Zen Habits: Transitions

mountain-roadAs I write this, I have no home of my own. I have no keys to a flat or mail box, no address, and no roots. It won’t be this way forever, but for the time being this is my life. Untethered. Right now is a funny time. Most people would call it a “transition period”, or an “in-between” state. I’m trying to look at it as a sabbatical without pay. However I choose to think of it, it is a weird position to be in.

Our society rewards work and demonizes leisure. Whether it’s an out of work slob watching TV all day, or a privileged rich dude who doesn’t have to work, we think less of him. It’s kind of a bummer. Personally, I think highly of people who are smart and creative enough to figure out ways of avoiding work, or working less. Working for the man full time isn’t my idea of living life. And I certainly don’t want to wait until I “retire” to start kicking ass and traveling. So I’m doing the things I want to do an I’m doing them now.

The downside to being untethered is transitioning. I’ll be in a state of transition until mid January when I arrive at Ratna Ling. Once there we can settle in for six months. I’ve lived through many transitions and it gets easier each time. Transitions happen to everyone at some point or another. The key is to accept it and work with it, not against it. You can thrive through periods of uncertainty, no work, and lots and lots of free time. Remember: Beginnings are born out of endings.

  1. Create a routine. Don’t sleep ’til noon and watch game shows all day. This will rot your brain and rob you of ambition. Set your alarm, wake up and have morning coffee. Workout. Read. Go to the store. Cook at home. Set aside time for emails and Facebook so you are not spending all day doing nothing. Take time for yourself and be creative. You might not have this much free time again for a while.
  2. Get done what you can. Now. We won’t be in Seattle until June or July of 2014. That doesn’t mean I should wait until then to start looking for a place to live or for a job. I have already updated my CV and I already got an interview. I have our route to California mapped out (including gas cost) and we are making reservations for campsites. Waiting ti the last minute when you don’t have to is dumb.
  3. Don’t look back. Looking back is a temptation best left alone. It’s easy to look back at where you came from with nostalgia or longing. I try not to watch movies set in Prague because I don’t want to go through the pain of missing it. Instead, I keep my eyes focused on the present and what is to come. I left Prague in search of adventure and new experiences – things that I was not having there. Even the magic of living in Prague becomes common place after seven years. As much as I miss my friends – my family – in Prague, I needed to leave. As Yoda said, “Always in motion is the future.”
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