Years ago my sister-in-law gave me a book called I Married Adventure. Tell me something I don’t know, I thought, when I saw the title. I suppose I was going through a bit of a bump in the relationship road with her brother, which, since we normally have an excellent marriage, would mean we were (he was) contemplating another relocation.
At the time, I assumed she gave me the book to cast a humorous light on a situation I did not consider humorous in the least. I thanked her and put the book in a stack along with others to read. Soon it was packed in a box, and there it remained. For years.
We finally stopped spinning around the United States, and then moved to Portugal where we continued to move about (three houses in a year and a half). Eventually we had our personal possessions shipped to us from storage in Indiana. One of the biggest challenges was to weed through our books. I sorted them into his, hers, and give away, lined our shelves, and promptly began reading on my Kindle. (Currently there are 77 queued up.)
Just prior to the recent publication of my memoir, A Movable Marriage, I caught the title I Married Adventure on the top shelf in my office. I took the book down and read it from start to finish. I wish I had done so years ago.
The author, Luci Swindoll, spent thirty years in the corporate world as an executive at Mobil Oil Corporation, five years as Executive Vice President at her brother Chuck’s ministry, Insight for Living, and is now a popular author and keynote speaker for Women of Faith.
There are differences between our lives. Ms. Swindoll has never married, while I have; she was raised a Christian, and I came late to that party, as recorded in my first memoir, Rabbit Trail: How a Former Playboy Bunny Found Her Way. One of the items on her bucket list, according to her memoir, is to enter the Iditarod. Count me out. The closest I’m getting to sled dogs and moose at this juncture is this.
But there are striking similarities. Our faith, of course. Add to that our innate love of school, music, art, theater, literature, photography, and travel. (Notice I said “travel,” not “relocation.”) As I continued to read, often I felt she was expressing my very thoughts, feelings, desires and concerns.
Her wanderlust is unquenchable, as is my husband’s. Yet her ideal day is mine: up at seven, coffee on the patio, chatting with friends and working on her computer. Baked chicken, broccoli, salad and dessert for lunch while watching Law and Order. (I eat mine watching Rizzoli and Isles or Castle.) Creative activity in the afternoon, more e-mailing, maybe letter writing, before an outing in the neighborhood followed by a light dinner, popcorn and a movie, or a great book. A warm bubble bath and into bed at eleven. Perfect.
I Married Adventure has a subtitle: Looking at Life Through the Lens of Possibility. I wish I had read her book long ago because I believe it would have shaded my perspective about my husband’s nomadic tendencies. I think I would have been more enthused about everything out there in the world to experience that my tireless husband must see. I finally got there, but it would have happened sooner. And interestingly, over time his appreciation of the pleasures of home has deepened.
To Ms. Swindoll, I say thank you. I will add you can learn a new language, ma’am, at any age. Finally, living in Europe is every bit as marvelous as you think it is. I hope you get to check that one off your list.