What must it be like to have your day defined by the hunt for firewood.. or searching for viable acorns? I had a lot of stray thoughts yesterday as my mind tried to walk away from the conversations in play. Someone would say something and I would think about that for a second and then I would follow that thread away and stop paying attention. It’s not that the conversation wasn’t interesting. On the contrary. I was very interested in these other people’s musings and talk that was at the front of their mind.
It’s just that I haven’t opened my mind in a while for new thoughts. The classic broken record on repeat (those who visit frequently to read what I am thinking know all too well). So having a whole day with new thoughts and ideas from other folks was a lot to process in the moment. A thing I’m not great at anyway. I even had to pop my phone out a few times to make a note of something I wanted to research more on or think about later so as to not lose track of it as one topic was quickly stacked onto another.
There was a lot of talk about academia. A subject I’m pretty ignorant about so I don’t have a lot to contribute. Things like what systematic problems exist and why someone might choose to stay in the field versus leaving to find something else. And my mind wanders away.
Talk about career. These are things I’ve beat like a dead horse and my opinions are clear. Working for your life for someone else or some organization. I’m on the side of it not mattering as long as you find yourself doing something you get satisfaction and value out of. Something that makes you feel fulfilled and like you have a good purpose.
There will always, always, ALWAYS be issues and things you don’t like about it. Frustrations, or people, or company politics that suck. That’s life. But does it pay the bills? Can you live the way you want with the moneys provided? Is there enough time at the end of the day to breathe? Time to do something else you enjoy? Time enough to give yourself to other people you love?
If so. That’s better than a lot of folks. Which is another good point. That it’s more important to have a measuring stick built on your own ideals than to fashion one that’s a replica of someone else’s. Or worse.. what the world at large has decided it should look like. Yeah, that standard issue stick is definitely not right for most.
I can’t directly give people advise. I just can’t. But if I could, I would say all of this. My fear is that people would look at my life (now) and say, “easy for you to say.” Which might lead to me getting defensive about the path of my life. And I’d have to start at the beginning and explain everything and nobody has time for that.
As Jack and Robert talked about their hunt for firewood, I could not help but think about the fact that I’m so conservative about everything. Something buried in me from my upbringing compels me to save things. I try to eat every bit of leftovers in the fridge (and am strict about not throwing food away). I save dryer sheets cuz I can’t bring myself to throw away something that has so much purpose left in it after one or two runs in the dryer. I wash out plastic bags because I don’t want to contribute to the piles of plastic that won’t decompose in the world. Is there nothing we can do with these super soft plastics? I need to look into that.
As of late I find myself slipping a bit, changing ever so slightly and letting something go into to trash that I previously would not. And am ashamed of myself. I don’t want to change that part of me.
Robert talked about sleeping out in the cold in his tent and how with one quilt, tucked just right, he got better sleep than he’s had in a great while. It made me want to try it. No space heater, no fire, just a blanket and my own body heat.
The primary goal of the “Shack Simple” day is to be restorative and just get back to a simpler way. Perhaps spend more than a day, cleanse the body of toxins, cleanse the mind of toxins, and just exist. Rediscover what it feels like to just be a creature that is a part of a grand ecosystem without all the fuss that comes with being human.
Of course it’s tough not to talk about current events. Politics, the president, and the coronavirus. Those were the topics I had the toughest time staying with the conversation. I want to cleanse my mind of toxins and not pump more in. Also I’m just tired of it all and have built up a wall to protect myself from it. Yes, of course I’ll vote, but it does me no good to get riled up about it. So I just sat there and tried to listen. I like to just listen (most of the time).
Today is the first Monday I don’t have to work. Yesterday it was decided that what I am is retired. Retired and ready to give my life to Poetry. Yes, Poetry, I’m open and ready to receive.
I don’t yet have words to describe how I feel. But I’ll keep working on that.
Thanks Michelle, Gina, Robert, and Jack for a lovely day yesterday. And cheers to having another soon.
Until next time,