I have long believed that being outdoors dissipates ratty behaviour in children. The nastiness evaporates. It is diluted in the breeze and space and light. Their shouts have less force, there are no walls to bounce off, no echos, no corners. (the opposite of this effect is called cabin fever, and not some lovely Laura-and-Mary cabin either)
Since stopping our travels, I have learnt that movement has a similar effect on baggage.
Not the backpack sort, the OTHER sort. Memories, fears, lingering festering doubts, troubled histories, petty dislikes, traumas and boring old crappy memories of mediocrity that play in my mind like re-run tv episodes…..when I am in motion, all these things lose their strength. I cannot be caught and tied down so well as when I am sitting ….like a sitting duck.
When I am moving, I am unencumbered. I am not stagnant, and plaque and and mould cannot grow on me. I am more like a slippery leaf floating on top of a river, than a stone being jostled and bashed about on its floor.
When I am moving, my mind is open for business. I’m out in the world saying ‘Hello! Here I am, what can you teach me today? What can I do?”
At home in my house I’m not really open for business, I’m not going to meet anyone new, see anything I haven’t seen before, or encounter anything unpredictable. Its all in English here. I got it covered, I’m right here in my rut, with all my junk, same as yesterday, and same as tomorrow. I feel like a fat lazy (lactating) cow chewing my cud. Knee deep in it.
(I know I know I could go out and meet people and do things, but doing so here is like climbing out of a vat of mud with lead weights on. When I’m traveling it just happens…usually before breakfast)
I’m engulfed by memories of who I was last time I was here, or the time before that….
In my old bedroom in the house I grew up in, I am straight away a silly, boy-crazy, not very studious high school student surrounded by incriminating old diaries and half read textbooks, still on the shelves.
Down by the river, I am a child at myriad family picnics.
At the traffic lights, I am the popcorn girl late for work at the cinema. Seriously, every time I stop at those red lights, that’s where my mind takes me.
The memories are not all bad, not at all. But it is impossbible for a memory to be new and different. Its all re-runs.
Now that I have stopped, there’s this flood of stuff, baggage and nonsense that has swelled in behind me like tsunami. Now I AM a sitting duck. Now I am in for for a dunking if not a drowning.
I’m sitting back in our old house, surrounded by boxes. I’m on the floor, because the couches are stacked, because the boxes are taking up all the space. In the front room is all the stuff ‘for sale‘
Oh, that a hord of bargain hunters would knock upon my door with hands full of cash and poor self discipline when it comes to extraneous items they didn’t know they wanted…
In a cruel mockery of the traveling spirit, I’m now doing 10km per day by foot around the house again. Picking stuff up, sweeping again, finding things, chasing the baby, making mess, tidying it up again. 10km a day, without a change in the view, or the soundtrack. ( I’m not kidding, I wore a pedometer once)
I used to do 300km a week in my car, school and back, ballet and back, other, (crappier) school and back. 300km a week!! Round and round and round again. Snowy was a late walker and talker, not surprising; he grew up strapped into the back seat!
In 2009 we drove around Australia for 9 months. It took not much more than 300km a week, and if you add on the 150km a week that Chris did, round and round, in his car, I reckon driving around Australia was less milage all up! And we saw stuff! And met people! And healed! And thrived!
We need to be here for a bit, earn some dosh, do a few jobs, see a few people. These are the facts, and I will love the seeing people part. I just wish I could put the part of me that’s gonna hurt, in the freezer, and get it out when its time to travel again.
Maybe I’m a newness junky. An eternally immature, stimulation-seeking, novelty-gravitating stability-phobe.
Which only matters if it makes me makes me a bad mother.
Travel is not my salvation. It’s just my favourite.
Anyone know how I feel?