. . . even if the colors of your petals are different with every spring
By Dr. Dorree Lynn
I have always had a penchant for adventure. There was a time in the ’70s and ’80s where you could have found me along with my two adopted Indian daughters traveling across countries in Europe and outposts of Asia where other women might have feared to tread. But we went, we adventured and we survived. It’s safe to say that I have sailed, hiked, trained, planed and automobiled my way across most of this great planet, yet the thought of moving from the busy city of Washington, DC, to the casual beaches of Florida nearly paralyzed me. I’m a New Yorker by birth! City streets, noisy people, cars honking and screeching are all comforting sounds to me. In my world, the bucolic life has always been for vacation, not everyday living.
I have, however, made progress. After building a network of professional contacts and progressing on the development of a radio show, making new friends and trying new opportunities, I find myself beginning to accept, even embrace, this adventure rather than fighting it. Assisting me in changing my attitude about this major life adventure, surprisingly enough, are the slow and twang-twisted stories of one of my assistants.
“Life isn’t just one fabulous adventure, Dr. Lynn — it is a series of fabulous adventures!” he reminds me as I prepare to depart for another flight back to Florida to be with my husband and my new life. My assistant goes on to tell me about his former boss, a motivational speaker. “I’ve never seen someone with such talent for changing it up. I’ve seen him talk his way into jobs and opportunities simply because he wanted to, or because he was bored. From motivational speaking to art auctioneer, then cruise director, real estate executive and now, according to our last phone call, some sort of surgical technician. The adventure is out there — you’ve just got to be willing to chase after it.”
Sigh. He’s full of youthful advice that circles round to remind me of so much that I have already forgotten. It is odd, though, to be absorbing what I already know but needed reminding about, from someone younger than my own children. While he is too young to understand what it takes to uproot an entire life, he is, of course, correct, so I venture on.
It’s funny how various stages in life can change one’s attitude. Many of us have always said, “If I weren’t doing this,” or “If I weren’t with this person,” or “If I didn’t have this job,” or “If I just had more time…” Wake up! Your destiny is what you make it, and no, there’s not an app for that!
Balancing the needs of your own life adventure with the needs of relationships can be tricky, but a little adventure can ensure the sparks will continue to fly. Celebrate your commitment to each other by embarking on an adventure together. Day trips to nearby destinations and weekends at romantic bed and breakfasts are ways my husband and I like to spice up our extracurricular activities. Think of ways you and your partner could share some excitement together.
It’s important to stop and smell the roses, but you don’t want to get stuck in a rut. Like flowers, we are designed to experience happiness in bloom and solace in winter, but one must remember to bloom with every season, even if the colors of your petals are different with every spring. As for me, when I’ve gathered my own bouquet of life’s adventures, I will have some wonderful tales to tell!
Video (2 min.): Get a fresh start! YourTango.com relationship coach LiYana Silver reveals a mindset shift that creates “a cascade of more and better.”
Dr. Dorree Lynn is a Georgetown-based psychologist, author of Sex for Grownups and founder of FiftyAndFurthermore.com.