Good morning, and happy Friday! I hope your day is off to a great start.
On my personal page, I wrote a few days ago that it’s been 44 years since I left home for a career in the Navy. Lots of things I’ve forgotten about the 1970s, and for good reason. But I’ll never forget that day. In fact, if I think hard enough, I can probably remember something significant from every hour.
I joined the Navy to see the world and sail the seven seas. In my first four years, I saw Orlando, Memphis, and Key West, and the closest I came to sailing was getting drunk on my friend’s boat. In the second four years, though, I more than made up for it. My last cruise took me all the way around the world. Okay, the first half was in a plane, but it still counts.
At the 12-year mark, I traded in my sea legs for a tractor-trailer rig and spent the next year driving across 22 states. By the end of that first year, every truck stop I pulled into on the eastern half of the country, I remember thinking, “I’ve been here before.” More often than not, I was right.
We’ve been doing the RV thing, part-time, for just under six months. And already, we’re finding a lot of familiar scenery and a couple of favorite gas stations. On our next trip, we’re actually planning the first day to get us as far as a Cracker Barrel where we spent the night on a previous trip, simply because they have a parking space that fits our coach perfectly. Wow.
Thankfully, most of our trips have been to someplace different. This next trip, after we pass that Cracker Barrel, will be something new. Okay, we’ve been there before, but in a car and we stayed in a hotel, so that doesn’t count. And while we’re there, we’ll spend some time in our campground directory planning out the next trip. This is what it’s all about.
There’s something to be said for stability and knowing what each day will hold, but life should be an adventure. We should try different things, visit different places, make new friends, sample different cuisine. Says the guy who can go into any of ten different restaurants and never has to look at the menu because he always eats the same thing.
But every now and then, I shock my wife by ordering something different. Even the waitress is like, “Really???” Over the years, I’ve sampled all kinds of foods that a lot of people would never consider. Alligator, sushi, bison, frog legs, calamari, Spam … okay, that last one isn’t so exotic, but you’d sure think so the way some people react to it. Fried, of course. I’ll eat raw fish, but not raw Spam. That’s just gross.
The thing is, I enjoy a lot of things today simply because I was willing to give it a try. And there are things I’ll never do again, but at least I can speak from experience. There are places we’ve been that we never thought we’d care to see, and now we can’t wait to go back. Kansas isn’t one of them. Sorry. See one tumbleweed, you’ve seen ‘em all.
It’s that way with most things in life. When was the last time somebody offered you a chance to try something new, and you politely (or not so politely) passed? “No, that’s not something I’d enjoy.” Are you sure? I used to be scared of rollercoasters until I made myself get on one with my daughter. Now I’m the guy in the front seat, hands in the air, yelling, “Rock and roll!”
If you had asked me forty years ago what kind of business I’d like to be in, I’d have never given any thought to the business I’m in today. But in a time when workers are unemployed, stores are closing down, and entire industries are being decimated, I’m lucky to be in something that, so far, has proven resilient. And all because I said, “Sure – let me take a look.”
All through your life, opportunities will come your way. Some will be rather inconsequential, and some could be monumental. That’s not to say you should try everything somebody suggests, but if your default answer is always to shake your head and walk away, you’ll never experience anything beyond what you’re doing right now.
We started the week talking about habits. Recognizing opportunity is a matter of insight. Giving opportunity a fighting chance is a matter of habit. The people enjoying life to its fullest are those who are in the habit of saying, “Tell me more.” Be one of those people. Try new things and be open to new ideas. There’s a whole world out there waiting to be discovered.
That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!
© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reservedFollow @dglardon