Carpe Aeternum

Finding the Eternal in the Every Day

Archive for the tag “adventure”

The Hard Way

Do you remember when you were a kid and the best way to play on a slide was to climb up the slide itself, then turn around and go back down? I used to love that. Once I could make it up the slide, I never went back to the stairs. They were easier, but the other way was more fun because it was more challenging. It was an adventure. As a kid, I lived for adventure.

As an adult, I have an aversion to adventure. I still love it. I just don’t pursue it. Partly because it’s hard.

I’m not sure when I stopped choosing the hard way. Perhaps it was as a teenager when getting out of bed was the hardest thing in the world. Perhaps it was in college when everything seemed hard; perhaps I got overwhelmed and shied away after that. Perhaps it was getting a real job with a solid schedule and I had to adapt my life to accommodate that rigidity.

Whatever the reason, I tend to take the easy way out. Even when I know the harder path might be better for me in the long run. I may be rife with benefits, but being hard, it loses its appeal.

Doing things the hard way isn’t always the best way though.  Programming a report to run automatically at work which allows me to focus my energy on other things is good. It’s easier and better.

Other things are easier but neutral. Taking an elevator for example. At work I used to take the elevator all the time. It just took much less effort than climbing the stairs to the 6th floor. (Suddenly the stairs are the hard way instead of the easy way like the slide when I was a kid.) I started taking the stairs to go down, because it was quicker. I could be in my car and on the way home faster by skipping the elevator. Slightly harder but much better.  Recently, I decided to start taking the stairs up. I’m on week 3 of this, all stairs, no elevator. It’s much harder, but I am feeling more fit because of it. And I get to avoid the claustrophobia of a crowded elevator.

It’s not fun, like running up the slide as a kid, but choosing to bypass the elevator is a good thing. The hard way can be good. Maybe someday I will find a hard way that is beneficial and fun. I think I might have to become a kid again to do that.

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Brad Bellmore Gets a Life 28

When I get up in the wee hours of the morning, reruns of Andy Griffith show. A recent episode shoed Opie excited about sleeping on an ironing board suspended between two chairs. When told that sounded uncomfortable, he responded, “No! It’s adventure sleeping!”
I remember when I was a kid, or even in college when anything rough or hard seemed like an adventure. I welcomed such situations. Now they are just hard and rough. I avoid them. Is that just getting older? Is it getting wiser, realizing that the adventure is hard and often not as adventurous as first promised? Or is getting lazy, sliding into inertia that becomes impossible to overcome? Is it settling into my grave well before my death?
I want adventure. I want to welcome adventure. I wan tot not be daunted by the difficulty of a situation. I want to embrace the challenge instead.
I want to get off my couch and live. I want to get out of my grave and embrace living until I truly belong in one.

Brad Bellmore Gets a Life 26

Last week, I wrote about being alive and getting the most out of a day. I intended that to focus on doing big things, or taking more risks. However, I missed the point of being present. In the back of my head that was there; it is a crucial part of being alive or trying to squeeze the most out of every day, but I did not state that.
I have a wife and kids. Being connected with them and letting them know that I am involved in their lives matters deeply. When I consider trying to live a day well enough that I would be happy if it were my last, connecting with my family is a vital part of that. It has to happen. For them yes, but for me more. I need this. I can get a lot of stuff done and have my day still feel wasted. I can hang with my kids and not get enough done and be happy. I may regret not getting more things done. I don’t regret using my time the way I did though.
Around the time I wrote last week’s post, I had a great meal with my family. Nothing spectacular, but it was fun. It was nice. It was a great memory. The next day I thought about that moment and decided that if that was what I saw of my life when I died, that would be wonderful. It made me eager for more of those moments.

Brad Bellmore Gets a Life – 3

As I’ve written here before, I once was known for being resilient, tenacious and persevering. Somewhere along the way, that ceased to be true. I’ve given up and grown old – just like in the Weezer song. How did I get here?
I’m not really sure. I know there have been some small decisions along the way that I’m aware. Perhaps there are hundreds of them. To my recollection, there was no big decision to become like this. I always enjoyed being alive. I always longed for the fuller, richer life experiences. Just somewhere along the way I quit embracing the discomfort and hard work associated with those.
I didn’t get lazy as much as complacent. The cost of doing something exciting or adventurous didn’t appeal any more. I knew that on the other side, the payoff would be worth it. I just didn’t want to change what I was doing to accommodate it. I wanted what I had more than the new experience.
As that happened, I forgot how to fight, how to struggle for what I want. I got in the rut and stayed there because it didn’t seem worth the effort to climb out. And now that I have travelled a long way in the rut, I am trying to figure out how I got where I am. The truth is, where else would I be if I refused to deliberately change course?
So, I begin the scramble. I am climbing out of my rut. I’ve been trying to for over a year now and have yet to succeed. That’s not completely true. I haven’t succeeded in escaping my rut, but I discovered the joy of the struggle again – at least a little bit. Even simple little choices like engaging in aerobic exercise and seeing the workout through to the end have invigorated parts of me that have lay dormant for far too long. I am discovering how to persevere again, even if only on a small scale. The hardness of changing my life starts to appeal to me. It in itself is an adventure. And I’m beginning to crave it. I will somehow get a life.
And as the line states at the end of the most recent film of Peter Pan “To live would be an awfully big adventure.”

Brad Bellmore Get’s a Life – 2

Donald Miller is one of my favorite authors and with the soon to be released movie of Blue Like Jazz, I have been pondering his influence on my life. That book made me rethink many of my perceptions on Christianity. He made me consider what am I really believing in and find a way to connect my faith to my life.
To Own a Dragon, his take growing up without a father. To him, a father was as mythical a creature as a dragon. This book connected with a lot of my thoughts and feelings of growing up without a father, some of which I did not even know I had until I had kids.
Another challenge to my faith and why I believe what I believe was Searching for God Knows What. It even challenged me to think about how I express what I believe.
But, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years pushed me farther than any of the others. The basic idea of this book revolves around Don realizing that he wants to write a better story for his life. This is actually spawned by the process of creating the movie mentioned above. Anyway, it resonated with me when I read it given that my life is rather a rambling mess than a cohesive story. I felt inspired at the time to make some changes. That was short lived, mostly because the various waves of depression stemming from unemployment plowed that inspiration deep into the dirt.
But now, as I ponder how I learn to live, to truly be alive for whatever is left of my life, the movie surfaces and stokes again the fires of creating a better story. Which is what I hope to do here, both explore the process and tell the story.
And so, I set forth in quest for a life worth living and a story worth telling.

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