Be water, my friend.

Posted: September 23, 2015 in Uncategorized

I have a tendency to seek control over most of the things in my life. I treat time as a sacred commodity that must be utilized to its fullest. One of my greatest frustrations is wasted time, an irksome pet peeve that has grown over the years to make it hard for me to even enjoy a rerun. It can be useful, as it pushes me to seek out spare time and fill it with reading, writing, or pursuing the myriad of other habits I am seeking to install in my life. But it can also lead to an inflexibility, a resistance to spontaneity and general r&r. That was the principal driving force behind my pre-vacation rant about rallying against the power of a holiday to derail well-planned, well-structured day-to-day plans. As the first day of my vacation arrived however, I realized that I had two choices. I could stick to the plan, forcing my dailies into play amidst pool-time. beaches and some excellent revelry with friends and family. Or I could submit to the moment, suspend all of the current demands I had placed upon myself, and be like water. Become the revelry.

I chose the latter.

I realized that my entire motivation to keep plugging away at these things during my one week of vacation was spawned by a fear of failure, a fear that not maintaining my coveted plan that had mastered my freetime to maximum effect would derail the whole plan. Missing a single day meant abandoning the flow, breaking the chain, and ending a two week streak of completing my daily habits.

It meant letting go.

So let go I did. I watched football, played in the pool, visited the beach, looked the stars and saw the Milky Way and a shooting star… I let the week take me within the tides of its own design and allowed myself a week without control.

It was simply great, culminating over the weekend with a spontaneous stay in Savannah rather than making the full drive home in one go. It was my first time there and I loved it. The people were grand, the atmosphere was fun and energetic and historic all at once. The great trees with the beards of Spanish moss lined the streets, leading to 18th century cemeteries and beautiful parks. By the time we made it home Sunday night, I could truly say I had filled my time with fun without having used a minute of it.

With Monday of course came a return to work and the dailies. The site I use to manage my daily goals, Habitica, thankfully has a ‘Stay at the Inn’ feature, which enabled me to pause the goals for the week I was gone. I checked out Monday morning and began once again engaging with these goals of reading, writing and working out that I find so much value within

I also left on a new project in the Everglades. I have been lucky enough to work from home these last two months, but it was at last time to head back out into the field, hiking through forests and grasslands in search of buried history. Despite the knee-high water and the mosquitoes, the physical work itself, my coworkers and being back in nature has made my return that much more satisfying. As always we have our random animal encounters. There have been a few gators, a water moccasin, herds and herds of staring, half-interested cattle, bounding deer and a great array of bird species. Something about it all just adds a certain extra value to my life I cannot quite explain.

So now the dailies are being integrated into my hotel-living lifestyle while I travel and dig, and all the while I am hoping to incorporate new plans into this system as I become more acclimated to being back in the field. The book is coming along nicely, and if things continue as they have I am hoping to be ready to go into editing mode and start pursuing publishing options as soon as the new years starts.

In the meantime, I must remember Bruce Lee’s wonderful advice. I must be like water. Be fluid. Adapt. Evolve. Do not be a slave to your goals. Pursue them vigorously, but enjoy the everyday while you do.

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