What?!? Sound crazy? Well for me eating food I don’t want to eat and doing workouts I don’t want to do, that’s crazy. I tried for decades to commit to formulaic diets and regimented gym workouts. I stuck it out for months and sometimes as long as a year, and every time I would eventually burnout. I wasted thousands of dollars on unused gym memberships and uneaten supplements, protein powders, and bars.
Why did I fail? Or did I? A lifetime spent doing stuff I don’t want to do sounds more like failure to me. I like to see it as I succeeded at escaping some miserable choices that weren’t really mine, I broke out of Shawshank…
What would you call a couple that lives in separate houses, doesn’t eat meals together, dates other people, and splits custody of their children? I would call this couple separated and if they aren’t already I’d say they will be divorced soon. We have this similar separation from our neighbors and our community and yet we don’t say we are divorced, we say this is normal and the way we are supposed to live.
I am twice married and both times our relationship changed significantly after we got married and lived together. In my dating experience there was often much time apart, and before we saw each other there was a discussion about where, how, and when we will be reunited. Then there was the parting of ways and saying goodbye for the night or maybe forever. For me that’s the real difference between dating and being married, we are uncertain where we stand and if this person is going to be in our life and for how long. Probably the real question we need answered is…
I’m sitting on the lanai in Maui enjoying breakfast after a really fun surf at the break we can see from the kitchen window. The enjoyment of the sound of the waves breaking and the birds singing is interrupted by the roar of leaf blowers and a sit down lawnmower. Cue the phrase “first world problems”, and that’s when it sank in how far from natural this development is.
The monthly Home Owners Association (HOA) dues at this gated community in Maui are around $800 and where I live in California are $380. Both grounds are beautiful and very well taken care of, and at the same time I’m wondering where are the crops, the orchard, and the fruit trees? Every Tuesday a full crew of people come and mow the lawns and blow the leaves for what is usually a full days work. What if instead of taking the mowed grass and tree trimmings to the landfill they left…
When my first wife left me I was living in her house, in her neighborhood, next door to her brother and his wife, and most of my social relations were with their friends. So the day she walked out I lost most of my community and to say I felt isolated, lonely, and terrified would be a massive understatement. Also I didn’t see us living in this higher crime neighborhood for very long so I didn’t invest much time making friends nor knowing my neighbors. Further I was also doing most of my shopping either online or at the big box stores, so I didn’t have any relationships with the people that worked there. For me the pain of divorce was a huge wake up call to take a look at all my relationships and how I want to live.
When our first impulse is to invest our time and money outside the community we are…
Surf Village Sketch From 2012
One of my teachers offered this idea:
Imagine being born into this world and being seen by everyone in the community as a cargo bay containing precious goodies that no one else carries, and these goodies are needed by the community. Also no training, diploma, or certification is necessary, we are seen as being born with the diploma and all the credentials necessary to take up this unique purpose of giving these gifts to everyone. Further our community recognizes and acknowledges and celebrates us for our giftedness, before we achieve or accomplish anything. There is something about being seen in this way that elevates a human being in a way that is very exhilarating.
Once this idea got a hold of me I haven’t been able to let it go, and even more so when I learned that all our ancestors used to live this way…
My electric bike was stolen out of our garage a few weeks ago. The feedback I heard was how brazen the thief was to come into the garage during the day while someone was home. This could be an easy chance to lose trust in our neighbors and neighborhood and to feel unsafe and in danger of losing more.
This is exactly what I did many years ago in my previous marriage when we lived in a higher crime area. My reaction was to get the weapons ready and install an alarm and camera system, and together with other neighbors, the mayor, and police chief we formed a sort of lynch mob. Even though the suspected thieves were now watched by everyone we felt more fearful, anxious, and unsafe. Our perception and thoughts about our neighborhood became narrowly focused on danger and the threat of crime and or violence…