I Couldn’t. I Wouldn’t. I Shouldn’t: My Amazing, Outlandish, Middle-Aged Adventure


An adventure? I couldn’t. I wouldn’t. I shouldn’t. All three immediate and strong responses when my friends – my “tribe” – came up with the outlandish idea of going on an adventure.

Outlandish? How outlandish can four middle-aged women from the Midwest be? Iceland! In December no less. Fairly outlandish I’d say!

Middle-Aged Adventure

I couldn’t, I said. I couldn’t leave my husband and thirteen-year-old daughter and go on vacation without them. I wouldn’t pack up and head out – abandoning all of my daily tasks of home and family to my husband. I shouldn’t. I shouldn’t take the time and just do something just FOR ME. And then a tiny thought, that kept gaining a voice. Why not?

My husband is a perfectly capable, grown-up man who can handle himself and the needs (what few they are) of a teenage daughter. Sustenance and wifi. A ride to and from school. He could do it.

I’ll admit they were both taken aback by the plan. Surprised, a little nervous. This was not a “normal” thing for me. He had to think quite a bit about how he felt about me adventuring out on my own. It’s definitely not part of our routine. For almost fifteen years we’ve worked together, lived together, been TOGETHER. One of the things we love most about us.

As the date got closer to departure, I wondered if I had made the right decision. It felt like I was abandoning them both for a selfish whim. I couldn’t. I wouldn’t. I shouldn’t. It was a mantra in my mind and I could not stop it. Why do we do this to ourselves? Why is taking a moment for us so very hard?

I told friends what I was doing – other women, wives, mothers. And all, to the last one sighed and told me how wonderful it was to be going. How excited they were for me to have this time. And my oldest daughter – who is deep in the trenches of toddler motherhood where you are convinced you’ll never have another moment to yourself – told me she was proud of me for going. I knew it was going to be ok.

Middle-Aged Adventure

So, I COULD, I WOULD and I DID! It was an amazing adventure filled with laughs, adventure, and glory in what this amazing planet has to offer.

I’m truly blessed to have gone and to have gone with these women. And even more, I was blessed to come home to my best people.

Jessica Brown is  a 40-something-year-old wife, mom of a teenager and three grown children and grandmother of four.  She and her husband have been married for almost 15 years and live on a farm in Davison. They own a photography studio – Centennial Image Photography – and specialize in weddings, seniors and families. They also grow acres of vegetables and fruit which they sell from their own farm market. In her own words, “we are working on building our dream life together every day. The funny thing is you just never know where dreams will take you!”


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