– thoughts during the course of a day
Feb 25, 2012
It’s a Saturday night, and I have only myself to entertain. In the prison cell of my apartment, I sit in isolation, buffered by the empty air around the building, the distance of friends who are themselves too busy to be with me, and the realization that there is no one who cares enough about me to want to do something with me – whether spiritually, physically, or emotionally. It takes an enormous amount of momentum to move me outside and go see a movie. I’m glad I did, but returned back to the inertia of the apartment cell, eventually opening my 513-piece jigsaw puzzle and getting the edges done before going to bed. Well, at least I’m not boring myself!
March 1, 2012
I have so many projects and ideas that are fantastic, but I just don’t have the time, resources, or team-building abilities to make them all happen! I wish there were more of me. I don’t want to be one who just “watches what happened.” I want to be one to MAKES things happen!
I face mundane as well as Atlas-heavy burdens, and my thoughts return to my trip around the world. It seems so long ago, and yet, the feeling I had while traveling lingers within me, keeping me wondering… what would happen if I just left? And didn’t return to here?
What is it that is weighing me down while staying in one place? Is it a mental prison that chains me to here? Is it the routine-ness, the predictability, the carpooling, the rush-rush of daily tasks, the irritability of the predictable, or the results that haven’t gone my way in this routine environment? Is it the thought – or knowledge – that there IS more “out there?”
What a luxury to say, “I lost half a million dollars!” I grew it from a good but not grand amount of inheritance to over a million, and in about as many years, bits and parts grew wings and began taking off in surprising directions, but not back to me. Is it because I’m not very good at tending to what I have? Is it from my view of money as a game that makes it seem unreal? And yet, my stomach swoops with joy when I “win,” and churns in agony when I “lose.” My heart is weighed down when I know the next step is the loss of more money.
What happens once I lose all that I had grown? Ironically, it seems a huge Atlas-sized world is lifted, and I can see Anything is possible in front of me! Odd. One would think I would be more despondent. But I look at those who came to the States with nothing, and have been brave, diligent, and living every minute in growing something they didn’t have when they started. But, even odder, once grown, it eventually becomes a burden to control, tend, continue! It reminds me of an example a monk we met in Taos, NM, Casey (or KC) told us.
He picked up a gold tea cup that someone left as an offering in front of the Buddha we stood before.
“This teacup brings me enjoyment because it is beautiful. When someone gives it to me, I am happy to have such a beautiful and precious thing. Every day, I admire it and am happy. Then someone else gives me ANOTHER gold teacup. Marvelous! I am doubly happy now, and every day am able to admire and enjoy the teacups. I can share the enjoyment now. Then later, someone else gives me ANOTHER gold teacup! Wow, what luck! I can have MORE people share the enjoyment. Then I receive MORE gold teacups, and clear a space to store so many. Eventually I can have a party with so many teacups!
“But, after the party, I must still clean, dry, and put away so many teacups. I need more space because I have so many. It becomes a chore owning the teacups, and I begin to worry that maybe someone will TAKE one of my precious teacups! I become possessive, and wary of people who come visit me. I guard the teacups as they are desirable, and I don’t want to lose even one! After a while, my life is not as carefree and happy as I was BEFORE I received the first teacup, because I am so busy tending to the many I have, being careful not to chip or break any, keeping them safe, and not using them so often in case I lose, chip or break any.
“My life has changed – but though I am in possession of such beauty, am I truly richer? Happier?
Instead of KEEPING all my possessions, What if I SHARED them instead, and everyone can be as “rich” as I am? Those who hoard can keep all those damn teacups! (It’s tough to release, isn’t it?)
As for the question: “How much do we really need?” during our travels, we lived out of a rolling suitcase and backpack of clothes, medicines, books, electronics. Chris was able to jettison even more than what we carried, and pared himself down to just a large backpack – and NOT a traveling framed backpack either. Just a large regular backpack. Of course, we didn’t carry a sleeping bag, pots or pans, single cooking grill, dishes and utensils for camping, and truly living like a vagabond. We slept in hostels, a much cheaper way to go than hotels by two- to more-fold. Plus, the hostels’ best feature was the chance to meet OTHER travelers, which hotels do not offer.
Our life most certainly was simple, since we had no schedule, just occasional home schooling for Amy, updating our blog site, and what the current location had to explore. If we ran out of money, our plan was to find a temporary “under the table” kind of job like restaurant work (me), fix bicycles / juggling / entertaining (Chris), or gymnastics (Amy).
We met some travelers who did just that and went from place to place, working enough to live, and then move on. That brings up the question: “Why move on?”
What draws a traveler to … travel? Explore someplace outside of where they normally live? Keep moving? I can give the “witty” flip answer, “Because,” or the usual answer, “To get away,” but those would answer the first two questions, but not the third necessarily. For the consummate traveler, I believe it’s Curiosity. The wonder of meeting and understanding new and different cultures, situations, peoples, customs, foods, society…
What’s the gain someone traveling would receive?
An open mind, flexibility, knowledge of various solutions to the same problems, excitement, adventure, exploration of the “unknown,” problem solving, quick reflexes, dealing with a variety of people and their temperaments , economic levels, and cultural personalities.
What am I giving up without staying in one place and calling it “Home?” (It’s OK to make comments here …)
A friend, Naima Shea, sent me a link to a fellow traveler, Jodi of Legal Nomads, who’s been on the road since April 2008 when she quit her position as a Canadian attorney working for 5+ years in NYC, and took off to do what her heart had planned for her since childhood. What better time than the present! When IS a good time to take off from the comforts and routine of our world – NOW. Why wait? Many had asked her why she quit and took off. She has a few blogs that answer that question and comments – and many comments were centered around how courageous she was to simply quit without a concern about money to keep her going.
Isn’t it an interesting correlation – Money = Security?
Security = Comfort, Safety, Home?
Well, maybe for most that would be the Equation of Life. Of course, there are so many other aspects of Life that influence how we choose what we do.
What action that is you would do that is on the “edge” or outside your comfort zone – something that you wouldn’t NORMALLY do? What’s on that Bucket List of your’s?
[NOTE: Don’t go and give me “I’d clean my house,” “Prepare my finances so my family is secure,” “Do my taxes” kind of answer! We’re working OUTSIDE of the BOX of Comfort here … ‘C)]
Happy Mind Traveling …