As I was laying in bed this morning at about 5:50am, the Crosby, Stills, and Nash song "Wasted on the Way" was playing in my head. I don't actually like the song, but I do appreciate the lyrics and underlying sentiment.
I'm not sure what that actually means in the context of the last few days or even this morning. More "spiritually in-tuned" folks probably have an answer for that sort of thing, but since I've claimed no such power(s) myself, I'll just have to be left wondering. Note that it's entirely possible that we all have what seem like "deep" experiences for absolutely no real reason. Some things just are.
Back to the world of the firmly grounded in reality, I do think it's important to spend a little bit of time thinking about the lessons that life continually tries to teach us, even from a trip to a beach town in despair. That's not "spiritual" or "new age", but in my mind infinitely practical. Since I also love lists, here we go:
- I don't take enough time off. Granted that part of this is beyond my control. A dirty little fact about corporate layoffs: Each time you start a new job you end up starting at the bottom of the vacation time ladder. When you are 30 that's okay. When you are in your 50's? It's terrible.
- It feels as if I waste too much time. Wait, was that why "Wasted on the Way" was pinging around in my head this morning? When I take a step back, well the "step back" afforded by typing at 7am in a hotel, I wonder if I don't spend enough time actually doing and creating things that bring me some enjoyment. Like this, for example.
- It's kind of amazing the amount of stress I put myself under, and how that impacts me physically. My physical body was actually acting differently (in a better way) over the past few days.
- Societal dispair. I saw far too many instances of folks...both young and old...literally passed out in the broad daylight over the past few days. I know that comes across as rather naive, but for the most part, as we go about our busy lives, it's easy to forget that some folks are barely hanging on with the smallest of threads. Our system in this country for helping those with mental health and substance abuse needs is horrible.
I don't know what I can change...what I can do differently about these things...but despite what we see in the movies, these kinds of things are seldom about grand changes in life anyway. More realistically, I do think that life gives us things we can use to make small, but ultimately meaningful, changes in our lives. In the time of this pandemic, the analogy is pretty clear: Our advanced civilization can be dramatically changed by the smallest (of living) things. Maybe that works for experiences as well.
The trip home was swift, including a Rivers family visit along the way, laundry has been washed, and a few chores have been completed. I even posted some pictures to the Facebooks. Left yet to do is write a few reviews and possibly let the State of New Jersey know what I think about their marijuana legalization law. It is now time for the inevitable crawl back to reality, all be it may be a tad bit wiser and entertained. For the record, I'm going to avoid 7-11's for the foreseeable future.
Next up? That would be Florida (or, as they say in Long Island, "Florider") in November.
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