Away and From

Sometimes you just need an adventure to wash away the bitter taste of the world. – Anon

It’s summer. And while travel has been vastly interrupted, it it has not completely stopped. Indeed there is still a need for vacation. For relaxing, for clearing the mind and getting away from those responsibilities. And it doesn’t have to be far. Just Away. From everything.

And that is what this weekend is to me. It is away from my house, as wonderful as it is. there is always something to do, to clean, to organize, to write, to accomplish. Sometimes we need to accomplish play. We need to laugh, eat at a new place, walk down new streets where no one knows us. Yes, I may have moved to a new state and new neighborhood, but there is still a need for adventure, for stepping away from everyday life and playing. With nothing in front of me but all that I am not responsible for.

They say that people are happiest not with things, but with experiences. What fun it is to test that theory. And it does make sense – things cannot make you laugh, or give you good memories or even ensure a good life. But to travel. To be able to tell a story around a table to friends later. Or to a child or spouse while they listen and smile, well, that is priceless.

So never be afraid to venture away and from what is familiar. Always go and play for a bit. Whether you are alone, a couple or with a group, it makes life better in so many ways. It enriches us and makes us appreciate the world around us, the word past the horizon and over the mountains of our limited view. To learn, to see, to experience that Wanderlust. That is to live.

Life is short. Make it as rich, as amazing, as varied as possible. Make your life all the colors of the spectrum. Go far and away and from what you know to learn and grow and see.

To What Purpose

I had a good friend who struggled with her empty nest after her children went off to college. She struggled to find her purpose and what she felt like she should be doing. At the time I did not understand why or how. I told her that this is the time she should be having a great time, doing whatever she wanted and focusing in on herself. But she still struggled.

And now I get where she was coming from. For the past 11 years, I have done nothing but take care of my family and friends. Putting nephews through college, helping my sister and her family, ,helping my parents through treatments, terminal illness, death and finally taking care of the estate.

And at the end of that 11 years, I moved to a new state and get a new start. And here I am. I have this great life. I am taking care of myself doing whatever I want. having a great time. And I am happy for the first time in many years – truly, blissfully, amazingly happy.

So…now what??

I have accomplished what I want in my career and only have to take on projects that I want and believe in. There is a home with wonderful space and family and friends that visit. There is love and happiness and all that I not only need, but want. I need and want for nothing indeed. And yet there is something missing.

I am missing my purpose. That thing that I am meant to do. I know what it is (I think), but how in will it take form into fruition? Eye, there’s the rub.

My purpose is to help and serve others. This I know. And it happens no matter where I am, where I go or who I am with. But no I look around and there is no one and nothing to help. SO…now what??

Isn’t that the question many of us are asking in our lives? Now what? After all that we have done, all that we have, all that we have left to do…why are we asking “Now what?” I think it is because we are not truly fulfilled until we find our purpose. And that is different than a career.

So here is what I want?: I want to help and serve others, as it is my purpose to do. And I want to build something larger than myself. But I don’t want to do it alone. I want do it with someone. I want a partner in building. I have done everything alone. All of it. And it has drained and depleted my in the past. Indeed. building is not for the faint of heart. The truth is I can do it myself, and successfully have. but I no longer Want to. And there in-lies the difference. So now what?

I don’t know. And I am truly struggling with it. Maybe the secret is the pray earnestly for what you want, then let go and be present in the moments ahead until an opportunity for purpose presents itself. Indeed, if our faith is strong. then shouldn’t we believe that we are and will be exactly where we should exactly when needed? This is where I fall short. Patience. I want this now.

Life is short. We all need a purpose. We all need and want to fulfill a larger part of a dream in the tapestry of humanity. We all need to know that our existence is not in vain. We all need to be useful. And so I pray and wait. And soon I hope to know what my purpose will be in this part of life.

Spring Cleaning Up

It is in the summer, and yet there is cleaning to be done. And trip to take. For me, I always like to clean the house before leaving town, that way I return to a wonderful clean house and it feels so good. Think about it – when you come home form traveling, you are usually exhausted. The last think you want is to return home to laundry to do, a messy kitchen that needs to be cleans and floors that are dirty.

And so I went into a frenzy. The kitchen was cleaned and all surfaces were wiped down, as were all the cabinets and doors. The floors were swept, vacuumed and mopped. The bathrooms were scrubbed, the fans were cleaned off, everything was dusted and the baseboards cleaned as well. Yes the house was wpic and span.

But it took a while to do, and it took good old fashioned elbow grease. It took scrubbing, and bleach, and wiping, and sweating. Yes, it took work to gret it all done. And by the time I was finished, it was definately time for vacation.

Let’s be cleat, I do not enjoy cleaning – At. All. But I oh so enjoy the results. The house was clean, it smelled, it felt clean and it looked brighter. Which is good because scrubbing it hard work and I hate doing it.

But isn’t that the case with life? We have to put the work in if we are going to have the life and the dreams that we want. And that pertains to a job or career, a relationship, being in shape, getting a degree, whatever. Life is hard work. Yes, we should have fun and play hard as well, but make no mistake, life takes work. And it takes time.

Time is an extremely finite thing. Once gone we cannot get it back. It cannot be bought, bargained and stolen. It is what it is and that is it. So be purposeful on that which you spend your time. Make sure it is worthwhile. Make sure it is the job and career that you want, the relationship with the person you want and the life in general that you want. And if you are stuck in any of those that you d’t want – then make a change. The time is going to pass anyway, so we might as well.

So now I am at the beach, relaxing, playing hard after working hard. And when I get home, it will be nice and clean and wonderful. And I can start the next day fresh in mind and spirit.

Life is short. Work hard, play hard, and love hard, with all of you heart. Anything else is wasted time. Do the work and have the life and all the trappings that you want. But you must first do the work.