I was so excited there was another snow day I couldn't sleep. I knew I would have no regrets if I made it to my Tuesday/Thursday gym class at 6 AM, so I got up and thought I would brave the weather to walk the 3 blocks to the gym. As I opened the door, I grabbed the umbrella- it was raining a little. I knew it would be slick, so I put on my best traction snow boots and stepped outside- and almost fell. There was nowhere I could put my feet that wasn't a solid sheet of ice.
That should have been my first clue to stay home. But I'm stubborn, so on I went.
The second step was the same at the first. Thank goodness for a handrail. At this point I could go for the snow, so I took a little leap and could finally stand in the shin-deep snow. Have you ever been grateful to walk in shin-deep now? I was. After walking across the snow-yard, I make it to the sidewalk. I'm not sure what was a better situation, parts of the sidewalk had been shoveled, and now had a nice flat ice surface to skate on, or the parts of the sidewalk that had not been shoveled and had a bumpy ice surface you might be able to find a little traction on. I used my umbrella like a skier's pole and walked on the sidewalk about 100 feet. I didn't fall, but I did have the thought, "Maybe I should turn around..." but then I kept walking. "Let's see how the next block is..."
My adventure on the ice at 5:30 AM in the dark was underway.
What is adventure? Was it going to Costa Rica and zip lining in the rain? Was it birthing children? Getting married? Or that time I stood up to a bully in junior high - albeit I know I was a bully to many- ? Was it playing "Don't let the parents see us" as me and my sister sneak through the living room and up the stairs to Gaga's bedroom? Was it a snow day, building an igloo in a forgotten Missouri winter?
Yes, yes and yes. Adventure is when you are staring at something and think, "Let's do this." That feeling in your heart and stomach that feels excitement and fear at the same time. And it calls to all of us. It beckons like Sean Penn in the movie Walter Mitty. It called to me two years ago when I wanted to go back to teaching. To go to Sweden. To say yes to joy. To blog my thoughts. To ice skate to the gym. To quit teaching.
You see, I never made it to the gym. I tried walking on the road and got splashed by 6+ inch deep puddles when the cars drove by (it was also still dark- not a good idea). The sidewalks-to-roads were impassable pathways, either because of over-the-boots standing water, shoveled-snow-ice-mountains, or slick-as-snot-sidewalks. I gave up. I walked in the shin-deep snow where I could, used my makeshift walking stick when needed, and made it home. I sacrificed my Morton's course sea salt from my kitchen cupboard to make sure my family doesn't fall on those first few steps (Every store is out of ice melt of course). I made some Chai tea and rested. My children will be up in a hour, and insanity will ensue until breakfast is served. We will play, dance, scooter, cry, change diapers, eat, bake, and watch TV.
It will be my adventure today.
I'm not teaching again when the school year is over. I'm staying home, and I'm excited and fearful at the same time. Teaching was exciting, stressful, fun, and gave me more growing pains than I need for a decade (Note the subtle symbolism from the above paragraphs as needed). But I'm looking at things differently now. A longing to stay home. I keep thinking, "Let's do this." You win Sean Penn. (That should be on t-shirt)
What's your next adventure? Is is a crazy road trip to meet up with college friends next fall? Is it potty training a 3 year old? Is it going to Africa?
For me, it's yes, yes, and yes. (No immediate plans for Africa, but it will happen one day...)
Say yes. Another friend named Sean would say, "Say yes AND..."
I don't know what the AND is, but I'm excited to find out.