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April 5, 2017 – Plans and Planning

Published April 5, 2017 by jillamatt

***Jill’s ‘letting go’ Diary***

This is part of a series of posts (ordered by Dated Titles) where I am recording my thoughts and emotions as we tackle getting rid of all of our possessions.  From the day that I came up with this idea, to sell everything and travel the world, I have recorded my thoughts on certain days where I feel like writing.  These are real time, and not edited (except for grammatical corrections.) 

PLAN:
1. a scheme or method of acting, doing, proceeding, making, etc., developed in advance: battle plans.
2.a specific project or definite purpose: plans for the future.

It constantly amazes me at how wrapped up I get in plans.  It’s the ultimate clue that I am simply NOT living in the moment, if I am constantly thinking and worrying about the future.

With our upcoming departure from Canada, looming on the horizon, I find myself completely overwhelmed (there’s that word again) with all the things that need to be done before we go.  We still need to sell more stuff, clear the clutter, finish renovating the kitchen and sell the house.

It seems like a monumental list of things to do, and I find the more I think about the overall picture, the more I get totally stuck.  I’m forever trying to remind myself that slow and steady wins the race.

I’ll be quite honest here, I dam near burnt myself out a couple weeks ago.  It wasn’t a full face plant, but I think I caught it just in time, before I completely collapsed under the utter exhaustion of it all.  Here I was bragging about my stealthy selling skills ( see my blog post about Overwhelm.  Hello??  That should have been a warning!) and how I was in overdrive coordinating all of my pick ups and drop offs of stuff everyday,  not too mention being constantly on facebook posting items to sell and making sure that what was purchased was deleted etc. etc. etc.  Meanwhile, my adrenals were screaming at me to take a break and relax a little, or a LOT!

I finally collapsed one evening and laid down on the couch, utterly exhausted, but feeling the Adrenalin still coursing through my veins.  I literally could feel my body vibrating.  I was so tired I could barely speak, but so awake from the buzzing that I couldn’t sleep.  It was a very strange feeling indeed.

But EVEN in that moment, my brain was telling me that I WASN’T doing too much.  “What is wrong with me?  Maybe I’m sick?  This can’t be burnout?  Not me, oh no, I don’t burnout!  Why is my stomach so clenched?  Maybe I have an ulcer?  Maybe I should go to the doctor.”  These were the thoughts running through my brain as I lay in a vegetative state on the couch. I was literally arguing with myself, in disbelief that I was actually just doing too much!  Going too fast!  Trying too hard!

After much back and forth between my egos, I finally decided that maybe, just maybe, I should hold back on the rapid selling that I was doing.

The whole point of this trip, after all,  is to get away from the everyday run around that we are experiencing here in Canada, the perpetual hamster wheel.  Somehow my sub-conscious seems to think that it’s a race to get there.  Like if I just put in all this effort and exhaust myself now, then when I get to where ever it is that I am going, I can finally relax.  But the thing IS, is that I have to get there!  And at the pace I was running, the only place I was going to get to was the hospital!

And I have finally realized that there are no timelines!  Sure, we want to have the house listed by July, and sure we want to leave Powell River by the end of September to mid October, but there really isn’t a specific PLAN, these are just goals that we are working towards.  We don’t have a flight booked, in fact, we are hoping to just fly standby using airline passes from a friend.  There are no hard dates, we haven’t booked a hotel or a hostel for when we get there, we haven’t done anything concrete to make running around like a maniac worthwhile.  Besides, the countries we plan to go to will still be there when we get there.  They will wait for us, I am sure of that.

However, I know that I am not alone in these thoughts.  Planning is a buzz word that inundates our society on a day to day basis.  We are told that we must PLAN for retirement.  In high school we are constantly asked what our PLAN is for education and our future.  We are conditioned to think that we need to PLAN our trips.  I hear people talk about their 3 year plans, 5 year plans and even 10 year plans.

The ludicrousness of this all is that we spend so much time PLANNING and working towards our PLANS, that we forget about the day to day.  The “happening RIGHT NOW stuff”.

What’s happening right now is the ultimate most important moment of our lives.  There is no guarantee that we will make it to “retirement”, or even tomorrow for that matter.  It’s those little moments that are happening RIGHT NOW, that shape our life stories.  What good is life if we are always caught up in what is happening in the future, which isn’t a guarantee anyways?

