This Blog has turned into a festival of fabulous ideas. Some of comments, well many of the comments my beloved readers post, literally rock me back on my heels. A treasure chest of so many different perspectives and wonderful suggestions.
Other times they launch me into such an orgy of introspection that it sends me to the fainting couch. Yes, I actually have one of those set up in my office. Sometimes I go into a swoon from excessive brain spinning and need to get immediately horizontal. Technically it’s an Ikea guest bed with lots of pillows, but no one but me has ever used it…so far.
What I need to do is start taking action, and document the actions. This is a new one for me. I realized the other day that I spend waaaaay too much time living in my head. It’s getting crowded in there and quite frankly a little spooky.
My brain is starting to resemble one of those hoarder reality shows. Stacks of book ideas, blog ideas, where I want to go, what I want to do, what I think about just about every topic that I’ve ever heard about, old baggage, and card board boxes full of discarded plans. I think all the horrendous headaches I’ve been having lately are a physical manifestation of this problem. The doctor calls it a sinus infection, but I know better, hah! OK, I am taking his dang cooty pills, and on the 2nd round, but I know what really needs to happen.
I simply must move OUT of my head and out IN to the action realm. I’m going to start telling y’all what comes of your wonderful ideas in my little corner of the universe. Hey, it’s a start, go easy on me. At least I’m doing this before I have to rent some sort of medical contraption to roll my head around on because it’s falling off my shoulders. A scooter for one’s brain, now that’s a frightening mental image.
Action #1: Today I’m going to start boxing up all my books that are collecting dust. The intent is I’m going to get rid of most or all them. If I find some that I think I might want to read again, I’ll take a picture of them with my phone so I can get them on Kindle, and out they go. That will keep me busy and/or out of trouble for most of the day.
Update: While sorting books I found one that I thought was so terrible that I didn’t even want to give it away. Discovery: My cat peed on it. The decision is easy now. Toss in the recycle bin. Strange he chose that one specific book…life is interesting.
The comment that jolted me for this post was from Ed Helvey – The Professional Nomad
Sounds like Mr. Husband is a perfect example of what Thoreau was talking about when he said, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” And, by default, you could replace men with women. Many of us who are single don’t have to concern ourselves with how a spouse (male or female) thinks, feels or acts. We just make a choice “to do.” Unfortunately, even the vast majority of single men and women of all adult ages are still examples of what Thoreau said.
Picture above from http://evelyn.smyck.org/2010/09/18/burning-man-festival/
Times flies by, there’s no escaping it. I read a post this morning by Brian on the Everywhere Once Blog called “7 Lessons From a Year On the Road”. Lesson number one made my hair stand on end.
1) How easy it is to not follow your dreams. Inertia is an incredibly powerful force. It’s far easier to follow a routine, even a hated one, than it is to do something risky, unfamiliar, and meaningfully different.
Yikes! Self-examination gives me indigestion. It occurs to me that I’ve turned go with the flow into an art form and an EXCUSE. When I talk to Mr. Husband about something I want to do or a dream, his standard answer is “we can’t afford that now, or well someday…maybe….” So I let it ride. I stuff it back in my head and think of it no more, cause I’m a right now kind of gal. Maybe that’s why I have so many headaches. Too many unrealized wishes stuffed in there. My head is going to explode. He says he wants to travel and we will, at some point. Well, it’s been 10 years now and I’m still waiting. ***taps foot, with hand on hip***
Perhaps I have not made myself clear, to myself or him. When I say travel, I don’t mean some huge herculean effort and a whirlwind exhausting effort to cram eleventy seven activities into a week at an outrageously expensive resort that takes 2 weeks to recuperate from and a year and a half to pay for. I mean hit the road and live on the road at a leisurely pace. This might include mundane things like drinking beer at a laundry mat while waiting for your clothes to dry. Or spending a whole day reading a book in the shade with not a thing on the agenda but relaxing. You can’t do that on a “vacation.”
