Saturday, March 10, 2012

A is for Adventure... Awesome? Or Awful?

Adventure is one of my seven core values. I celebrate one each day of the week, and Sunday is typically my Adventuring Day, when I dream, make plans, and carry out actual adventures!

The thing about and adventure is that you can never be sure whether they will be awesome or awful until you try it out and see...

awful Look up awful at
c.1300, agheful "worthy of respect or fear," from aghe, an earlier form of awe, + -ful. Replaced O.E. egefull. Weakened sense "very bad" is from 1809; weakened sense of "exceedingly" is by 1818.

Full of awe? That's too much, like staring directly into the sun.

awesome Look up awesome at
1590s, "profoundly reverential," from awe + -some. Meaning "inspiring awe" is from 1670s; weakened colloquial sense of "impressive, very good" is recorded by 1961 and was in vogue from after c.1980.

Just enough awe is how much we want... just some.

We want to revere our lives, but sometimes respecting it can be hard, and we may not enjoy fearing for our lives, but perhaps the stress of outrunning a jaguar was better for our bodies than the stress of sitting in an uncomfortable seat watching a giant-screen horror flick.

How do you know that the thing you're about to do is going to be an adventure? You resist it. Some part of your body cries out for it, but then resistance kicks in. Not a gut instinct telling you "No! Danger!" by that aching nag in your limbs that says, "I'll just check my email first," or "What will the neighbours think?!?"

Adventure doesn't come easy. Sometimes you can find yourself in the middle of an adventure quite unexpectedly, but the primary aspect of adventuring is hard work. You can never plan enough for an adventure, because nothing ever goes exactly as planned on an adventure. But all adventures make good stories, stories you can tell yourself to weave your own Hero's Journey, your own "Tale of Awe" - whether the experience was awesome or awful, you'll have something to tall your friends at parties and your grand kids around the fire.

“A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints.” — Wilfred Peterson

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