If I just had that car . . . that pair of jeans . . . that computer, I’d be __________.

I bet we’ve all gone a few miles on that road.

How’s that working out?

Yeah, not so well for me either.

And yet, it’s still so tempting. A month ago, I got the car bug. I wanted a hybrid SUV so bad I could taste it. Following my 30-day rule, I began to think through this desire. In the end, I decided I wanted what a hybrid SUV represented. I liked the idea of being the type of person that drove a hybrid SUV.

I was restless. I thought that buying a vehicle would make me happy.

Instead, I got a bus pass.

It worked. From somewhere deep inside, I realized that what I was really seeking was adventure.

I don’t think I’m alone.

When adventure calls, do you answer?

Or do you . . .

. . . try the “watch and see” approach, tuning into every television show with any hint of peril or potential catastrophe in the title or tagline.

The Amazing Race. Survivor. Fear Factor. Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Extreme Makeover. Desperate Housewives. Chopped.

Our waistlines expand, our minds shrink, and we begin to listen to the advertisements embedded in those “realities.”

. . . we’ll be better/thinner/prettier/happier/whatever, if we’ll just buy their products.

The perfect vacation spot will make our kids smile. The fanciest furniture will fix our family dinners. The newest car will ensure peaceful road trips.

Now, our wallets are lighter and our stress levels are higher.

. . . so we start eating and drinking our way through the emotional rollercoaster. And the cycle continues.

Here’s the secret: there is no substitute.

I’m putting up my purse, unplugging the television, and scaling back the caffeine and ice cream – and getting creative. I may not be able to travel the world in a backpack – yet. There’s plenty of adventure available right here in my world.

And I’m gonna find it.

photo credit: Neovia Solutions

I’m beginning to think our founding fathers were off a bit.

I’m not so sure that you can pursue “happiness.” (At least it doesn’t work for me.)

Maybe the same is true for you. If so, here’s a new declaration.