Friday, May 25, 2012

Looking forward to looking back.

      I was at dinner with some work friends a few weeks ago to celebrate an employee's departure from the company to go to South America.  Of course, given the circumstances of the get together, the conversation soon turned to travel.  They all talked of their cruises and Disney vacations, and I of my months in tents and my minimally equipped, underfunded adventures, and though we spoke of opposite ends of the travel spectrum, it soon became apparent that we were all talking about the same aspects of our trips... The 'bad' experiences.  Their 'bad' experiences consisted of inadequate closet and bathroom space, queen beds instead of kings, and other annoyances, while mine consisted of riding bikes through barren marshland with no water for hours on end and pitching tents in cactus patches.  Each person has their own idea of bad, I suppose, but the point is clear: problems encountered while traveling make for the best stories.  It makes sense.  If everything goes to plan then there's no story to tell.  Would you rather hear the story about the time we spent the night in the woods and then drove home in our car the next day, or the time we had to spend the night in the woods because our car broke down and then we walked out the next day?  In my mind one story stands out as the obvious winner here.
     So, problems make for better stories than plans that work out. So what?  Well that's not such a big deal until you take it a step farther.  I realized this long ago, and because of it, I tend to deal with problems much better and more calmly than most.  If you have ever been around me when things start going wrong, then you'll know that as soon as they do, I crack a smile.  Everyone else might be miserable, we might be lost, or out of money, but I know it's gonna be a good story.
      I can't begin to count the number of times I've been sitting around with friends recounting a 'bad' experience I've had and laughing out loud with the very same people who were hating the world when we went through it, but every time I do I remind them that this is why I wasn't miserable myself.  That this funny story was what I was thinking about when everything was going wrong, and that I knew we'd all be here laughing about it together in the future.  So why would you ever be angry, or sad, or upset about problems that come up when you can just look forward to looking back and laugh at the situation you're facing?  It'll be funny later, so just think about later now.

        Micro-adventure video is almost done.  Hopefully I'll have it up later on in the week.  Until then enjoy this picture of Kenny psyched about our hot tub.

Have a 'bad' day.

1 comment:

Gia said...

If only I could have been laughing when we were lost in the forrest...trapped in the blistering hot sun...for hours.
But I suppose you are exactly right. And that must be the real reason why I was laughing to myself when I sent you and Bill down to talk to the chainsaw men.
And we did in fact make it out alive.
And we ate well.
And we slept well.
And we had fun.

And it was all worth it, because I will never forget that camping excursion for as long as I live. And now I really can laugh at it--in its entirety.

Great post...and I love that picture of Kenny.