A Traveler’s Terrene

You only live once. What are you going to remember the most?

Making the most of every situation November 10, 2008

I’ve been told my life right now sounds glamourous. It is, in fact, even for me, a girl born in the country, who lived next to a wheatfield, graduated high school with 43 other students, and learned how to shoot a rifle by age 16. (Although, the whole hunters education course was merely for my dad’s sake, I have no idea how a rifle works now!)

But, glamour, or class rather “doesn’t buy the groceries” as my dad always likes to say. He is absolutely right. Furthermore, it is all about your perception of the situation. If a married woman reads my post about the Fashion Week event, she may turn green in the face with envy. She may complain that she could never travel because she has a morgage, and her husband and her rent movies on the weekends because they no longer are excited by the bar scene. “My life is so boring, if only I had your life,” she says, ” you are so lucky.”

Granted, I wouldn’t trade my situation right now as it is the path I chose and want to lead, but if I was to look at her life I could be envious as well.  Let’s see, this woman has a house for starters. She didn’t live out of a backpack for 8 months, sleeping in dodgy hostel beds (sometimes with cockroaches and bedbugs)  or on cold train station floors. She can decorate her house, throw beautiful dinner parties, and each day come back to what she calls “home.”  I’ve been in transition for the past 8 years. During university, studying abroad, travelling, and when I did stay put for 2 years, I didn’t make my apartment feel homey because I was saving my money to leave again. 

“My husband and I rent movies on the weekends because we are no longer excited by the bar scene.” Woah, wait. That sounds like a pretty amazing night to me…cuddled up in the arms of someone you love. Being in love far succeeds some fluffy purple jacket that is “fashionable”. I mean can a fluffy purple jacket talk to you? Laugh with you? Kiss you goodnight? Didn’t think so. But, if you’re tired of the same routine then mix it up! Use your imagination. If you and your lover have always wanted to travel, but can’t because of time, money, house, kids (this list goes on…) then bring culture to you!

Here’s on idea off the top of my head:

Take a hat, put a handful of country names that you have always wanted to visit. Then, with your lover (or kids etc), draw from the hat…..drum roll please…Spain. Great! Spain it is. Now what? For the rest of the month you will be doing work as an “obligated tourist”…no excuses as you “must” take your lover to dinner at the Spanish restaurant for tapas, sign up for a month of Flamenco dancing lessons, drive to the international film store and rent Spanish films with subtitles, buy (or print off pages online) a language book and learn how to say the basic greeting to one another, drink Spanish wine as you cook a Spanish dinner together, decorate a room in the house, or a corner even, with bright colored Spanish flare, like red and orange pillows, where you can curl up and read a book on the history and culture of Spain. The options are endless, and with today’s multimedia technology and international communities right in your own city, you don’t need to go to Spain, to Brazil, to Italy, to go to “Little Italy”.  Within the city, and even your own home, you can explore Spain one month, India the next and so on. You can even invite other friends and couples to participate. You just need to be creative and active in your approach and you can bring culture and fun to your own life.

We are sometimes too quick to change our persceptions about the choices we’ve made in our lives, envying others on the choices they’ve made, what they have, and the amazing life they are living.  It’s not about the things in life that are important, it is about the moments, the memories and the experiences that make you happy. Everyone is different, everyone finds happiness in different ways.  And, moreover, is all about perspective. It’s about living the best you can in the moment or stage you are in. If you are married, enjoy being married. If you are single enjoy being single. If you are bored in both of these, you don’t need to reinvent yourself, just add a little adventure to your everyday life. Explore new things. Take on new challenges. Set more goals. Get creative with life, play with it and have fun. 

Try to live it as if the end of the day were death, forcing you each day to think hard about the way you are living your life. Is your life filled with moments you want to remember? Could you write a book of memories that you would want to read someday, or a film that you would want to watch if your life were a movie? 

Stop making excuses about not being able to live your life the way you’ve dreamed. If you want to do something, set a goal, figure out a plan for how to get from A to B, and persevere.  Not everything will go as planned (which has a peculiar way of working out for the better in the long run) nor you may not achieve every goal, but at least you are trying to proactively create the life you want to lead, and that is all you should ask and expect of yourself. Give your best effort to be the person you want to be and you will be happier, you will feel in control of time, instead of watching time and the years pass by. 

Don’t regret the past. Don’t look forward to the future. Enjoy the moment you are in…and start living the life you want to remember!


One Response to “Making the most of every situation”

  1. Aaron Timm Says:

    Cindy, I’m at home sick on the couch right now so suprise, suprise, I’m online and decided to read your most recent blog. I love your writing and your outlook on life. I’m living through you and Anthony Bourdain on the travel channel right now as I am down with a fever. 😉 I hope dancing is great tonight! Hey next time you talk to Mark tell him that if him and Lollie are still interested in possibly moving to Boulder, CO that he should give me a call. Shawn Smith and I both live here and I would be happy to have him come stay and show him around. Keep living life to the fullest and writing about it Cindy! Take care!

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