Only an adventure

These hikers chose the adventurous path over the convenient sidewalks. Kelly and I admired their skill as we took the convenient path at Great Falls, April 2015

These hikers chose adventure over the convenience of the sidewalks.
Boomdee and I admired their skill from the paved path at Great Falls, VA, April 2015

“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.

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.

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