Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Musings... it's been a while

First, some weird Stats:

I’m forever interested in the ways folks find this place, most who arrive here via a search engine never leave a note, or stay more than a couple of seconds.. but I have this strange fascination with how it is the various search engines plop this place in their results. For example I’ve recently been:

  • #2 however when you want to find info about “annual physical doctor procedure” via Yahoo
  • #4 on the search for “Newport Boy - World Naked Bike Ride 2005” on Yahoo
  • #4 on the list if you need info re: “sanding rough-cut wood on an existing wall”
  • #4 when searching on the words “humiliating doctor physical exams” on Yahoo
  • #7 when you absolutely need to know about “the challenger hot nut” via Yahoo
  • #13 on Yahoo when using the search words “code 1, Fire department jargon”
  • #15 in a search for - "SBT Accounting System" Import – when my professional pages didn’t even make the list!
  • #45 when looking for “tossing salad” using blogsearchengine
  • #50 in a search of “chip foose main painter” on MSN
  • #86 on Yahoo when searching for “boys doctor physical”… who goes 8 pages deep anyway? I can’t recall the last time I went more than three!

But, it’s you folks, the ones who stop by regularly, and leave me comments often that generate the statistics that always amaze me.

Since May 14th, you’ve visited here nearly 2,500 times, viewed nearly 6,000 page impressions and spend an average of nearly 5 minutes here per visit. I know I don’t say it enough, but, thank you!

Thank you for your kind words, encouragement, enthusiasm and a general ‘joy in life’. I find myself coming here, and to your blogs, to recharge myself when feeling low, as well as to improve an already good day.

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With all of the time on the road recently, I’ve been thinking about traveling, specifically the difference between ‘trips’ and ‘journeys’.

In my way of thinking, a trip is sort of an A to B kind of thing. In all honesty, for many years of my life that was traveling for me. Hop in the car, point it towards the destination and drive hell bent until I got there.

In fact much of my life revolved around one ‘trip’ following another.

Then, somewhere in the 90’s, I discovered the ‘journey’. That discovery has made all the difference in the world in my life. I don’t take trips any more, not in my day to day life, not on vacation, not ever if I can possibly avoid it. It’s one of the reasons I prefer to ride, or drive, when ever I possibly can.

First, it slows the travel down. Airplanes are great A to B devices, but they’re certainly not set up to make enjoying the journey easy. It can be done, but it’s always considerably more difficult.

I was pondering, while driving back last week, why it is Maryan and I have so much fun, where ever, when ever, we travel. It dawned on me that we’re never focused on the destination, but the ‘process’ itself. We pause to take little side trips, check out something we noticed, but had no previous pans to see. We almost always leave ourselves plenty of time, so we don’t feel ‘rushed’ to make a particular ‘spot’ by the end of the day.

The other thing we do, more often than not, is travel without any ‘reservations’… preferring to stop, and find a place, when we’re ready to stop moving for the day. Our one concession to this is when we have a vacation ‘destination’, like the most recent trip, where we plan on ‘staying put’ for several days.

This vacation, like nearly all of ours had a few “want to do” events, and only one “plan to do” event. I’m not even sure if we did all the ‘want to do’ things, but going with the flow, taking things one day at a time resulted in experiences we could never have planned and pulled off!

Today, at lunch, we were talking about life and our lives together specifically. One of the things we really do have in common is a taste for the unknown, a desire for freedom from unnecessary structure and a joy in dealing with life as it happens.

You see, I think, that you can spend your life working in vain to try and conform the universe to your ‘plan’… or, instead, learning to cope with the chaos that is life, and embracing the things that get tossed in your path.

We’ve decided to sort of take each day as it comes. To dream and aspire of course, yet not become consumed with those things, to instead, adjust them to the reality we find ourselves in at the moment.

I don’t know if this ‘style’ is right for anyone else, but, I thought I’d pass these thoughts along anyway. Who knows, one or two of you may try it, and find it works for your lives as well!!

14 comments:

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Comfort Addict said...

If you like chaos, have I got a journey for you (of course, you know that, Bill, since you replied to my post). I understand that life is chaos but I wouldn't mind if certain people who will remain nameless would punctuate it by a little rationality for variety's sake.

Firehawk said...

"Where are we going?" they would ask.

"I'll tell you when we get there," I would answer.

I don't know how many times this played out when I was in college. If you approach a distance to be traveled in the right way, it can always be an odyssey. Point One: give yourself enough time. I like to plan for 50 mph. That way, even if there are little slow-downs, long lunches, or other difficulties, you'll get there in the allotted time. Anyway, who's ever bemoaned getting somewhere a bit early? Point Two: Don't get hung up on the "have to to" aspect of the trip. Better to leave a bunch of time for things you find on the way. The stuff you stumble over by accident is often more fun than what you planned while looking at a triptych. Tip Three: pick a good traveling companion. No matter how unfun a destination/journey promises to be, if you have a traveling buddy who's easygoing and fun to be with, it'll be fine. On the other hand, you can go to the best spot in the world, but the whole thing can be ruined by bringing a real jerk with you.

Man, makes me want to have a journey right now!

Spirit Of Owl said...

You're right, Bill. Sure the journey is better than the destination. Look at life!

I do like the Zen maxim:
There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.

:)

Bill said...

Anon & Anon.. thanks for stopping by, and taking the time to comment.

CA - I was your post that got me thinking about chaos again... how it's inescapable... and best handled by learning to live, and thrive with it. What we do... as logical as it's often perceived, is frought with it!

Firehawk - The Native Americans had a saying.. "The journey is the detination".. My best riding buddy and I used to always say "The ride, *is*, the destination". You're 100% on the money about traveling companions... they can make, or break, a journey!

Spirit - *exactly*!! THere's another Zen saying that says, in effect, Whatever it is you're serching for, you already have it.

Then again, one of my favorite Zen related books is "If you meet the Budda on the road, Kill him"

Ilene said...

Bill,
I love your thinking. In my opinion (whatever that is worth)I think that all of life is the journey and if we are continually searching for a destination, we will miss the journey completely and what a loss that would be.

Anyway I am back and enjoying your site again.

Later,
Ilene

Beth said...

You see, I think, that you can spend your life working in vain to try and conform the universe to your ‘plan’… or, instead, learning to cope with the chaos that is life, and embracing the things that get tossed in your path.

Bill, I loved how this post ended up with the thought above ... so true and it just was needed this morning. Thank you!

Bill said...

Ilene - Always nice to see you, are you posting on your site again as well?

Knitter - Thank you, I'm pleased you found it when you needed it. I like knowing something I've written has helped!!

jenbeauty said...

Your blog is always a pleasure for me to read.

If I did not have the chaos right now I am not sure how I would be. *grin* I keep trying to have a plan but does not always work that way. I will keep in mind what you have said.

Bill said...

Jen - Having 'plans' that never seemed to quite work out, is what drew me to my views on chaos, and life in general.

The more I can focus on 'now' and less on the 'plans', I find more often than not the plan eventually comes to be, and I've had a lot less stress in the interim.

Thanks so much for the kind words... they mean a lot.

Nina said...

I love it, it isn't about the destination, but all about the journey for me too!

Bill said...

nanina - Thanks for stopping by! I think the 'journey' is, in fact, the whole point.. is it not?

Nina said...

:) Yes the journey is the whole point.