Only an adventure
“An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.” ― G.K. Chesterton
I must admit, it’s a bit of a stretch for me to consider most of what we call inconveniences as adventures. Being stuck in traffic? Waiting two hours for a doctors appointment? Having a flight cancelled or delayed? Being awakened early by someone calling the wrong number, or loud noise outside my window? How on earth can any of these things be thought of as adventures?
Perhaps Chesterton wrote in the days before “inconvenience” became a ubiquitous euphemism for mistake or poor customer service — as in “we apologize for the inconvenience.” Maybe in Chesterton’s day, an inconvenience was something riskier or more life-altering.
However, most inconveniences do contain at least the seeds of some sort of adventure. In bad traffic, we might choose to take a detour and explore new roads. While waiting around, we can lose ourselves in another world via a novel or other reading material. If we are awake earlier than needed, we can take it as a gift of time and start our day with something we enjoy that we don’t usually make time for in the morning, such as a leisurely cup of tea or coffee as we gaze outside at the morning light. No telling what we might see– interesting or delightful things that we’re normally too busy to notice.
There’s a sense in which anything out of the ordinary really is an adventure, if we train our minds to see it as such. “Rightly considered,” it’s an adventure just to be alive, no matter how inconvenient it can become. It can become a kind of game to take Chesterton’s words as a challenge, and transform irritation by imagination.
What annoyances are we most likely to “wrongly consider” today? Let’s exercise the alchemy of attitude, and have an adventure instead.