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Do The Adventure

This past weekend, my wife and I went to Knights on Dexter Ann Arbor Road and sat at the bar for dinner while our son was at a friend’s house. I always love sitting at the bar whenever possible, where the possibility exists to get to chat up strangers. Did we ever meet someone at Knights last Friday. We met an older lady who was an engineer, married to a military person. They lived in England, the Soviet Union, and a dozen other places. When they returned to the US, she went to culinary school where her daughters still beg her for recipes. Listening to her stories, my wife and I were transfixed. I told her I wrote for the paper and I wanted to share her story, but I wasn’t sure how. Finaly, I asked her to offer a piece of advice for anyone who happens across this article and here is what she said:

“Do the adventure. Take the trip. Never put off a vacation. You can’t take it with you. Leave with the memories.”

I want to end this article right there. I cannot think of better advice. But my editor would yell at me for not filling the space.

I know times are tough. Most of us are having a hard enough time paying the grocery bill or filling up our gas tank, much less think about taking a vacation to some far away land. Do you know what she told me?

“Do it anyway. Do not forgo groceries, but are you really starving? Take the trip. You will have the memories forever.”

I get the gist of what she is saying, and I hope you do too.

With all the hustle and bustle and trying to survive, do not forget to live a little. Do not forget to find memories to cherish. Maybe the trip is a good book in the backyard watching a Michigan spring unfold before your eyes. Perhaps it is taking dinner outside to listen to the birds who finally returned after months of bleak and blah. Perhaps it is taking a walk and just appreciating what you have, not wishing for what you don’t.

You will have the memories forever. Great advice from an incredible woman my wife and I had the privilege of sharing a meal with. It is never too late to make a memory. We cannot take it with us. But when we imagine our end, and our family is all around us, do we really want to say, ‘boy, am I glad I worked so hard for an employer who replaced me in a week?’ Or do we want to have some cherished memories with those we cherish the most? And here is the best part. We have blessed those we cherish the most with those memories as well. One of our favorite things to do as a family is to put our phones away, turn off the electronics and have a family game night. My son loves it. We laugh, eat snacks, listen to music, and just exist with each other while we play cards or Monopoly or Life or anything that comes to mind. Those are great nights.

“Do the adventure.” We do not need to be rich to do that. But boy oh boy are those memories worth more than gold. Thank you to the wonderful human we met at the bar at Knights last Friday night. Thank you and God bless you.

Steve Gwisdalla is a Dexter resident, and the Owner, Chief Memory Maker, Vice President of Family Game Night and Success and Career Coach at Better Place Consulting. Reach out at Steve@betterplacemgmt.com.

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