I love “chilling.” I love laying back and relaxing, I love having friends over for dinner and then going to bed at 930. You know what I love more? Day drinking with my girlfriends at bunch. Biking along the beach and laughing until my sides hurt. Staying up playing games with my friends until midnight (I have kids, man, I can’t hang much longer than that anymore.) Walking most of the way through a 5k, pushing my kids in a stroller as they wave to the people passing us. Playing paintball and laser tag.
I hurt the next day (or two) but I enjoy doing it. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to work up the motivation. I’m already chilled on the couch, my kids are already happily playing outside and I’m happy enough where I am. My husband comes up with these crazy ideas to go on adventures. “Let’s drive into town and get into something.” I really don’t want to do that. I want to sit on the couch and eat cheese.
I try to go anyways. Because even if it’s not fun, it’s a better story than sitting on the couch. When someone asks you “What did you do last weekend?” I hate answering “Not much, picked up the house, did some laundry.” That’s boring. Even if it doesn’t feel boring while I’m doing it; it sounds boring, even to me, when I’m talking about it. And while there’s every likelihood I’ll have a pretty good time chilling all day, there’s a decent chance that if I just get up and DO… I may have an epic time.
I’d risk having a shitty time for the chance to have an epic time, any day. Because why would we want guaranteed mediocrity? Oh no. Not me. Not when excellence is reachable. I’ll walk in the rain, miserable and cold and shivering… But I’ll get my ass to that mountain and hike up it anyways.
When I was pregnant with my first, I had ridiculous morning sickness. They later diagnosed me with Hyperemesis gravidarum, (which sounds like a spell from Harry Potter) but all I knew at the time was I was always miserable. And for like 15 of the 20 miserable weeks I didn’t do jack squat. I went to work (sometimes) and spent my lunch break puking on the floor of the office bathroom. I came home and went straight to bed. At around 15 weeks though my husband finally made a point that got my ass up. He asked, “Will you feel any better if you stay at home?” No. I’ll be miserable no matter where I am. “Then why not be miserable around people you like? Why not try to have a little bit of fun while being miserable?” So I started doing that. No, I didn’t go crazy or anything but I walked around a park, went to a few cookouts, went to nice dinners with some friends. I often slept on friends couches. But sometimes I had a good time; while being miserable.
Carpe Diem, Folks.
I refuse to say YOLO. No, computer, do not add that to the dictionary, please. I won’t be saying it again.
But seize the day. Life is short. I will not be able to run/walk those stupid 5ks forever. I won’t be able to row down a river with my babies for much longer. It’s miserable to do pretty much anything out and about with three kids under 6. But it won’t always be. And it won’t always be so damned cute to see a kid’s reaction to riding a few mild rapids. Everything in your life is temporary. Every. Single. Stage. You’ll only be a newlywed for so long. You’ll only have a newborn so long. These days don’t last. If you don’t make the most of every single one of them, how will you know what your “max” is? Where is your “maximum happiness”? What will be the best day of your life if you don’t try to make life the best it could be?
I have arthritis and am prone to migraines. I’m still recovering.from a 9 mile rafting adventure two days ago. I knew I’d pay for it. But I didn’t let that stop me. Because I’m not going to let it all pass me by.
Experience the world as it is today, Because it won’t always be this way. And our kids are going to want to know how it was.
Life is all about how good your stories are
When you’re old and gray, you won’t talk about how relaxing a vacation was. You won’t talk about how many times you binge watched a TV show. You won’t talk about any TV shows. No, not even Game of Thrones. Save your shows for when you’re recovering from your crazy time the day before. But get your ass up off the couch and have that crazy day.
Growing up, we had a very strict “Eat dinner at the table” policy. After we ate, my parents would tell us stories. (G-rated versions at least.) They’d tell us about how they got each scar. I learned about the 60s and 70s through their first hand knowledge. I know about the feminist movement in the 60s because my mom burned her bra on a bridge on the way out west. About the draft because my parents told me about the friends she lost. How the legal system can be corrupt because my dad’s friend was imprisoned for life for something he definitely didn’t do. My parents taught me about how hard it was on everyone when they implemented desegregation bussing. The riots protesting Vietnam and Civil Rights Marches. Their stories were more than just entertainment.
I learned a LOT from my parents’ stories. And I’m hoping my kids have a similar experience with my stories. I’m going to tell them about how a presidential election had to be recounted. And I’ll tell them about where I was when the planes hit the Twin Towers on 9/11 and where I was when the US declared war. I’ll tell them what it was like to be American living and traveling through Europe. I’m going to make damn sure in between these world stories, I’ll get to tell them about my adventures.
And, when they’re much, much older, I’ll tell them about some crazy ass stuff their daddy’s done, too.