I was ‘out out’ on Sunday with my partner Dan and our new puppy Roo having a pub lunch when we got talking to some people sitting nearby us. It turned out we had a lot in common around music and places we used to go to in London. It was a fun reminisce; you could see us all transported back to memories of lots of great times. Luckily for me, Dan still makes music (you can listen here if you like) so I don’t feel like I’ve lost that side of my life so much but it got us thinking and talking on the way home.
Why is it hard to keep that sense of adventure and fun as you get older?
Life inevitably becomes more ‘planned’ the more complex it gets, if you run a business, if you have children, if you or someone you love becomes ill and in general as you become older you acquire more responsibilities in your life.
You also learn more about what could go wrong and try to act accordingly, for example saving for emergencies, saving for your and others’ futures, putting your money towards life insurance all the kinds of things that rarely make conversation when you’re in your 20s. Depending on your mindset these new habits can make you feel more relaxed about the future, or potentially more worried as things that never would have crossed your mind before are now present. Or if you’re human, maybe even a little bit of both.
An example of this mixed mindset is that I love doing my taxes and knowing I’ve got them squared away, but the build-up to doing them, before I press submit, always make me feel super stressed – and I know I’m not alone in this!
I’m starting to see how that spirit of adventure and fun ebbs away, are you? So what can we do?
We can get inspired by other grown-ups that didn’t lose theirs.
Let’s take Amelia Earhart for example. Every time I see a photo of her and read something about her I am delighted, this woman born in 1897 was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. I mean let’s just take a moment to imagine the courage, passion and spirit she must have had to take on that challenge.
She then set many other records, wrote best-selling books about her flying experiences, and was instrumental in the formation of The Ninety-Nines, an organization for female pilots. She did all this before she was 40, at which point she was declared missing, presumed lost at sea in her final flight. A fitting end I like to think for someone who loved to fly and take on the unknown. Something that she said that I love is,
Adventure is worthwhile in itself.Amelia Earhart
While we’re not all gonna turn up the maverick adventurer in us a-la Amelia, I am using this quote this month to remind myself that not everything I do needs to end with a tick off of my to-do list.
The adventurer lives in all of us, in our teens and 20s we get to explore it more and the memories we create we cherish and often laugh about forever.
What about still being an adventurer now? What could that look like?
Living less by the clock, yes you might only have 20 minutes but put your phone away, with no bleeping alerts and use it to explore – walk down different streets, go into a shop or take a path you never took before. Let yourself really see.
Take yourself on a creative date – 2 hours to immerse yourself in something you’d like to explore, from a visit to a haberdashery to a museum, charity or record shop, or just getting outside. There are loads of ideas for this concept which is taken from The Artist’s Way book by Julia Cameron. Highly recommend it for artists and non-artists alike!
Take on a project, I have been watching Escape to the Chateau make do and mend this week and the joy that people get from upcycling something and doing a project that’s unique to themselves is super powerful people!
Put a boundary around your time every now and then, ask someone else to be the point of contact for a morning or put an I’m not available on the phone message on your WhatsApp and experience the adventure you can have when you know that you’re not going to get disturbed. You don’t necessarily even need to leave your house for this one.
Wanna go next level?
Once you’ve tuned out some of the noise, you can turn up your senses.
- Take a moment to explore whatever you’ve chosen to do physically, shut your eyes what do you hear?
- Hone into touch, what is in front of you – how does it feel?
- Smell and even taste the air, notice how much you can tell about your environment from these senses alone. You’ll have an idea when it last rained, the time of year, the temperature. You don’t’ need to ask your phone for this info!
Alexander Technique is all about learning to turn up your senses, and I highly recommend it – there’s an adventure to be had when you do. Find out more here about working with me.
I’ll leave you with this quote from the incredible John O’Donohue who Dan introduced me to recently.
“The senses are our bridges to the world. Human skin is porous, the world flows through you. Your senses are large pores that let the world in. Through attunement to the wisdom of your senses, you will never become an exile in your own life, an outsider lost in an external spiritual place that your will and intellect have constructed. “