It’s almost October. The beginning of the month is taunting me like a ball on the end of a string being dangled in front of a kitten. Sure, I’d love to reach out and grab it. On the other hand, I’d like to sit and watch it wave in front of me…I will not play your time games…
Time doesn’t exist on the bike. You get up at a reasonable hour and you hit the road before the heat is hitting you. You wander down the small back roads trying to absorb all that you pass. You push those pedals harder when there’s a Walmart in site or an endless stretch of barren land. You don’t know what day it is. You don’t know what time it is. These things that seem to dominate and keep your real life in a choke hold are hardly thought of while you ride. This is one reason why I will never take a vacation that revolves around scheduled activities. Throw in one or two spur of the moment time-based events but man do NOT tell me that I must be here for one adventure or another. Vacations have been marketed so heavily on this adventure or that. How about viewing the whole thing as the adventure and those mini-adventures are the highlights. They won’t be that though if you are late, or forgot your flippers, or your wallet. I guess I’m thinking more or those all inclusive vacations like cruises…
My mom and I went on an 11 day cruise about 4 years ago and it was a lot of fun. But it wasn’t just fun because of the islands we saw or the massive ship we explored daily. It was fun because we had a credit card and could pay for those $8 lattes and $12 mixed drinks with the a swipe. It was fun because we didn’t miss getting back to the boat before it left dock. (I did almost miss it once but jumped aboard as they were pulling in the ramp) It was fun because we only missed one meal-they are scheduled and if you are late, you don’t eat. You’ve now paid for a meal you cannot enjoy. Sounds like a blast! I desperately wanted to stay on every island for at least a day. I think the longest we were on one was from about 7am to 4pm. How sad. It takes 1 hour just to get a taxi somewhere. They were all magnificent places and we did really fun things like scuba dive, take and island tour(we got very drunk), sit on sandy white beaches, kayak along the green banks in crisp blue waters. It was amazing. I never want to do it again! I don’t remember the names of the islands and we went to about 8. I was exhausted from the go-go-go. You’re on a boat! All it can do is GO! There was one day, it was Christmas day, where the boat didn’t even port. It just went in circles.
So enough ranting. The point is that vacations should be an escape from the normal restrictions in life. They should be an opportunity for a person to let loose, take a deep breathe, and be free. Take off your watch, turn off the phone, forget about Facebook and email. Peal yourself away from all of the things that us humans have created to “make your life easy.” Challenge yourself to just relax. For most people these days it is a challenge.
I want you out there, whoever is still reading this, to challenge yourself to sit still for one hour. It’s nearly impossible. Our minds just want to tell our bodies to go! But our minds created time and our bodies don’t always agree with the concept. It’s not good to push the body or the mind to never step back and relax. I try doing yoga to force myself to “get centered” and “be one with myself.” Are you kidding? I’m thinking about not farting in front of the 30 other people in a hot hot hot room filled with highly flexible folks that make me ashamed that I can’t pretzel as they do. I’m trying not to fall over while I’m “calmly” standing on one foot, legs wrapped around each other, arms twisted, head up, breathing in unison. How is this relaxing? I suppose if I were better at it my mind would be free to wander in other directions. What is it that calms you? Do that for one hour just to see if you can. I bet for some of you it’s knitting or gardening. Cooking? Cleaning? Running? It’s funny that all of the calming or de-stressing actions I can think of are just that, actions. We’re supposed to be sitting still. I guess it is a little unreasonable to think that anyone would want to do that…Right? But not because it’s weird but because we would look back on that one peaceful hour with distain. I can hear you now telling yourself how you could have gotten 5 other things done in that one hour. Now your entire day is thrown off because you took such a foolish break. But was it time wasted?
I’m battling time every day. I have no job. I have jewelry supplies begging to be played with. I have dishes to be done and laundry and a resume to fix up and an apartment to find and grants to look for. I have so much to do and so MUCH time to do it that it isn’t getting done. Instead I am awake at 3 am going over this list of things to tackle the next day. I’m so awake that I go ahead and get up for 2 hours to fiddle around and read a cookbook instead of getting much needed rest. It’s been hard to adjust back to a world of deadlines, expectations from others, money issues, places to be…But I bet that had I jumped right back into a job, I wouldn’t feel the same about life. I would be back into a routine of some kind where every free moment is cherished. Where I have time to miss the boyfriend and ache to be home on the couch. Instead I try to think of all the possible things I could do and then don’t do any!
It’s not that I haven’t done anything. I do accomplish things, just very slowly. Today was productive and so was the weekend actually. I may be on the up swing. The date of departure from Charleston is approaching. The weight of change is beginning to sit heavy on my shoulders.
Oscar sits lonely outside. He’s not happy with how often he is used. When he does go for a spin it’s usually to a coffee shop and then home again. I miss relying on him to carry me down the road. Guess I’ll have to start relying on myself.