Saturday, January 24, 2015

Riding the Tide

There's a lot going on for me right now. A new future seems to be forming before me, and it is definitely exciting. 

But let's go back a ways. For years I always had some sort of future in mind. I had goals, hopes, plans and even secret desires of what I wanted to accomplish. Through sheer will I was able to accomplish most of what I set out to do with varying success. 

 A while ago, I guess, I let go of that way of thinking. I quit trying to make things happen. I gave up willing my way through life, because, and I know this sounds dippy, it was just inorganic. In a lot of ways I just gave up. I was tired of putting in so much effort for results that were less than satisfying. 

In spite of all the success, I always felt hollow and unfulfilled, until I got to a point where I started to just let life happen. And somehow, without willing my way there, life has become an interesting pastiche of adventure, and love, and family.  I feel lucky now. 

I admit, I'm  back to having goals, but they are different. These aren't goals met by will, but by passion.  I see potential lining up for me, but as with a dog you don't know, I'm letting them come to me. If a situation doesn't work out, it wasn't meant to be. Yes, it's fatalistic, but I'm perfectly fine with that. I'd rather ride with the current than against it. 

Monday, January 19, 2015


Life has suddenly become about Balance.

Balance is taking the 8:45am bus to get to work in the City, and having time to hit the bank before heading down the Embarcadero to Pier 41.  Balance is spending the day surrounded by light and water and color that calms my mind while watching the shore go by.

My days are mellow. It's still the off season which means fewer crowds and a better quality of tourists. The passengers seem more grateful for the experience on the San Francisco Bay Cruise I've been working recently. Fewer passengers make for less money in tips, but also less work. Daily inventory is easier, and  I'm grateful for the downtime because it gives me time to do research and write for my new freelance gig.

Oh yeah, I'm writing again, I mean beyond all of this dribble. I'm glad for the work, and hopeful that it will pan out to be a nice long term gig. Realistically though, I know that it could dry up at any time. So, I'm doing my best to make the most of it.

I feel like I'm beginning to reemerge into a new life, a life that is somewhat planned if not downright intentional. When I tell people about what I'm doing and how I'm doing it, I forget how different it is from what most people experience.

So yeah, this is my life:  I'm a bartender on the San Francisco ferries. Since that job gives me a lot of down time, I'm also a freelance writer and communications consultant. In August, I leave the water behind to spend 6 weeks in the Black Rock City dessert working for Burning Man. I have a great partner in Canada, who I go see as often as I can.  I have some goals in mind, like building a tiny house of sorts, but for now I'm looking forward to moving into my childhood home with my sister. I'm getting close to being out of debt.

Life is good.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Things I Use to Regret

Some people don't believe in regrets, but I've come to learn that for me at least, regret is how I achieve   understanding. Admittedly, I have few regrets in life, but the ones I have, or had, dissipate with time as I've seen how time played things out. 

When I was in the Army, I was what they called, "hard core." I put every fibre of my being into being a soldier. I had the ambition, and the drive, and love for the esprit de corps. It's one of the few places where almost immediately, I felt I belonged. If anyone was going to be a lifer it was going to be me. 

The reasons I left the Army were complex, but I did leave. It was a decision I regretted for years. and for years I kept thinking, I could always go back, until I was too old, too out of shape, and I finally realized that that life was truly gone from me. 

It was hard, and it was something I actually mourned. What made it more difficult was that during that time, my then spouse remained in the military, or closely associated with its work. I felt left out, and a little lost. But, that didn't kill my ambition. My drive went into my kids, my education and my career.

My regret reached its peak, when friends I served with started to retire. But then, I started to take a look at the toll the experience took on them, and realized, that maybe my departure from that path wasn't so bad often all.  

My Partner, Ric often says, "Things have a way of working out." He's right, they do. Lessons are learned, opportunities revealed, and without intention, life takes me to unexpected places I wanted to be anyway. I know how lucky I am, but even if my luck runs out, I won't discount my regret as part of the journey that gets me to where ever I'm going. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A Tiny Obsession

I can't explain my obsessions. Sometimes I just get a wild hair up my but and BAM! I have a new obsession. Right now, as we all know it's Tiny Living. So why am I so obsessed with the idea of tiny Living?

1.  The Cacoon Effect - Somehow feeling cozy in a smaller space is just more comfortable to me, especially if I have everything I need. It's that same feeling I would get when playing in a large box as a kid. I could just imagine my whole world in there. Maybe that's what I'm reverting to.

2.  Having What I Need - Small spaces help limit the amount of stuff I own. I get a very strong sense of security by knowing I have a very specific list of things with me. Maybe this is why I was able to adapt to life at Burning Man so well. I love knowing what I need, and knowing I have it. Much easier to do when you own so much less.

3.  Flexibility/Mobility - I'm beginning to understand that I like to have the option to move around if I want to. I don't know if it's a wander lust or if I just like the idea of being able to move, or not being tied down to a lease or a mortgage. It's extraordinarily liberating. Of course this is all in theory. I don't have tiny digs yet to move around.

4.  Doing More With Less - Maybe my new theme for life. I sit here and fantasize about ways to make my life work in a smaller space. My daydreams mostly center around how I will cook, but also include the mundane things like laundry and leisure time. Oh the leisure time! 

I still don't know exactly what will come of my Tiny Life Fantacy. Right now I'm enjoying the showcase in my head. The reality will come soon enough, or not at all. Either way it's a great feeling to have a life in mind that I want to lead. It is a great thing indeed.