I want to spend a good part of a summer somewhere in the great northern half of the United States or Canada. Mr. Husband still does not have a passport, just for the record. (10 years later) Why spend an entire summer in Texas where it gets so hot that it melts the cornea off your eyeballs on brief trip from the front door and the mailbox? There is absolutely not one damn thing we need to do that requires us to be here all summer. Everything single thing that Mr. Husband does for his business can be done elsewhere. He could run his entire show from a coffee shop in Shri Lanka if he so chooses.
But, nOOOooooaOOo, we must remain…in…this…house…because that is what respectable conservative people do…in his reality. Sometimes I feel like a hostage. We have plenty of money right this minute. But almost every last penny of it is committed to the purchase and upkeep of things we don’t need, have no place to store, and services we don’t use.
We have the most expensive Direct TV package that it is possible to have. All the sports add ons. Every movie channel. Do we need that? Hell no. Do we even use it? Again, NO. Any movie worth watching we already saw at the movie theatre and probably have on Blu-ray. The sports channel? Ahem, that’s touchy territory for Mr. Sports fan. But let me tell what really goes on in this house. Hubman turns on the game on the big screen. Then he goes in his office – shuts the door – and listens to the game on the radio while playing on the computer.
Getting rid of the TV package alone would make a payment on an RV. I know, I checked! Then there is the 80 zillion dollar utility bill for the air-con. Granted that is important if you stay in the house for 3 months. What I can’t seem to get through to Mr. Hub is that if you keep the air-con turned down to zizz, it just seems that much hotter when you go outside. 73 degrees inside and 95 degrees outside, that’s a 22 degree change in temperature and it’s a shock to your system. Couple that with his habit of waiting until the last possible millisecond to take a shower so he’s already hot and sweaty before we walk out the door. It’s no wonder we don’t want to go anywhere. He’s hot and nasty and I am hot and have to listen to him complain on top of being hot. Bleh!
Last Christmas and for my birthday he asked “what do you want for your present?” My answer: “an RV.” He laughs and I get another item of jewelry or a coach purse. I’m not complaining, ok maybe I am, but I’d much rather put that money in savings account to save for what I really want. I WANT AN RV – I WANT IT NOW, or as soon as is humanly possible. No I don’t want a hot tub in the back yard. I want a parking space for my RV. OK, I’ll park it on the hot tub deck if I have to. Hopefully it won’t come to that. I don’t want or need more stuff. I don’t have any place to put it as it stands now.
What to do, what to do. Stay off of amazon.com, start a plan, work on the plan. Take action. Everything I own is going to be put to the test from this point of view. Do I like this enough to cram in the camper and haul it around the country? If the answer is no, out it goes.
What did 40 years of working for someone else teach me? Well, it taught me how to work for someone else. I used to think I was hard on myself, but I’m actually a pretty lenient task master. Way too lenient to tell the truth.
I learned how to plan stuff for other people because I had to, and I was good at it. What I need to do is take all the things I’ve learned and put them to use for me. The me that I want to become. Figuring out what me I want to become makes as much sense right now as asking a caterpillar what kind of butterfly it’s going to become. Or maybe it won’t, what if it is going to be a moth. Oh my God, this is getting confusing now.
I know now that I didn’t spend a lot of time planning on what to do once I retired because I didn’t think I ever would or could. I did retire and a year later I’m standing here with my thumb up my wazoo wondering what the hell happened. All the things that I thought I wanted to do somehow don’t seem to interest me now that I have the time to do them. They are no longer forbidden fruit or pipe dreams.
The one thing I do like to do, no matter what, is travel. One problem I’m bumping up against is the Mr. Husband and I have a very different definition of travel. I like to throw stuff in the general direction of my suitcase and leave. Leave being the operative word, the destination only matters if I’m going to need adaptor plugs for my laptop.
The Hubman wants to spend to 2 weeks packing everything into a giant bag that requires a crane to lift out of the house. If his mother is coming with us, wee haa. We all trundle into his giant pickup truck that he has trouble parking anywhere other than the far end of runways in large airports. Preferable the kind that accommodate a 747, which is slightly smaller than his truck. Then the freaking and shrieking will begin. He and his mother can argue about what color the sky is for an hour and a half.
Maybe I need to start some kind of travel planning calendar. This waiting until I can’t stand another minute in this house to plan my escape isn’t working well. I end up lurching away to anywhere without getting to look forward to it. And that’s half the fun. Heading to Kentucky to buy a donut at a truck stop becomes a likely possibility when I’m desperate.
