Per the Decompressed Series Intro tracking and journaling and distilling how I experience the re-insertion into my life/world/country/friends/community/career/etc. has been fascinating. 90% of it has been duh yeah that is wisdom some other cat wrote about or told you and you read and studied and has been proven thematically around human happiness across cultures, religions, ages, etc. and hey man you really didn’t need to spend half a year a world away w/ your fam . . . But I’m one of those experiential knuckleheads who loves the personal translation, the living it, seeing it in the journey . . .
So here are the First Five (parts 1-5) I’ve distilled. Not ranked in any particular order, just ten things :) Five more to follow . . .
- Part I: Cleaning your own bathrooms is AWESOME. Why? i. Stay grounded, stay humbled, stay connected w/ your family yeah I said it, but you know what I mean. ii. Get your workout in by doin it like some bar/p90x/pilates/yoga/whatevs program if you want (I mean you’re supposed to get exercise every day right?) iii. Set an example for your kids iv. meditation, ritual, think time iv. And, about the time you are cleaning the 4th bathroom in your house, you’re kinda like wow do we really need all these bathrooms wtf . . .
- Part II: We have (had) way too much stuff and mindful divestment of same has been rad. Not because of some extra $$ here – more just taking stuff we weren’t using and giving it utilitarian life and usefulness for others. All those crazy markets and gear hackers and ZERO waste (except for littered coke cans and junk food wrappers) in the developing world just stuck . . . having stuff that was useful to someone and not getting it in their hands suddenly became a crime against humanity — it exceeded shame or guilt it was a crime! Giving stuff you don’t want/need away to strangers in person is really, really cool. Selling it over the interwebs, eBay and Craigslist, etc . . . liberating yourself from stuff you don’t need/use. Get light. Make someone else happy. Wade around in the transactional morass of the 21st century for real.
Somebody else is stoked to jack the rock, pass it on, Megan has decided she has all the guns she needs :) Seriously, I haven’t touched this is in at least 10 years pass it on yo …
- Part III: I love water. Like, being in water. Learning to surf and spending so much time in the water for 5 months was awesome and I found myself missing it greatly . . . not about the exercise of swimming (although that is also cool), but more about being in the medium. Mix it up. Get comfy in an alien environment — water. Or not comfy. Be uncomfortable. Comfy is relative. We don’t have gills . . . we used to, and from water were we born right. Something in there. And in the water — no headphones, no computers, no horns or cars or words — just you, suspended, gliding, thrashing, floating, sinking and an incredible world of color and sound and feel to explore on its own. A tri wetsuit and open water swimming and lap pools and goggles and whatevs. Can’t stay out . . .
- Part IV: Living simple in the U.S. is crazy hard. Everything is big and nice and clean and wonderful on a relative basis. Planet Luxe like I’ve said. Friends, cars, streets, stores, restaurants, services and goods left right and center. But that comes w/ a cost and price in complexity and dollars. Of course the U.S. didn’t get it 100% right, maybe not even 50% right!! — and seeing the opportunity the developing world has to get it “righter” is inspiring and motivating and as an entrepreneur the number of business ideas inspired around what I’m calling the reverse nexus (when tech let’s us reverse engineer our mistakes to how it woulda/coulda/shoulda be if we could build from scratch). So what do you do about the bits you don’t agree with and a desire to live simple in a rich/complex society? I tell ya I’ve fought urges to grab my family and run for the hills :) But ultimately this is the world we live in. Communities, careers, schools, friends, families. Straight fighting it is counter productive at least for what I have to offer. But my Socrates and an unexamined life is not worth living are so top of mind that piece of the rejigger is just awesome.
- Part V: I miss reading books. On the Odyssey I read 50 books in 5 months. Mostly health/medical/wellness/biohack and sci fi (blurry line yo :). And since back, for shame. I’m reading — magazines and articles and emails and business plans and pitches and contracts and blah, blah. All good but books are freaking BOOKS and straight turbocharge your mind and your soul at a different level — like working out a whole different muscle group (in fact, yeah you are working out a different part of your brain). I digress. BTW when I say “book” I include ebooks/kindle/etc. That is how I read 90% of my books. I’m not talking format don’t care/doesn’t matter. That said, the battery on my kindle is freaking dead right now for shame pissed. A top ten fear I rolled around with on the Odyssey was “what if my kindle battery dies and I’m not somewhere I can charge it!!??” Pardon me while I go charge my kindle, stop spraying, and start reading, a BOOK.