Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Reasons to Travel #1

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” - Mark Twain

Every now and again I make resolutions to keep my car clean or do the dishes right after dinner, or make the kids pick up right away when they are done playing.

And yet I am sure that when I look back twenty years from now I will not regret that I didn't do the dishes.

At home it can be hard to put away the laundry list of to do items.

On the road, the visual clamor of items needing your attention--the dishes, the faucet drip, the falling fences, the cobwebs, weeds, unpaid bills, unmade beds, the junk boxes and book stacks, the papers and puzzle pieces and game pieces and toy pieces that need sorting--is silenced, allowing you to turn your full attention to your children and see and hear them.

On the backdrop of a messy kitchen, of a sink overflowing with dishes, a child dripping sticky watermelon juice can seem like just one more mess to clean up.

On a backdrop of sand and waves and roseate spoonbills she is pure joy. And my life, instead of feeling cluttered, feels unbearably and delightfully full.


Barbara said...

It's so true. We are about to make our annual trip to upstate New York (stretching it to a month this summer), and I have so many of the experiences you describe. I always return feeling uncluttered, and inspired to bring more of that into our "real" life.

The Stone Age Techie said...

This is a wonderful idea to think on, just as we're about to begin our (mostly)'staycation' - our goal is to spend two weeks at home as if we were away, so we won't worry so much about the porch that needs work, the dishes, all that mundane stuff.
Instead, we want to go to the beach, check out some museums, play mini-golf... let the good times roll.

Thanks for stating our goal so clearly!


Stefaneener said...

And yet it's so nice to have you back in the clutter of everydayness. Let's try to capture more of the go-go summer for the rest of the season.

And then we can collapse on the new patio.

patricia said...

So I guess the trick is learning to ignore the visual clamor sometimes and enjoy the kids wholeheartedly.

Tonight I was trying to get Mr. T to move along and brush his teeth and put on his jammies so we could read. But he was playing this ridiculous CD that came with a Captain Underpants book, with a Japanese singer with a poor English accent singing, "Oops I Farted". Mr. T was standing on a chair, shimmying, and I finally just gave up trying to cajole him and joined in the dance.

I was really glad that I did.

Kristin said...

I totally agree with you and I like how you explained it--like a poem, comparing and contrasting activities in your home with the memories of your recent journey.

The hardest part for me is the first few weeks of being back from a trip. I get the doldrums until I get used to my routine again.

I rarely miss the routine while I'm gone. I lament over having to get back into it when we return--so go easy on yourself, if you feel a bit melancholy for awhile. It's normal.

AM said...


Susan said...

Barbara, have a wonderful trip!

Karen, what a fabulous idea. I often don't do anything about my to do list, I just worry about it. Maybe I'll work on banishing the worrying.

Stefani, I'm looking forward to collapsing on the new patio in this heat.

Tricia, you are so right. I also danced the day of this post. Greta was in her beloved white wedding dress and I had to be the groom. We searched and searched Mike's closets for a tie. These Silicon Valley engineers! Not a single tie. Sheesh.

Kristin,thanks! I did feel melancholy for a while and started to question the routine. But the kids like to have regularly scheduled activities.

AM, thanks! You have never shrunk from throwing off the bowlines. Hope you are enjoying the trade winds in your sails.

gina said...

sigh. how lovely.

I have been thinking today about how it doesn't "feel" like summer yet. We have had awful rain for weeks. I was thinking of surprising them with a "Let's celebrate summer!" kick - off tomorrow- your post makes me realize it is a very good idea...