It’s been six days since this experiment began and already people, resources, and tools are showing up to support me on my journey and contribute to my life.
And the best part about it is that no part of it is forced – it’s all happening with ease.
So, here’s what happened today that’s of special significance.
More Time Outside
I expected having to go out to shop for groceries and do my laundry yesterday. I certainly didn’t feel like doing it, but I made the trip and I survived.
Today, I ended up visiting multiple grocery stores with a friend (we always find it more fun to shop together). I didn’t think we’d end up going to so many places!
Fortunately, I was okay driving for the most part. While I am in no rush to come out of the cave, I am starting to feel like I might be able to make the occasional appearance in public again.
I said at the beginning of this journey that there would be unexpected blessings. I knew that would be the case because I am surrendered as I never have been before. I am unattached to outcomes in the best way possible.
Today, I got a text from a friend I had drinks with the other night. He asked me how much I would charge for a 10- to 12-second jingle. After I told him, he asked me whether I’d like to join his company to compose music.
At this time, I don’t know whether it’s a casual part-time sort of thing or a full-time position, but I am interested in learning more, as it could be just the change I’ve been looking for.
This will not be my first time dog-sitting but it will be my first time doing it for someone other than my mom or best friend.
I ended up with one of the quietest, most laid-back, smartest golden retrievers I’ve ever met. What a blessing. I don’t think I will be teaching this dog anything – he’s already taught me things about the neighborhood I didn’t know.
Two vigorous walks a day (even on the weekends) means I might skip cardio / lower body days and only do my upper body workout twice per week, especially since I’m still wrapping up my participation in the two-year intensive leadership program.
I had some resistance to clearing out of the Airbnb in Surrey and driving out to stay in a stranger’s home in Vancouver. Not because it’s unfamiliar. More so because I was kind of comfortable in my puddle of existential quandaries at the Airbnb. It became rather familiar. I bet the room I stayed in needs to be cleansed of low-vibe energies now.
But the fact that I’m dog-sitting seems like a setup in the best way possible. Walking him twice a day and taking care of him could be just what I needed to shake off how I’ve been feeling. My overall condition has been improving, but some sadness lingers. I could see it leaving relatively quickly at this rate.
I marvel at the changes this experiment has already brought about in my life. It hasn’t all been easy, but I think much of it has been healthy.
Today, I’ve organized my thoughts under a few headings, so sit back, relax, have a water kefir, and read on.
The Error of My Ways
In the last two days, I’ve made massive progress with editing one of my forthcoming books (a travelog).
There are a couple of things that became glaringly obvious as I’ve been looking back on my journeys and misadventures from 2022:
- I was not eating healthy. Somehow, I was deluded into thinking I was because I was enjoying what I was eating. But I was eating out a lot. Circumstances dictated it. I was frequently traveling and moving about, I wasn’t always staying at places where I could freely cook meals, and sometimes I was simply too preoccupied to make meals.
- I complained of tiredness and exhaustion numerous times. The impact of bad habits was showing, and I was not noticing!
I have been getting into much better habits this year, opting to get back into working out as early as February. But my eating habits didn’t really change until about September when I finally decided to bring my Instant Pot and Ninja blender with me everywhere I go.
I’ve also got a tote box I refer to as my “Airbnb survival kit,” and it includes teas, powders (protein, collagen, barley grass juice, etc.), teas, some dry foods, supplements, and a few kitchen utensils.
In that sense, I haven’t had a healthy eating streak for more than two months! No wonder I’m in the condition I’m in (though, as I’ve noted before, I’m not deathly ill or anything).
Sometimes, we need to make more thorough examinations of ourselves to get to the root of the issue.
The time that I’ve gained back from reducing fluffy input is either going into my own projects or supporting the people around me. I find myself saying “yes” far more often than I usually do, but since this experiment is about loving myself, others, and the Universe more, it seems in alignment with stated goals, even if stopping to support others interrupts the flow of my day.
Loving others is loving myself, given that we are all ultimately connected.
I am already feeling a sense of withdrawal from my “no porn” policy. Not because I was such a frequent user. Rather I’m becoming more aware of how much media is out there designed to draw my eyes – an album cover, a music video, or even a YouTube thumbnail. If you’ll recall, my definition of porn for the intents and purposes of this experiment is “anything that turns you on.”
