I had a gift card in my hands—an MVP award received from my employer at our annual award ceremony, recognizing a year (actually, years) of outstanding performance. If you’re employed in the corporate world, you probably understand what that means: long hours of fast-paced work and never-ending projects. I like what I do each day and am good at it, yet being cooped up in cubicle land day after day, taking orders from above was taking its toll on me. I was tired and needed to find a way to increase the pleasure and adventure (the fun factor!) in my life. And now I had a substantial amount of cash to spend, any way I wanted.
So how did I want to spend it? I was determined not to squander it away on bills and groceries—or more likely, clothes, shoes and chai lattes. I wanted to reward myself by buying something that would bring me ongoing joy. Different ideas went through my mind for a few weeks, until one day I thought of kayaks, and I instantly knew I’d found my answer.
I’m a country girl at heart, raised in the gently rolling farmland of Southern Wisconsin. Working in Madison each day and keeping up with the hustle and bustle of family life with a husband, two daughters, sports, pets and weekly errands, I was missing the peace that comes with immersing oneself in nature. Growing up, I used to walk for hours through the woods, around the four-mile country “block” and along the field-lined roads. There’s a certain tranquility that comes with listening to the wind in the trees and hearing the birdsong from overhead branches, watching the clouds float by and feeling the sun warm your skin. Buying kayaks would give me a reason to slow down and get back in touch with nature.
For me, kayaking isn’t meant to be a solo sport. It certainly can be a time for solitude, and quite honestly, I enjoy kayaking in lesser traveled areas; however, in my previous kayaking trips, I found the quiet time on the water a great time for deep conversations and camaraderie with a friend. One kayak wouldn’t do, so I got two. And I selected orange—for safety reasons, obviously, as well as to signify the brightness (i.e. happiness) I expect them to bring to my life.
I hope you’ll join me through this blog as I share about my adventures on the water (and life musings and lessons learned along the way) in my two orange kayaks.