I almost passed on this week’s spin cycle topic – adventure. Usually when I’ve got nothin’, I let it sit. Within a day or two the story, the slant, the spin, will come. Most of the time I get my ideas while I’m out walking.
What kept coming to me were the adventures that never came to be. The adventures I had planned that didn’t pan out. The adventures I thought I would have but sacrificed to have a family. Life does not always go the way you think it will.
I suppose one of the most adventurous things I ever did was up and move to Hawaii. Most people who read this blog probably assume I moved here to attend college. But it is not that simple. I was twenty-four when I moved here and had not attended college for several years. After three years of higher education and an epiphany that my major was not for me, I had taken a break. I was working in a restaurant in LA and a friend at work and I thought as long as we were in stall mode we might as well wait tables someplace more adventurous. We were thinking of moving to Colorado and skiing a winter or moving to Hawaii and beaching it for a year. What can I say? It was June and once we made the decision to leave, we did not have the patience to wait for snow. Hawaii it was.
My friend moved back after six months. Believe it or not, Hawaii is not for everybody. I stayed and ended up working at a place that changed my life – Bobby McGee’s. Several of the friends I made while working there are my closest friends today, 27 years later. One of my two roommates from that time was attending college and influenced my return. I started back part time, but within a year was in the full swing of it.
I double majored in Political Science and English and had hopes of graduate school and worldly travels. During my last year of college I was making plans to live in Japan after graduation when I started dating my husband (who had taken a job at, you guessed it, Bobby’s). When I first agreed to this thing called marriage and family, I did not foresee how much it would change my path.
Now my life’s adventure turns out to be the choice to have a family. Sometimes I wonder if, by the time we get them through college, there will be enough piss and vinegar left in my husband and me (and mula left in the bank)to travel and adventure like we thought we would back in the day.
Who knew the seemingly routine adventures of a mortgage and raising children were where I was headed. Certainly not me. For me, this adventure called family was not a place I proceeded to purposely; nonetheless, an adventure it has been. One I would not trade for all the travels I had hoped for.
Having a second child, buying a home, and taking in my husband’s 80+ year old grandmother all within a year? An insane adventure.
Working two jobs for the first five years of homeownership and, yeah, still raising two kids and taking care of a now ailing grandmom? A challenging adventure.
Juggling my son’s sports schedules with my daughter’s performing arts passion for many years? A roller coaster adventure.
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back,
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Searching for balance amid the many roles of mother, wife, educator, friend, sister, daughter, and somewhere, somehow a creative self? My current adventure.
For more spins, head on over to our wonderful host of the weekly spin, Sprite's Keeper.