Have you ever made your own frozen custard with milk you got from your own cows?
Have you ever made cider from apples you picked from the orchard in your backyard?
Have you ever been so self-sustaining that you only need to go to the grocery store once a month?
Have you ever built your home from scratch with your own hands?
But I have friends who do all this and more. They are not Amish, and they are not “preppers,” but the life they live is more reminiscent of Little House on the Prairie than Modern Family.
They fascinate me. And the more I hear about their life, the more my heart sings. And this confounds me. Because normally feelings like these lead to one of two things: Either a desire to have what they have or the realization that I have identified a kindred spirit. We are the same!
Except in this case, I don’t have cows. I have no interest in waking up at the butt crack of dawn every morning to milk them. We might plant a few fruit trees this year, but nothing resembling an orchard. I enjoy getting my groceries delivered every week. I am not capable of building a shed, let alone a whole house. (I swell with pride when I install a shelf.)
Although I respect the heck out of their life, I have no desire for it to be mine. And it doesn’t appear that we have anything in common because my life is nothing like theirs…
Oh wait, yes it is.
There is one big thing we share: We are living life by our own rules. We are not abiding by the paint-by-numbers approach.
We have burned the paint-by-number to ashes.
Being a witness to a family who has such a blatant disregard for almost every single regular way of doing things is what makes my heart sing. That level of mindfulness—and disregard for the status quo—is rare.
I resonate with people who live life on their terms. Even if it looks completely different than mine. It energizes me and it fires me up because it gives me a sense of what’s possible when someone is mindful of the life they want to have. It expands my own horizons of what I see as possible, and I can’t help but wonder how much better the world would be, how much happier, less depressed, and angry and lost people would be if more of us refused to settle for the “regular” way.
There is a regular way of doing everything. Having babies. Schooling your children. Making money. Finding a job. Taking vacations. Planning a wedding. Worshipping God. Learning. Teaching. Retiring.
Interestingly, the regular way is different in different cultures. And the regular way is often a perfectly fine way for most people in most situations.
Heck, you can get pretty far in life without having to make any real decisions on your own. The regular path is there for you, starting with how you should think about what you should do after high school to what to have them read at your funeral.
The problem is that Adultitis sets in when we settle for the regular way more often than not.
Because we’re not all the same.
And the regular way is terrible as a one-size-fits-all solution.
If your soul feels stifled, if you feel the sad, heavy cloud of Adultitis reigning over you, maybe it’s because you’re settling in one or more areas of your life, having made choices that are perfectly fine for the majority of people…just not you.
Consider this a permission slip to skip the regular way and try a different road. You can always come back to the one you’re on later. (The well-trodden path is easy to find.)
Others have already made the decision you are considering but are hesitant to commit to. Find them. Borrow courage from them. Learn from them.
That’s why I love spending time with my cow-milking, custard-making friends.
They remind me that a life far from regular is the best kind there is.
(And the cider is delicious, too.)
🤔 I wonder…who is someone you’re inspired by who skipped the regular way of doing something?