Monday, August 17, 2009

Adventure Day 26 – Part 2: #22 & #15

Not long after my invigorating and surprising news of my new job I got a shot of energy to clean up our apartment (wasn’t that supposed to have been done yesterday?). Dishes got done, ironing was defeated, garbage cans were scrubbed clean and phone calls were made. All in time to sit and relax for a half hour before Wally got home from work. Ahhhh, it felt great!

Then the relaxation wouldn’t come. No, I was way too excited! I decided to go after #22 on ‘The list’ and write 5 encouraging notes to people I’d never sent notes to before.

To some this may seem like no big deal, and for me it really isn’t one either. The reason this made it on my list is because I am an avid note writer and card sender. (I actually peruse card stores for fun and often but funny cards that are for birthdays or getting well and send them to people that aren’t getting older or sick). I’m not obsessive like some I know, but I do it more often than most. The challenge here would be for me to find 5 people I’d never sent notes to before.

I got out my stationary, extra cards and a pen and it took no time at all for me to find 5 people to write a heartfelt note to. In fact I was able to do all of these within forty five minutes (and yes, they were all ‘from the heart’!). I love writing notes, I love getting notes – I suppose some would say that is one of my ‘love languages’ (I wouldn’t know, I’ve never read the book), I just know I love to do this. I’m not sure why exactly, I guess it’s because I find it much easier to say on paper how I feel inside. It’s seems far easier to be honest that way and I value honestly – even if I can’t pull it off nearly as well in person.

#22 definitely reminded me that it takes no time to really sit down and brighten someone’s day (I’m assuming it will) and be honest with your feelings. It’s something I already do, but by making it intentional I was able to ‘spread the wealth’ of joy I was feeling by multiples and what’s better than that? Sending two greeting cards is twice as great as sending one. By no means am I saying ‘Just mail out a bunch of cards in masses’ (you know, like we do at Christmas, without even writing the person’s name you are sending it to at the top, never mind the lack of a personal message at the bottom – my supreme pet peeve!!!). I’m just suggesting we become more aware of who we can touch by just taking a few minutes to do so. I challenge you to make a list of five people (whether have done so with them or not) and write a few notes of thanks, encouragement or love, it’s worth it, and I know you’ll feel just as great as the people you are sending them to.

#15 – Go for a walk on the beach during a sunset

This number was one that could have (and almost did) slip away on me. I didn’t really think about the fact that it would take an evening out of my newly busied social life to do. Preferably one that was sunny, clear and without precipitation. I believe it was only the day before that I mentioned to Wally that time was running out for an opportunity to accomplish #15 before the weather decided not to co-operate. We agreed that Adventure Day 26 would be the day we would try and make it happen.

As I mentioned before my day had already been full of action and this activity would be no different. Wally didn’t get home until after 6pm and I hadn’t taken the time to make dinner (I thought a celebration out was in order). Once he walked in the door and we exchanged hellos and ‘YAY! We got the job!’ Wally went and checked out the anticipated sunset time for the evening, along with the directions to the beach of our choice and estimated time of arrival. We soon realized that we didn’t have a lot of time.

Within a few minutes we found ourselves having our celebratory dinner in the mall food court with a slice of reheated ‘to go’ pizza and then off we went.

As we began our journey and argued about the GPS person and whether we would leave her voice on or off, we were soon made aware of our shortage of time. This became even more apparent when every slowbo driver known to man found themselves tucked right in front of us. This did not seem to ease our drive at all (as you can well imagine), in fact we found ourselves getting even shorter with each other and more annoyed at the situation we were in. Wally kept commenting ‘Don’t these people know we have some where to be? We don’t have all night!’ I keep praying that the sun would choose to go down a wee bit slower than usual as I kept my eyes fixed on the clock to make sure we’d make it.

I have no idea why we didn’t plan this out a bit better. I literally did the math for getting there and witnessing the beauteous site like it was a show at the theatre, rather than the experience it would prove to be – a lesson I’m sure I needed to learn. All in all we made it to our destination with around 10-15 minutes to spare. Which means we had 10-15 minutes to gaze romantically at the sun until it disappeared. Let’s just say romance doesn’t breed well on a time line.

I did walk along the beach with my oversized camera around my neck. We got several pictures and I walked along the shore. We noted the garbage that littered the beach and how many tame seagulls found it their duty to stalk us. As I let the water splash my feet I whined aloud at the sharp gravel beneath them – weren’t shores supposed to be made up of silky smooth sand? Ouch! Not this one, that’s for sure! I kept walking, determined that having my feet in the water would help with the atmosphere, instead it caused my husband to poke fun at my stubbornness and me to continue walking on the pain filled stones – I wouldn’t give up.

As we wound down from our furious fight with time to arrive we both realized what a beautiful sight a sunset was. Not only that, but just the sight of the water (even though it was neighbours with an unkept coast). Evening was the perfect time to be there too, with few people and a cool breeze it certainly was my kind of date. Wally and I walked for a while up and down the beachfront and enjoyed our ‘down time’. We had really wished we’d made it there sooner to appreciate it for longer.

#15 was a wonderful experience to say the least (especially considering the escapade that preceded it), but it was too short lived, as so many experiences in life are. It is for that reason that I feel as strongly about life that I do. I think it’s so easy to get caught up in the planning and implementing of something you anticipate that it is almost impossible to avoid disappointment if you don’t slow yourself down to really take the even in. How often do we do that though? How often do we really and truly SLOW DOWN? In this world it is rare. We don’t take time to laugh at the mustard on our shirt, or the funny thing the 3 year old said. We neglect to take the time to feel the love for the one beside us, and we often forget to clear our mind and enjoy beauty, whether it’s in our backyard, or at the beach. We usually just take for granted that we will have another turn to ‘do it later’. If there is nothing else that you take from my 40 Day adventure it’s this: Experience things now! Feel things now!! Use your senses while you have them – now!

Tomorrow is simply unreachable.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like fun! I know a few beaches with "silky white sand" you could watch a sunset on... hint, hint...

Anonymous said...

I'm definitely going to try to do this one before I start back to work! My sweetie and I did it lots before we were married, but haven't at all (maybe once?) since. What a nice way to spend the evening! I can't believe how busy I let my life get, and I'm determined to slow down and enjoy!
Thanks for the reminder,