White City, Middlesex, Outlander, The Frozen Rabbi...I could go on and on, it's been the camaraderie of these ladies that has had such a huge impact on my life. We've been through some highs (milestone birthdays and new loves) and lows (my divorce and the death of one member, Kathy, who is sorely missed), and even though I long for more of their time I savor every moment I get with them.

My new, new thing has been to open myself up to reading some Young Adult Fiction. Being a huge fan of J.D. Salinger (I've read everything by him, including stories written for magazines) you'd think I would already be open minded to YAFIC. But after reading all three books in the Hunger Games series and a book called My Name is Not Easy by Debby Dahl Edwardson I've changed my tune, and that is a good thing.

Day 27 | January 27

Color outside the lines

Remember the innocence and sense of wonder we had as a child? Those days when 64 colors in the box meant we had the capability to create entire new worlds?

Today, draw a picture with your inner child and see the world through their lens. Draw from scratch, or find a coloring book and draw outside the lines.

If you're feeling extra adventurous, draw something with your eyes closed then open your eyes and create a new drawing from your original.

The art of Heidi Cosner (my BFF)
Another fail...although my childhood best friend just started drawing horses again (and painting) like we did when we were kids so I'm inspired to give it a shot...just for fun.

Day 28 | January 28

No seriously, old school

There's a lot to learn from children. When we're young, life is full of adventure. We're learning new things everyday, practicing and refining our skills.

Today, relearn a skill from childhood — when's the last time you did a somersault or a cartwheel? Or finger painted? Or collected rocks and coins?

See what adventures you can reclaim today!

Here's what I found out from today's challenge...after years of being a gymnast (when I was young) I now experience *stars* when I do a cartwheel.

Day 29 | January 29

Like spring cleaning, only better

Big things happen in small steps. Even adventure.

For today, take one step toward a project you've been putting off. (You know the one.) Maybe it's cleaning out your closet or organizing your files. What about exploring a new hobby?

What's one thing you can do to inch closer toward your goal? Do it!

With our impending move into an extremely small space (a 32 foot RV seems huge until you try to fit everything you own in it) it's become imperative to start downsizing. So, in the spirit of spring cleaning I off-loaded (read: donated) 2 large bags of clothing and proceded to list several items on Craig's List. The hubby has found a home for the pool table as well as his custom bar. Yet, even with that done I am overwhelmed when I look around at everything else that needs to be done. But like the challenge says..."inch closer to your goal". If I am diligent in this we should be ready by retirement time!!

Day 30 | January 30

Explore what's on the inside.

Today's adventure is about exploring the mind. In our busy world, it's easy to lose sight of our inner wisdom, the voice of our inner sage, or even, simply, our desire to have chicken tonight instead of the burgers everyone else is craving.

Find a quiet space (or create one) where you can take 15 minutes alone. Bring a pen a couple of pieces of paper with you (yes, we're doing this analog). Start writing.

You don't need a particular subject, although feel free to write on one if you have it. Don't stop writing. Even if you can't think of anything to say — write that down. Keep pen on paper and see what comes up. Where does your mind wander? What appears on the page after 15 minutes?

My future office...
Oh boy, lately it seems like my brain just won't stop...between some major changes at my job, the impeding move and downsizing of our belongings, my desire to simplify, the need for my to start training again for a running race in September...the list goes on and on, I found this adventure to be nearly impossible. Until I decided to sit outside in the sunshine and get out of my own way. A calm came over me as I realized that ultimately, everything will be okay. That what I was feeling, with the sun on my face, was exactly what this new adventure was all about...simplifying and decluttering, not just my belongings but my mind as well. 

Day 31 | January 31

Continue the adventure

We are at the end of our 31 Days of Adventure. We've danced our hearts out and learned ten-dollar words. We've splashed in puddles and tried new foods. We've enhanced our senses and felt the wind on our skin. It's been a fun ride and we hope you've enjoyed it as much as we have.

We want to take a moment to thank you guys for joining us on this journey. We know that you made this such a success and it's been an amazing adventure for us. We've had a blast and will leave you (for now) with one final adventure and some thoughts.

First, look back at what you wrote a month ago. What did adventure mean to you? What does it mean to you today?

Next, today's adventure invites you to come up with ways to incorporate daily adventure into your life for the next 31 days.

For the extra adventurous: Take a picture of something that represents or symbolizes what adventure means to you and share it with us! We'd love to see all the different ways you view adventure.

Happy Adventuring!
Lydia + Amy

What adventure means to me...
Trying new things...even if you didn't think it'll be your "thing". 
Making a special trip to Oregon to hang out with friends.
Overcoming a fear of heights (Smith Rock, Or.)
Acting goofy with your family (Fremont Street, Las Vegas).
Crossing the finish line together (Rock n' Roll San Diego). 
Giving a friend a boost (Nike Women's Marathon S.F., Ca)!
Accepting a boost...(Tough Mudder Norcal, Squaw Valley, Ca).
Enjoying a glass of wine with a friend who is no longer with us...glad we took the time for this day. RIP John.(Sonoma, CA).
Being able to act silly. (Tahoe Vista, CA.)
Spending time with the people who make a difference in your life.  (Half Moon Bay, CA).
Zipping along...(Moaning Cavern, Calaveras County, CA).

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