Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Bilbo Baggins imperative

I had an interesting conversation with a few friends yesterday concerning what we would like do before we die. You know, what was on our so-called 'bucket lists'. It turns out that mine is rather short, if it exists at all.

I am not a thrill seeker, so hang gliding and parachuting and mountain climbing are way out. Putting myself at risk even in safe activities just for the adrenaline rush just doesn't do anything for me. It honestly strikes me as nonsense. My lone participatory sport, outside of catching and hitting a softball with my granddaughter, is curling. I'm that exciting.

Other than day trips, I do not particularly care to travel either. Simply put, thrills are overrated, folks, and so is travel. You aren't living any better by making your heart race, nor is seeing the world certain to make you appreciate it more. It may, as Chesterton says, make you appreciate it less, for if you've been raised well you know there's no place like home anyway.

Not that there's anything wrong with the things I mention. If you want to see Europe or leap off a cliff with a rubber band tied to your feet, fine. But for me, stuff such as enjoying a conversation with my friends over bucket lists suits me well. A curling match, a day at the ballpark, a good book, being with people; that's what I look forward to.

Call it the Bilbo Baggins outlook. If adventure finds me I might just surprise you, run the risk, and go along with it. Generally, though, as the dear Hobbit believes, adventures only make you late for dinner. If there's something of this Earth better than food and friendship I can't imagine what it is.

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