In my fuzzy gray sweatpants and a sloppy sweatshirt, I snuggle into my spot on the sectional, remote in hand and a coffee on the end table. A few cats curl up in my lap and our mastiff Henry finds his spot among his favorite collection of toys as I make the big decision—will it be Jane the Virgin, Reign, or Nashville tonight?
Meanwhile, my husband plops himself onto his computer chair in front of his beloved computer games, waiting for the oven timer to beckon him forth for his chicken patty or frozen pizza. It’s a Saturday night and we’re under 30, but you wouldn’t know it by our schedule. The wild life of the 20-something isn’t quite our scene—we’re content tucked in at home with our favorite things.
Although lazy days at home are essential and envy-worthy, strings of them have led us to somewhat humdrum, introverted lives. Other than some trips to the beach and a few local events, our scrapbook of memories mostly sits empty.
This is a far-cry from our dating years, when we went countless unique places. Our scrapbook is filled with memories from museums, art installations, plays, concerts, zoos, and aquariums. We can flip through the pages and say, “remember when” with smiles and laughs about the experiences. Most of these trips were school sponsored or college sponsored, but the point is the memories we have from those trips are memories we used as a foundation for our connection.
They are the moments we look back on with a smile. They weave our connected history.
Achieving our Bucket List
At 29, we’ve come to realize that it isn’t really the traveling part or where you go—it’s the fact you’re doing something new together. Looking back over the years, the times we got out of our comfy clothes and pushed ourselves out of our comfort zone to try something new are the times we remember with a smile.
Thus, with 30 looming over us, we felt a need to change it up this year. I know age is just a number, but there is something symbolic about the shift from the 20s to the 30s. I want the shift to be memorable. I want this to be a year we can fill our scrapbook. I want it to be a year we talk about for the next decade.
So this year, we’ve vowed to try new things. We’ve made an achievement list inspired by my husband’s love for gaming. We’ve included big goals and trips that probably won’t happen, but we’ve also set small realistic goals.
We’ve picked local places we’ve never been. We agreed to do some sort of volunteer work together this year. We’ve vowed to go inner tubing and horseback riding. I agreed to finally get my tattoo this year. We’ve talked about memories that will fill our scrapbook and give us a sense of adventure.
Adventure on a Budget
Because, like so many, we’re on a budget, our list isn’t extravagant. We don’t own a yacht, and an impromptu trip to Tahiti, although adventurous, isn’t in the cards for us right now. We are small town, simple people who have never been out of the country together and probably never will be. I’ve come to learn, though, that adventure doesn’t have to equate to an expensive, budget-blowing venture.
Some of our favorite adventures were super cheap and super close by. I don’t think you have to be a world traveler to find adventure. Adventure takes on its own form for everyone. We’re challenging ourselves this year to find our own.
In short, we want to fill our year with new memories because at the end of it, isn’t that what life is all about? At 29, I think we’ve finally realized that the amount of shoes in your closet, the amount of video games on your shelf, and the amount of hours you’ve logged watching Netflix don’t create a life. It’s the true connection of exploring this huge world together that will be something we can look back on.
Are we doing a great job at adhering to our newfound sense of adventure? Not particularly. This past weekend, we checked one of the more luxurious items off our list—we went for our first couple’s massage and added a new memory to our scrapbook. Still, on an average week, it’s hard to break your homebody habits, and Netflix is a beckoning siren’s song.
Adult responsibilities, stresses, and exhaustion all tempt us to leave the scrapbook blank for one more year. There’s nothing wrong with a few lazy days, and we know our list probably won’t get completely finished. Nonetheless, we’re getting out and making as many memories as we can. We’re saying “yes” to more invitations even when we’re tempted to say “no.” We’re finding that life isn’t necessarily built sitting on a couch eating snacks. Life is about finding, exploring, trying, experiencing, and finding. Life is about building moments together so that someday, when we look back on this life we’ve had together, we can say, “Do you remember when…”
I think we’ve figured out that making memories with those you love the most is how you truly find an adventurous, fulfilling life full of joy.