Katie's Voice

How Can We Get There?

I recently got back from vacation (see my last post!) and one of my friends, as friends will, asked how I was readjusting to being home. I said, “On vacation, every day was about planning how much fun to pack into the day. I wish every day was about that still.” shield-870246_1920

My friend said, “So how does every day become about how much fun you can pack in? How can we get there?”

Whoa.

It’s easy to blow off a question like that, to joke permanent vacation or win the lottery or heavy drug use. It’s easy to give up, to accept the “real world” in which vacation is supposed to be different from regular life—the dessert, as it were, to regular life’s green beans and white meat.

But what if we actually think about the question?

So how does every day become about how much fun you can pack in? How can we get there?

. . .

 

I just spent two hours writing possible ways to “get there,” and then cut it all. Because it all sounds like shallow, vapid advice. I don’t want to be that annoying person trying to cheer you on with a bullhorn and cheap plastic pompoms while you slog through your wild, boring, challenging, excruciating, muscle-straining, eyeball-searing, hilarious, paradoxical days. Life is complex, my friends. I don’t have all the answers. Most days I don’t feel like I have any answers. Most days I don’t think there are any answers.

sacher-cake-1194524_1920But I believe, passionately, in asking the questions. I believe in all the uncomfortable pushing and pulling and cutting and sewing involved in making a life. I believe in rejecting the status quo, pushing institutions towards change, and continuing to dream even when it feels like a bully has his boot on your neck and is trying to make you say, “Yes, I accept that this is just the way the world is.” I believe in eating the damn piece of chocolate cake and eating it slowly, savoring every bite. I believe in students majoring in creative writing, literature, music, art, and philosophy. I believe some of my days in the real world of work and home and bills and humidhot Memphis can be like vacation, if I remember to try to have fun, and tell myself it’s ok to want to have fun.

How can we get there? I don’t know. For me, maybe it starts with taking the dog to a nice park for a walk. Or a quiet 30 minutes of meditation. Maybe tomorrow I’ll start a “diary of fun,” a record and a plan. Maybe I’ll set a timer on my phone to go off every 15 minutes, each time displaying the very Buddhist message, “You’re already there.”

39 replies »

  1. How do I get there? Sometimes all I need to do is watch my baby, see her smile and giggle and sometimes is just having ten minutes to myself in which I write so I can keep my sanity

  2. For me, it’s starts by just being nice to people and taking the time to look them in the eye. It doesn’t sound like much and I find that it throws people off, which is always fun!

  3. Maybe I’ll set a timer on my phone to go off every 15 minutes, each time displaying the very Buddhist message, “You’re already there.” – Love the idea. Thanks.

  4. This is a question I ask myself almost every time I return from a great vacation with my family. I wonder why everything gets so tense and stressful once we return to our routine life. And why we just seem to have such a hard time being nice and respectful to each other and instead end up in minor yet tiring arguments about petty things. I really believe in sitting down every once in a while and take a step back to look at it from a distance. Then, to ask myself what I’m doing every day that I like / hate? What I miss doing, what I would like to change ? And, last of all, every evening while lying in bed I try to think about all the things that I’m grateful for, all the nice moments, all the things I messed up and I’ll encourage myself to just try harder the next day.

  5. I really your post. It makes me think about taking one moment at a time. It’s precious and you don’t want to waste on what other people think. Life is precious and shouldn’t be wasted. I will definitely encourage myself to apply this in my life. Thanks for share your thoughts with us.

  6. Normally I think about how much work/productivity I can pack into each day, it makes me feel good to be able to say I got X amount done. But thinking about it, I like your idea better. Fun sounds … well fun actually.

  7. Very intriguing post! My definition of fun consists of activities that don’t involve another individual, which is often looked down upon society as “antisocial, ” when I’m really not. They may also think I’m boring. Your post encourages me to be more prideful of the little things I do to make my life worthwhile.

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