It sounds crazy, but until you start abstaining, you don’t notice how much you are being bombarded by titillation and how it feels to disconnect from the constant escape of sexual fantasy.
I figured this would be par for the course, however, and I know that the sense of withdrawal I feel could continue for a while.
I always saw it in the movies and thought to myself, “that can’t possibly be practical.”
My concept of hotels, motels, and inns in general has been that they’re just as expensive, if not more expensive, than Airbnbs. Which is a little ironic, because one of the selling propositions of Airbnbs used to be that they were cheaper than hotels. Check the prices now. At least in Canada, they’re practically the same if not pricier at times.
In my search for a temporary home, I stumbled across an extended stay rate at a motel in Penticton, BC, which I found to be just as reasonable – if not more reasonable – than renting an apartment. And, as of yesterday, this is where I now reside. Not for the long term, I don’t think, but at least for the next 30 to 70 days or so (at which point I might be looking for a similar arrangement in another city).
Motel living is not bad. It’s not perfect. There’s no workspace to speak of, they could have done a much better job of sound treating, and it’s obscenely bright in the morning (fortunately, I managed to hang a blackout curtain in front of the window by the bed without using any tools or nails). But I know you could do a lot worse. After all, the room has a couch, bed, fridge, stove, microwave, sink, bathroom, heating, and even an air conditioner. The fact that I’m not forced to eat out every day is a major plus.
At least temporarily, I’m also closer to a couple of friends I might not otherwise have the chance to visit.
Penticton isn’t much bigger than Okotoks, AB, but it appears to have some decent food options, and all the basic amenities one could ask for.
Although I don’t have much of a choice right now, I intend to keep embracing the spirit of adventure as I seek out a more permanent place to call home.
There are traditions you enjoy and those you don’t.
I’ve been living nomadically since June, and that has basically meant I’ve been surfing from couch to hotel to Airbnb for nearly seven months.
Today, I left yet another Airbnb, in Calgary, behind. A month was supposed to be a long time – certainly longer than some of my stays. Time enough to contemplate my next steps. And, while I’ve figured out a few things, I certainly wouldn’t say I can see miles ahead yet, especially in terms of work and income.
Either way, when I’m between couches, hotels, or Airbnbs, I usually find myself sitting at a Starbucks doing my work until it’s time to check in at my next destination. For a long time, I’ve enjoyed doing some of my work from a Starbucks or Tim Horton’s. I’ve even tried to work it in into my schedule at times, because I see a noticeable boost in energy or productivity.
But this is a tradition, it seems, that’s growing a little stale.
It could be because I don’t enjoy leaving one place for another. Not that I don’t like travel. It’s just that, at this point, waking up, packing up, cleaning up, and departing to another destination is becoming rote.
It could be because the novel is always more interesting than the ordinary.
It could also be because I’ve been under the weather since Monday, so even though I’m lucid enough to produce good work, I’d much rather be laying in bed than coaching, writing, attending meetings, or otherwise engaging in my leadership program. It could be that I’m simply not finding joy in what would otherwise be a welcome change of scenery. Flues have a way of doing that to you.
For the next month or so, I’ll be lodging in Okotoks at my parent’s.
Today, I suggested to my parents that we create a new tradition where we go to the mountains for Christmas. They seemed open to the idea.
But I digress. More and more I’m hearing the urging to find a more stable living situation, even if it’s not entirely permanent. There will be a more permanent home in my future, I just don’t think it’s going to be in the immediate future. I think it will show up around May or June 2023. And I have some idea of what I’m going to be doing in the meantime.
But what I’m getting at is that even though they say, “the grass is greener on the other side,” the more you venture out and try things, the more you realize the messiness of life maintains the license to intrude whenever and wherever it wants, even if that “whenever and wherever” is some permutation of your dream life.
I’ve heard wealthy people say money is not all its cracked up to be. I’ve heard famous people say it gets old. In a way, I think I get what they mean. It’s about traditions. And while we tend to think of traditions as annual getaways or visits to places emblazoned on our memories, traditions are playing out at a micro level too. It’s worth paying attention to the micro traditions you have in your life, because as they say, success is hidden in your daily habits.