Leaving is harder than I thought it would be and thus, I’ve been looking for ways to evaluate the who, what, where, when and why of what we’re doing.
10 minutes, 10 months, 10 years…
It’s a way of evaluating any decision that I read about this week. You evaluate decisions based on how it will affect you in 10 minutes, 10 months and 10 years.
Luckily, when I evaluate our trip using this method I always come back to vigorously plunge ahead.
Currently, the 10 minutes is daunting. Our house has yet to rent. Putting a life you love on hold for a year ends up to be full of big and little details and decisions that feel unending and tedious. Furthermore, as we go through our normal routine, each goodbye to regular events and people is difficult. None of this is surprising, yet it has caught us by surprise. Perhaps it’s that the excitement overshadowed the reality up until now.
The 10 months is also feeling a bit overwhelming, yet in a very different way than the 10 minutes. After traveling for 9 months I wonder how we’ll be feeling.
The family who helped mentor us in this process kept wonderful journals of their experience and I recently read through the India portion of their trip. I had done this last August and what I noticed then was the amazing experiences. This time, what popped out for me was the daily challenges. I was struck by the number of decisions they were making each and every day when traveling, including where they would sleep, do laundry, get clean drinking water, etc. Obviously, as we go through our days in Denver, these aren’t things we concern ourselves with, yet they will be decisions we need to re-think daily on the road.
However, the other thing I noticed was the joy they found in successfully making the everyday decisions. I imagine in 10 months we will have experienced the joy in life, not just the comfortable. I read once that to find joy, one must experience extremes and that happiness is a fleeting, but joy is constant and deeper. It went on to say that to find the joy in an experience even when one is uncomfortable is the goal. In 10 months, I imagine this concept will be more accessible to us.
The concept of experiencing joy in this way reminds me of running; even when uncomfortable I find great joy in running. I’m looking for that in travel. In finding the joy in the experience, not in the being comfortable and knowing what is coming next. I liken it to my dislike of being cold, but finding great joy in a warm cup of tea, making a hot pot of soup or baking bread; things I would never do when it’s warm outside. So while there is discomfort in the cold, there is also great joy.
Currently, the 10 year test is the force behind the trip. In 10 years we will be able to look back and know that no matter what happened, our family was lucky enough to spend one year together… Together through happiness and joy, regret and discomfort, and thousands of other emotions and situations that we can’t yet name. We will have carved out the time to truly be with each other in all our magnificent and objectionable qualities.
Here’s to the 10 year perspective and vigorously plunging ahead!