Adventure Is Dangerous But Boredom Is Lethal

A friend called me Saturday evening and said simply, “come pick me up.”  She was seventy miles away. I didn’t hesitate, I put on a shirt, got in the car and drove to get her. Earlier in the year we had made a deal. Basically, I would let her stay in my house so she could become independent of her son. It took her four months to finally make it happen. On the ride back to Frankfort, we discussed her need to de-stress. I told her, you need an adventure. “What is adventure,” she asked? She is from a foreign country and can speak well enough to make a living, but every once in a awhile she will stop dead and ask the “what is” question about the meaning of a word. I am becoming a better linguist as a result of it. Having to define the meaning of words which are natural to me is quite a challenge. I defined adventure as a trip or activity that is  new and exciting. I was dead on Webster correct except for one additional descriptor, “new, exciting, and possibly dangerous.”  I explained to her that adventures stretch us and make us think about life in a new way. An adventure can be exciting, like taking off on a whim at sundown on a Saturday night to drive to the far north side almost to the Wisconsin border in the dark on roads, and through towns I am not very familiar with.

Normally my adventures are quite tame compared to that one. Like for instance taking my car to get emission tested in another town from the one that currently shut down and converted to COVID-19 testing.

I read a meme describing adventure is dangerous but boredom is lethal. Complacent activity doesn’t move the blood like adventure.

All my life, I have enjoyed taking adventures, mostly bicycle trips. There is nothing like the thrill signing up for a one week long bike trip with twelve thousand other crazy people to ride from one border of a state to another. The whole thing takes ones mind off of the stresses of daily work which tends to get a bit stressful at times. Once you punch out of the job and head for the car packed with your equipment and bicycle your stress level changes from the job to the new adventure. Excitement and adrenaline takeover the body, and you move forward, away from the stress that was grinding on you.

My friend recently had an illness which consumed her body. For her entire life she has been healthy, robust, active person without any complaints and then painful joints hit her like a ton of bricks. Lots of tests, and pain later the doctors concluded that she had fibromyalgia. She never heard of it. She asked where does it come from? Believe it, or not they couldn’t, or wouldn’t answer her question. Being naturally curious she searched the internet rigorously until she learned that one cause of fibromyalgia is stress. What stress? she asked herself. I listed some possibilities: you were unemployed for three months and couldn’t find work, there is friction between you and your son with whom you have lived for over twenty years for starters. It all adds up, some of the stressors are tiny, but I believe they are additive. Your cup fills with stress and when it reaches the rim it causes your body to react with pain.

I ended my adventure by driving home in the night. I missed a turn at a round about, and wound up giving my GPS a workout. Eventually, the stress of being lost changed to being comfortable in the dark after I began to recognize where I was.

 

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