Somewhere in between writing and leaving town there has to be a place for me to get my groove on. I’m going to figure out what it is or die trying. This will eventually happen anyway when I reach the respectable age of 135.
I need to get out more! This is getting ridiculous. I love my house and my yard. It’s so comfy and pleasant. But, I’ve taken to staying, OK hiding, here way too much. There are no demands on me to leave if I don’t want to. No work, no classes, no sick friends, no obligations. No enormous sale going on at the shoe store even. Sure, I’ll go with Mr. Husband when he’s driving, out to dinner or errands.
Yesterday I went out to run my own errands for a change. The first place was to DSW to return a pair of shoes that I changed my mind about. When I returned to the car I got in on the passenger’s side and sat there for a moment confused. Hmmm, where is my driver? That’s when it hit me. When I get a little too comfortable in my suburban hermitage, a sort of inertia sets in.
I’m a home body who loves to travel. That may sound like a contradiction, but really it’s not. I define travel as leaving to a destination that is not local. When I’m not doing that, I’m perfectly happy to putter around the house. Write a little for this blog. Work on the book I’m still writing. No, I didn’t quit after the great NaNoWriMo smack down. I watch weird foreign films on Netflix. I’ve never been one of those people who needs someone else to entertain me. Maybe I’m too good at it? Does this even make sense?
Been doing some visualizations and meditations lately on what it is that I find fascinating more than anything else. I love to travel, but the big question is: why do I like to travel? I think I’ve figured it out. Had a Eureka moment. The number one most fascinating topic in the whole wide world is PEOPLE. Bam! There it is. Human beings in all their varied and wonderful glory, pain, opinions, beliefs, squalor and elations. That’s why I love to travel. To meet different people, in different cultures, different walks of life.
I never tire of studying why people do what they do, think what they think, or feel what they feel, even the so-called “bad people.” What I have to get into my own thick skull is that there are people right here in my own home town. Millions of them. I should go on people watching expeditions often. A missed opportunity, a befuzzlement that I intend to remedy. If not today…well tomorrow is another day.
I love to read. Any occasion calls for it. If a civil war should suddenly spring up, I would be found off to the side somewhere hiding under a wagon, my nose in a book. I long ago decided to that I was a conscientious objector to country wide brawls. I’ve taken my thumps in the past at the amateur level. As the oldest of six I had to step in on occasion and defend my beloved siblings.
Now that they are grown…well that’s another story. Fortunately they are not the type to yell “for Valhalla” and dive head first into a fray. Except for my youngest brother, but he’s on his own now. I don’t even attempt to break up fisty cuffs between grown men. And I use the term grown loosely when it comes to bar brawls.
It’s so unpleasant and usually uncalled for. I don’t need my honor defended, thank you very much. Those who won’t back off with the receipt of a scathing look…well…I leave the vicinity immediately. OK, I must confess, I did whack a rude fellow over the head with a guide book I was reading once. In my defense he pulled my hair 3 times. Pretending inability to speak English the first 2 times I asked him to stop pulling my hair, and calling me a bitch the 3rd time. A lady can only take so much before she results to the deployment of primal defense maneuvers. And I didn’t have a pair of gloves handy to slap him with.
So I read 2 books this week. My sister told me about them. Both by Jerome K. Jerome. Three Men in a Boat and 3 Men on a Bummel. They are both hilarious, laugh out load funny. Both stories are about 3 friends traveling together. Jerome has an insight to people that is timeless. He wrote these books in the late 1800s and they are still completely relevant today. The same sense of adventure mixed with peevishness and occasional desire to say “to hell with this” and be transported in the blink of an eye to ones home and bed are the experience of any traveler.
The let down of arriving at an attraction after much fussing and hardship and finding it less than attractive has happened to just about anyone who ventures farther than the end of their home street. The same with the sudden sense of bliss and all is right with the world at the end of a long day of successful adventuring. A good meal and a drink or 2 make all the difference in the world. If this happens under a roof, in a building with running water, even better. We are now approaching Nirvana.