Look on the Bright Side

Everyone copes with life in some way or another. Some embrace the grisly details with spine-tingling excitement like Harry. Others, like Sally, blithely turn their heads to see a more chipper scenario. I’m a lot like Sally. I call myself an optimist.

My idealist switch flipped on sometime when I was a child and I’m really unsure how to turn it off. This Walter Mittyish tendency of mine often leaves me stuck at the corner of Surprised and Disenchanted. When it comes to My List, I frequently imagine grander-than-life adventures complete with Instagram filters and super cool slow motion effects. (My favorite is Brooklyn, but that’s an entirely different post.) Maybe it’s because I’m a Generation Y Yuppy, but regardless of the cause of my perky imagination, I’m grateful for it. The List, and ensuing fantasies, keep me moving, expecting, discovering, and propelling me into new excursions. It opens my mind, my palate, and my heart, and however picture-perfect—albeit imaginary—my expectations can be, I feel like a better person for it.

For laughs, because, after all, laughing is good for you, I’ve compiled a group of some events I dreamed would go one way, but actually turned out less wondrous. Enjoy.

I imagined kayaking like this:

kayaking-full

But in Florida, sans rapids, it looks more like this:

kayaking

In my head, meeting the President would be like this:

jibjab9-crop-low1

But sometimes you have to settle in life.

president

Paddleboarding? You probably already read my post about it, but in my perfect world:

Paddleboarding-Surfing-La-001

Instead,…

paddleboarding

Do you have any experiences that you imagined to be spectacular, but they fell a little short of that dream? Were you able to enjoy it anyway?

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I Paddleboard! I’m A Paddleboarder!

If you’ve never seen the movie What About Bob? you are seriously missing out. It was my favorite movie growing up. While my peers were sitting around watching Disney movies, I was watching Richard Dreyfuss beat up Bill Murray at Lake Winnipesaukee. It doesn’t get much better than that. In fact, I just watched it a few weeks ago, around the time I crossed paddleboarding off my list. Here is a short clip of when Bob goes sailing for the first time.

 

So, as you can imagine, my paddleboarding experience was pretty much identical.

what-about-bob

There I am!

 

Oops. I mean,…this.

I'm on the left.

I’m on the left. I know you’re jealous of my awesome shorts tan lines.

I’ll be really, really honest. It was just ok. I wanted to love it, but there were a few things I would change. I will call these my Rules for Paddleboarding.

First of all, it was too easy! I was hoping paddleboarding would be something I couldn’t talk and do at the same time, let alone smile for a camera! The boards we had were, as you can see from the photo, basically kayaks. There were grooves for our feet. I guess this is great for beginners and all, but…is it weird that I sort of wanted to fall in?

Rule #1: Just say “No” to wimpy, kayak-y paddleboards and be a big girl. Use one that’s like a surfboard.

Second, we paddleboarded in a marina, which, you know, has a lot of boats. The water was dark. Did I mention there were lots of old fishing boats? There was visible oil in the water, which was a little depressing. There were a few birds, but little wildlife to look at. There were a few pretty houses, but I was left wanting a lot more. It was in Tarpon Springs, so walking around afterward was super cool and well…Greek food. I mean, you don’t need much more explanation beyond that. But still. I wanted pretty fish, birds, waves, and clear-down-to-the-bottom water you expect in Florida.

Rule #2: Paddleboard in the actual ocean. Stay away from boats and oil.

Last, I really wanted to get in the water. On a hot day, nothing feels quite so nice as splashing around in some water. This goes along with Rule #2; paddleboarding in water you actually want to jump into is key. I wanted to take my time and sit down for a bit to rest my feet. I wanted to kick a little in the water and splash my friends. I wanted to bring a snorkel and dive down when I saw something cool.

Rule #3: Jump in.

paddleboarding2

Rule #4: If someone is checking out your butt, make the most of it.

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