Have more fun by adventuring in 2017


My heart skipped a beat when I flipped the calendar over to June. Not only am I in denial that summer is upon us, we’re closing in on the halfway point of 2017. Who pressed the fast-forward button on this year?!

For several months, I’ve been updating you awesome readers on my resolution to have more FUN this year. So far, we’ve read silly books, laughed out loud, embraced odd-ball holidays and checked out Wisconsin’s outrageous food celebrations. What’s next? Time for you moms to go out on a limb and try something new.

The first time I stepped completely out of my comfort zone was on an exotic vacation to Thailand. I had zero idea how many kooky, crazy, “we’re-not-in-Wisconsin-anymore, Toto,” experiences I would have. Like voluntarily stepping into a cage with a dozen full-grown tigers. Or wrapping a nine-foot python around my neck. Or zip-lining through the jungle and jumping out of a 50-foot tree. Everything about that vacation was so completely outside the norm that “crazy” almost started to feel normal.

My gentle giant! A 47-year-old female elephant in northern Thailand

Now I’m not saying you have to travel halfway around the world to have a new adventure. But I am saying there’s something madly exhilarating about reconnecting with your inner wild child and getting your blood pumping again by stepping waaaaaay outside the box. (Or, in my case, jumping out of a tree.)

Face your fears: I’m terrified of heights, so it took some convincing to get me to go zip-lining in Thailand. Same for zip-lining out of a 10-story building down Fremont Street in Vegas and driving up Colorado’s Pikes Peak. But you know what? I wouldn’t trade the exhilaration of any one of those experiences.

Maybe you have a fear of getting up in front of a crowd. Wouldn’t it be a rush to take a public speaking class? Do a reading at church? Try out for community theater? Or maybe you are just naturally shy. For you, stepping outside your comfort zone might be as simple as introducing yourself to another parent at school, or striking up a conversation at the playground. Who knows whether you might make a new friend?

Live for learning: Do you have a passion for cooking? Sewing? Photography? It’s time to reignite your creative energies by taking a class. Area colleges from St. Norbert to NWTC offer instruction in everything from pottery and woodworking to foreign foods and languages. And there’s always something new going on at the Brown County Library – whether your interest is classical literature, computers and technology or even essential oils. (You’re already online! Get on Google, grab a girlfriend and get signed up!)

Release your inner artist: I can’t even draw stick people, so I’m always hesitant to join a crafty Girls’ Night Out. But I always always have a good time, whether it’s painting on a canvas, making my own jewelry or creating a mosaic. Check out Board & Brush in the Broadway district, De Pere’s Paintin’ Pottery, Palette and Pub in Allouez or Clay on Steele in Algoma. Nobody cares about the quality of your finished product – it’s all about having fun! (My girlfriends don’t know it yet, but I’m planning our next adventure at “Pass the Paint, Pass the Wine” at the Green Room Lounge in West De Pere. It’s going to be hilarious!)

Hometown tourist: Northeastern Wisconsin has no shortage of parks, museums, festivals and live music venues. Maybe for you, trying something new is hitting that sushi restaurant you’ve always wondered about, going for a champagne brunch or finally riding the Zippin Pippin. (My summer bucket list = all three.) Have you ever ridden a Segway? Tried aerial yoga? Gone to a grape stomp? Taken a trolley or ghost tour? What are you waiting for? Summer in Wisconsin is the perfect time for an adventure. So get out there and have FUN!