The End of Our Trip
It is our last day before heading home. Today we are sleeping in. This seems like the most important thing to do in London today. It won out over Windsor Palace, Harrod’s, Harry Potter, and the markets. It even beats going to Dover; the last stop on our tentative itinerary. Given the fact that we got up at 3 am yesterday, it makes sense. I think however, it is more than that.
We spent yesterday doing laundry, and eating. That is really all we had on our plates.
That …. is unusual. What I notice is that my life no longer has these gaps of time in which ‘nothing’ is planned. The time in which one might grab a book and read, or rest.
At home, I get to get over jet lag. This time we won’t have done any work to avoid jet lag, as we did on the way over. A day after I return, I am getting married. (Yay!) Somehow, I must unpack, write vows, and stay awake past 5 pm! (That will be the hardest part.) I do need to spend some time with my new husband-to-be. Then it will be off on a honeymoon.
In that upcoming trip, hiking along the Appalachian Trail with my newly wed husband, those down times are required. Of necessity, there are days that one has the important tasks of eating, laundry, and resting. How will it feel, to limit myself, to revisit these times of recharging. I realize I have lost those times. Will I rage against them when imposed upon me? Will they be temporary? Will I bring them back into my daily life?
Through the thin walls of our cottage, I can hear the family next door, with several little children. They have the opposite problem. Days upon days of nothing but eating, laundry and naps. That too is extremely challenging. What does life mean without some sense of ‘doing” something? The question is how do we find, and maintain, that balance point, even through our career development and family emergence? I know many of us struggle with this.
It is interesting for me to experience the extremes of this dichotomy, within such a short period of time. I have gone from not a moment unscheduled, to an extended break from paid work, as well as my hobbies and vocations. I can really feel the challenges in both sides of this: Too Busy/Not Enough challenge.
We have not even dived into the deeper questions of why we do this to ourselves, and why we feel what we do when in these times. Why is it hard to acknowledge that living a good life is no longer enough? Why is it not enough to make it through the day, or through our life, without becoming famous (or at least having someone outside ourselves acknowledged us/our work?)
We use busy-ness to keep us from feeling empty, to keep us distanced from others. The contact might make us feel. Or think. Why is that so uncomfortable? What happens in the stillness / what arises? What is so scary?
See I am doing it now. Here I am blogging on vacation.
In doing so, I am also experiencing, revisiting, some things that were lost and I miss. I am seeing some things that pinch and noting that I would like to change. Inside, I am changing. This is all what I wanted: to change my life, to slow down, to BE more.
It is uncomfortable. I think, however, I am on the right track. I will continue on.
Soon, I will write about food and herbs and yoga adventures. Who knows what else might happen before then! It’s so exciting!
by Tama Cathers
This is my favorite art detail. I can feel the warm slow lick of the comforting dog on the foot of this child, I can hear the thoughts of the dog, and feel the sun, tongue and breeze on the foot. It makes me laugh and feel warm all at the same time!