And so, after literally 2 weeks of recovery, I have resigned myself to slow down, take some deep breathes, and move at a pace that is sustainable.  I would like to enjoy my last few months here in the place I have called home for 11 years.  I would like to see people, engage and connect with my friends, and know that my last few months here were awesome,  not just a panic run around to get nowhere fast!

life-is-what-happens-to-us-while-we-are-making-other-plans

** Thanks for reading!  This is part of a larger group of blog posts about us letting go of all of our possessions to go traveling.  If you would like to read from the beginning, click here.**

To learn about where I have previously traveled, click here.

To see my blog post menu, click here.

Trip Aftermath

Published March 4, 2016 by jillamatt

I’m sure I’m not alone in this when I say that getting back to normal life after a trip can be a rather depressing affair. 

I’ve noticed this last time, in particular, that there is a very obvious timeline of emotions that follows a trip. I think the longer a person is away, the longer the ‘recovery’ period. 

For short holidays of 10 days or less, there is an obvious sensation of ‘Did I even go anywhere?’, only a few days after arriving back home. It almost feels like the trip was just a blip in the norm. There are memories, sure, but did the holiday actually recharge us? Some people ask you how your trip was. Some people didn’t even realize you went anywhere. 

After being away for 6 weeks, and now being back for about 6 weeks, I have noticed a clear pattern of emotions that I have experienced. 

#1. Happy to be home!  

After being away for so long, my partner and I were definitely ready to get home. It’s funny because after a while, I find that I begin to crave the normal. I get tired of deciding what to do each day, planning how to get places, figuring out what is next. This time I found myself looking forward to my normal routine, and getting back to my cozy house, pets and garden. 

#2. Trip Fever

The first couple weeks after getting home was spent in a bit of a post trip Euphoria. I’m sure getting over the jet lag contributed to this, but I also think it’s that the memories are so fresh, and you can’t help but recall events and places you explored.  It’s almost like you are bridging a dream world, one foot in your reality, and one foot still travelling. During this time, friends and family want to know how the trip was.  “What was your favourite place?”  “What was the highlight?”  It’s almost like you are forced to keep the memories fresh, like they aren’t allowed to slip away just yet. As many of my friends had read my blog, I have laughed and discussed THEIR highlights of our trip, and have spent many enjoyable moments  recalling our adventures to others that didn’t read it. 

3. Back to Reality

At some point, maybe about 3 weeks after getting back, while painting a wall somewhere (I am a house painter in my normal life), I had my first thought “There has got to be more to life than this.”  It’s laughable really, here I was craving my ‘normal’ routine only 3 or 4 weeks ago, and now that I was back in it, I was already sick of it. I pondered this thought a lot and have come to the following conclusion;

When I travel, my life in that moment is so full of wonders and excitement that I actually can’t wait to write about it.  How great is that?  If we could all have these feeling about our life ALL of the time, I think we would be the happiest little society that ever could be.  

Unfortunately for me, it’s generally just not the same when I get back to the regular routine. I know for sure that nobody wants to hear stories about my long days of painting walls, driving from meeting to meeting, cuddling with the cats, eat…..sleep…..repeat…..

4. Focus

After feeling like I have had nothing to talk about, and surely nothing to write about, I have found that I am slowly emerging from this place of self pity. I think it’s a normal feeling to sort of be let down by our mundane day to day existence. Don’t get me wrong, I am fortunate in that I actually DO love my life, and am grateful for many things, but the craving to see and do more is resting somewhere in my gut like a pouncing Tiger, re-energizing, re-charging, and lingering in wait for the next attack. 

I DO know that there IS more to life than this. This steady rhythm of eat, work, sleep (with some fun thrown in on the weekends). I have a vision of the life I want, a life that is currently being manifested in my mind.

A life of continued fun and excitement, where EVERYDAY is so great that I feel like writing about it!

And so, as I paint the walls I inevitably do some sort of meditating. I remind myself to focus. Focus on the next journey. 

Work hard.  Pay off bills.  Save up for the next one. Don’t get stuck. Move forward.  Dream. Build. Create. 

And most importantly, I remind myself that THIS is NOT how the story ends!

  

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