“Adventure without risk is Disneyland.” –Doug Coupland
I don’t know how it happened. For the past seventeen years, I thought I was residing in suburbia but as it turns out, I’ve quietly been living in a comfort zone. Truth be known, I never used to live this way. I backpacked in the High Sierras during a blizzard; sailed on the Pacific Ocean; and spent the night in a sleeping bag on a cliff in Death Valley. I lived by the mantra that a life devoid of adventure was no life at all.
Then I became a mother.
My life became a series of worrisome moments as I became a poster child for the secret organization Overly Protective Mothers United. On a daily basis, my dialogue with my children contained at least three “Watch outs!”; two “Be carefuls!” and one “You’re going to get hurt!” Oh, I still hiked, camped, and sailed with my children—but not in bear country, a desert that has lived up to its name more than once, and in an ocean known for taking human prisoners during sudden storms.
But now that my children are older and I am on the cusp of what appears to be one of those big birthdays, I have decided that living my life without adventure is no way to live at all.
“Somebody ought to tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit every minute of every day. Do it, I say, whatever you want to do, do it now.” —Michael Landon
The opportunity for change finally presented itself one recent evening when my husband came home and casually mentioned one of his co-workers is a licensed hot air balloon pilot.
“That’s it!” I exclaimed without hesitation. “I want to go on a hot air balloon ride for my birthday.” And with that proclamation, I officially escaped from the confines of my comfort zone.
My teenagers grinned. “Rock on, Mom!” they said as they high-fived me over the dining room table.
As they say in the world of hot air balloons, I am now on the list. Because of weather conditions, everything is literally up in the air. I may be riding in a hot air balloon next week or months from now. I can’t wait to soar high above the earth in a tiny basket where I will surely gain a new view of not only the countryside, but more importantly, myself.
Suddenly, life is not just black and white. It is full of color, excitement, and anticipation. I am going to have another great adventure—and better yet, another entertaining story for the rocking chair one day.
As this monumental birthday approaches, I am vowing to once again live a life with few regrets and more adventure.
Stay tuned. It’s going to be a wild ride and that’s exactly how I like it.