Life’s an Adventure

So I’m completely exhausted. In preparation for my dancing debut (shoot me now), I’ve been logging two hours a night trying to learn the cha-cha. My partner is absolutely amazing, a great teacher and all around wonderful guy who is more patient with me than I deserve. But he pushes me hard, and I fall into bed at night aching and sleepless, with dance steps replaying in my head on continuous repeat. I’m getting better (I hope), but it drives me crazy that my improvement is slow at best. Hmm… Didn’t I blog about this recently? I’m so hard on myself.

Anyway, I told you I’d be posting about the second half of my personal epiphany today: we’re too hard on each other. But I’m afraid something else has taken precedence again. What can I say? My train of thought is obviously runaway.

It struck me this week that as I continue to try to get a handle on what it means to live a simple life, God keeps heaping things into my lap. I feel a little like my own personal assistant, sifting through the possibilities and attempting to ferret out the things that are worthwhile–that are meaningful or important or God-ordained. When a new opportunity gets added to the pile, I can assess it from a bit of a distance… but there inevitably comes a point when reality hits and I’m stuck living out of an agenda book that seems anything but simplified.

Wouldn’t it be easier to just say “no”? To pull back from everything and streamline my life? When I started studying simplicity, I believed that was the answer: paring down my never ending To Do list. But I’ve come to the conclusion that there is much more to it than that. More importantly, I’ve decided that taking such a “one size fits all” approach (i.e. cutting things for the sake of a self-imposed austerity of life) is foolish at best, and downright damaging at worst.

Guess what? As much as I long for a sense of simplicity, peace, and inner contentment in my little world, life is an adventure. I get one go-round on this swiftly tilting planet, and I don’t want to waste a moment of it. Is this dancing gig eating up hours in my week and adding a thick layer of complexity to everything? You bet. But, on the flip side, am I loving it? Am I appreciating the fact that this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance? The sort of opportunity that I’ll likely never have again? You bet on all those counts, too.

And so it continues… Opportunities arise. The phone rings. My email inbox pings. And while I think it is important to learn the fine and lasting art of saying, “no,” I can’t help believing that the other side of this carefully balanced scale of a wild and wonderful life is learning to say “yes.” Yes to things that will stretch me and make me grow. Yes to new adventures, even if they seem hard or challenging or risky. Yes, even sometimes when I want to say no… because my days are numbered. And I want to suck the marrow out of each and every one of them.


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