everyday life, Uncategorized

A pocketful of fabric swatches/That one time I stole Winterfresh gum

I don’t know why I feel I must confess this on the blogosphere…but alas, I have something to say: One time when I was about 4 years old (I may have been 5, but that’s too close to the age of responsibility) I was at Hobby Lobby with my mom. No, that’s not the confession. Continuing–We were in the check-out line and you know how they have all those delicious candies right up at the very front so that you’ll make a last minute purchase?

Well, I decided that I needed some Winterfresh Gum. I know, I know. What kid chooses Winterfresh gum over skittles or starburst or any sort of chocolate? Heck, even tic-tacs sound better. Anyways, my mom said she wouldn’t buy me the gum. I knew how to fix that, I’d just swipe it. Swipe as in–Swiper, no Swiping. Only I did swipe. I swiped that 5-stick pack of Winterfresh gum right into my pocket and out the door. I can’t remember if my mom ever found out about that gum, but I’m thinking she did.


This is the exact gum I swiped. Yes, it was only a quarter.

While I’m on the confession wagon, I should add that I love–more like used to love–free stuff. If we were at the State Fair I would go around and collect all the free pamphlets I could. Why? I have no clue. I never read them. But I would collect them and then a few months later when I was more mature I’d think to myself–why? Why am I hoarding loads of information about home remodels and insurance? I’m only seven, for goodness’ sake.

Only it didn’t stop there. My mom loved home decorating (should that have I hyphen? I dunno) and so we’d always go to fabric stores (see where Hobby Lobby came in?). I was bored, naturally, so I found something to collect/hoard. By the time my mom was done making her purchases we’d get in the car only for her to find my pockets stuffed with fabric samples. Why? Again, I can’t answer that. I had blankets. I wasn’t needy for clothes. No, my jeans didn’t have holes in them. I just liked being able to have something for free.

Nowadays, my love for free stuff has morphed into more mature gratuitous odds and ends. I have a new rule that I only accept/take something that’s free if I can and (this is the big piece) WILL use it. Pens, pencils, coffee mugs, frisbees, clip-magnet things—-yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes. Samples at Sam’s Club— double yes.

Phew. I feel much better now that you know the real me.

everyday life, Uncategorized

Getting Lost and Finding My Spirit

Wanderlust. I think that’s what they call it. And I think I have it. For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted nothing more than to travel the world (as if that’s an easy thing). If I made a bucket list it would include little more than all the countries I want to visit, foods I want to eat–authentically, sights I want to see, and cultures I want to experience.

1. Sweden (Ikea comes close…but not close enough)

2. Italy (Wine and pizza are as close as I’ve gotten so far)

3. Laos (Sticky rice, laap, it’s all nice, but where’s the Mekong at?)

4. Scotland (Red hair, don’t care)

5. Japan (I don’t know where this one really comes from, but all the pictures of the cutesy things in Japan make me wanna go…oh, and the tradition of it all, that too.)

I read so many blogs about backpackers who travel constantly for about 3 months at a time. They seem so carefree, happy, and worldly. They’ve seen things that I could only dream about. They’ve met locals and tried exotic foods. I want that.  Or do I? I think I want that, but then I’m not a risky person. The riskiest thing I did last week was throw a banana peel out the car window. I don’t even think that’s considered littering.

Be fearless

Be fearless

But then there was that one time a month ago that my husband and I packed up and moved away from our hometown for the first time in our lives. Only about 2 hours away, but leaving friends from elementary school behind, familiar hangouts and restaurants, and our parents wasn’t easy. We had grown exhausted of the familiar surroundings. We would go on little drives in the evening hoping to get lost and have to guess our way home.  Never happened. We had lived there so long we couldn’t get lost. Everything was familiar.

Is that what wanderlust is? Is it seeking the unfamiliar? Is it a reaction in your spirit against the comfort and complacency that comes with familiarity?

Since moving here we have taken several of our evening drives hoping to get lost. And we do. No we may not be backpacking in Laos or taking siesta in Spain, but we do get lost. We try new restaurants, we see new scenes, we rely on each other for company and adventure.

Go places. Do things. Refuse to be complacent.

Go places. Do things. Refuse to be complacent.

When I really think about backpacking or traveling to quench my wanderlust, I realize that it doesn’t take a plane ticket to do so. Wanderlust, for me, is a rejection of complacency. It is a seeking of adventure on a daily basis wherever I find myself. Maybe it’s a change of scenery, like moving out of your hometown. Maybe it’s trying something new like volunteering or career change. Maybe it’s meeting new people. Maybe it’s as simple as taking a different road to work.

Whatever it is for you–I hope you seek it out. If you’re feeling like every day is the same and life has lost adventure: Seek the unfamiliar, dive out of your comfort zone, and revel in adventure.