My friend Pete emailed me a couple of day ago to say it had been 12 days since I last blogged, adding, “we’re all waiting.” It was the first time that I realized I had created Hole In The Donut junkies. For those of you who have been waiting with bated breath, I assure you that I have not disappeared forever….
I arrived back home in Sarasota one week ago and it has taken exactly that amount of time to tackle all the tasks waiting for me after a seven month absence. The car had to be unloaded and I had to find room for all the stuff I hauled down from North Carolina this trip, which required trying on every piece of clothing I owned, discarding anything I hadn’t worn in the last year, and customizing my tiny closet with racks and special hangers in order to fit everything in. Four checkbooks needed to be balanced, tons of mail had to be opened and addressed, I needed a haircut, and the car needed an oil change. Groceries had to be purchased. Laundry had to be done. My camera had to be sent in for repairs. A letters of dispute had to be sent to US Airways, who is trying to get out of crediting me for the frequent flier mileage from my trip, etc, etc, etc.
In the midst of all this I made the “enlightened” decision to upgrade the software for my blog to a new version that I thought (hoped) would help me to get better ranking in the search engines. Unfortunately, the new software was only three days old when I downloaded and installed it and it was fairly buggy, so there were a lot of problems with my blog (you may have noticed it looks a bit different now). It has taken me the better part of two weeks and learning a lot about a new computer language (php) to fix all the problems.
Today I took the day off. I put my pack on my back and headed for downtown Sarasota for some R&R. I ran a few small errands and just walked all over town, ending up at my favorite “vegging” place, Sarasota News and Books, where I read for a while then hooked up the laptop and researched methods to network my PC and my Mac together while I enjoyed a delicious sandwich of roasted vegetables and goat cheese, two tall cups of coffee and a delicious chocolate ganache dessert. I’ve been trying to solve this networking problem problem for the last week and simply could not wrap my brain around it – too much stuff clogging my head. It only took about an hour to figure it all out this afternoon – amazing how just walking away from everything for a day gave me so much more clarity.
During the last two weeks I knew there was a shift taking place in me, but I wasn’t quite sure what was happening. Now I understand. I have been thrust back into the real world, with all its demands and mundane, day-to-day issues. I felt myself sinking. I suddenly felt heavier. I have been trying to hang onto that “lightness” that accompanied me when I was traveling – that childlike sense of wonder that was with me every day. But I was failing miserably because I was allowing myself to be sucked back into the muck and mire of everyday life. So I stopped and just walked away from everything for the day, which allowed me to remember two of the most valuable spiritual lessons I learned on my round-the-world trip: 1) happiness is a choice, and 2) joy comes from within.
Today, I did all the things that make me happy. I checked out the upcoming theater performances in Sarasota, stopped at the library to find out about joining writer’s groups in town, checked into buying tickets to the upcoming Blues Festival, listened to music, read, walked, and people-watched (there was this stocky, sort of unkempt guy in the bookstore who was wearing a belt with a big “Superman” buckle that made me laugh). So now I’m back to being light again and, interestingly enough, I’m writing again.
I won’t be blogging as regularly as I did while traveling because I am hard at work writing my first book. The working title is, of course, “Hole In The Donut,” and the best description of it I can offer is that it will be about spiritual travel – travel and the spiritual lessons that come from it. I’ve also been asked to write a synopsis for an article I proposed to one of the Yoga magazines, so keep your fingers crossed for me. I’m going to make a career of this writing business one way or the other! Stay tuned….