We recently purchased two investments: used four-wheelers, otherwise known as ATV's (all-terrain vehicles). We went further into debt for the sake of a cause: FUN! This was a deliberate choice we made as a family, as an investment into our sanity for staying in Alaska. I believe it was a response to the prayers of our son, when he was only seven years old, as we were traveling up the "Al-Can" highway, and stopped at a restaurant along the way just outside of Fairbanks. Ben prayed, "Dear God, thank you for this food, and help us to have fun in Alaska." We've been trying to do that for five years.
The kids have been having a blast riding the four-wheelers with DH. I went twice, and the last time I went it was just DH and me, so I drove. It was a beautiful day, and the trails were in good condition. I didn't get to enjoy the scenery very much, though. Between dodging branches and bugs, working to avoid deep ruts and rocks, and trying to keep up with DH at breakneck speeds, I had enough to focus on. Around every treacherous corner, I was afraid I would meet up with a bear or oncoming vehicle. All I could think about was the question, "Are we there, yet?"
I began to consider the analogy of a shopping excursion, a road trip, and an ATV outing. We all know that some people like to "conquer the trip" when it comes to taking a road trip. Those are the types that have an agenda, and a strict schedule. With military precision, they keep both hands on the wheel, and one eye on the clock. All bathroom breaks are coordinated and executed like a pitstop at a racetrack. Other people like to take road trips like a "Sunday Drive" -- ambling along, at leisure, meandering through country paths -- just out enjoying the scenery.
There are two ways to approach a shopping excursion, as well. One person (stereotypically, it's the man) goes shopping like he's a caveman out hunting in the wild. He stalks his "prey" and pounces on it, bags it and carries it out of the store. Another person likes to play on all of the senses (sight=colors; touch=textures, hearing=store music; smell=perfume; taste=samples???) for the total "shopping experience." Recent studies suggest that shopping IS theraputic, after all.
One person's relaxation and therapy can be another person's nightmare and torture! I guess that was the lesson I learned on that four-wheeling adventure. For DH, it was a rejuvenating ride out into the sunset; for me, it was a grinding-teeth, clenched-fist ordeal. All for the sake of FUN! Ah, the things we do for love!