SLR 074: Why Roughing It Can Be So Much Fun!

Simple Life RebootLike many, I spend my fair share of time and effort trying to avoid physical discomfort. An example would be my strong preference for a comfortable bed.  So, why do I fondly remember sleeping on that bumpy mattress jammed in the back of our car on that California trip?    (Read:  The Trip That Changed Everything!)

Maybe because life is an adventure, from beginning to end.  Those moments in life that offer less than comfortable circumstances, can also prove to amplify the experience and transform us if we let them.

Our family often jokes about “embracing the horror”.  This is our way of encouraging one another to accept an unpleasant condition for a greater purpose.  Sometimes it works, and sometimes it’s a failure.  But – when it does work… it can be pure joy to experience.

The D.C. Downpour

In late summer 2008, we traveled to Washington, D.C., on a family vacation. The plan was to see as much of our nation’s capitol over three days,  then rent a car and head south to visit historic sites.

We took the subway from the airport to our rental.  Emerging from the subway, we walked 7 sketchy blocks to find the little house.  As we arrived, a huge thunderstorm broke.

We all scurried inside to escape the downpour. Within seconds, our second oldest son turned around and stepped back out into the rain.  We all stood watching, perplexed.

It didn’t take long before his younger brother ran out to join him.  After all, what’s a little rain on a warm summer day on the trip of a lifetime?  They wanted to experience it all, even the rain.


We all enjoy smooth sailing, but think about what might be gained if we were willing to embrace less comfortable circumstances.  Is a rough patch all that separates us from the life we seek to live?   (Read:  The Challenge to Change)

As we get older, many of us tend to avoid discomfort like the plague.  We perceive this as responsible, mature behavior.  But maybe there is something to be learned from those youngsters who were more concerned about the experience than the associated temporary discomfort.

Watching my sons cavort in that D.C. downpour spoke to me about my approach to life.  I decided to embrace the moment in all its fullness… so I did what any responsible father would do…. I joined them!Simple Life Reboot



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