As I walked to Wal-Mart this morning I thought, Why should I rush to get home? Why should I rush to get this Wal-Mart experience over with? Why should I rush to have my matcha tea, why should I rush to get back to the hotel, why should I rush to see what breakfast they have, why should I rush up to my room, to get packed and changed and ready to go, to write this post.
Why should I rush to do anything at all?
We spend our lives rushing about, only to realize it did nothing to hasten or delay the arrival of death. When you die will it matter all the stuff you did? Will it matter, all the things you crammed into every day? The things you stressed about?
It’s snowing outside the Home 2 Suites by Hilton in Richland, WA, and my tea has just finished brewing. I’m sitting on the couch in my immaculate room, this, finally, the NICEST room I’ve stayed in this entire trip. It took till the last night to find the perfect hotel. That’s what this trip was about, staying in hotels. Finding myself in hotels across the US and Mexico, watching YouTube videos. Watching chess videos. Watching bouldering videos. Drinking tea.
Today I’ll pack up my stuff, leave my hotel room, start my car, amble onto the freeway, and drive home to Seattle. I have mixed feelings about this. Sure, I’m excited as fuck. That goes without saying. But at the same time if there’s ANYTHING this trip has taught me is that arriving at your destination doesn’t matter. Things aren’t going to be great “once you get there.” Things aren’t going to be great “once you get to Guam,” or “once you get to Mexico,” or “once you go on vacation,” or “once your kids are back in school,” or “once you get that job promotion,” or “once you start making more money,” or “once you start eating better.”
OK, the eating better thing is actually kind of a big one.
But seriously, we spend our entire leaves thinking we’ll be happy ONCE SOMETHING HAPPENS. Our ability to be happy is so conditional. Watch, sometime, yourself having these thoughts, and then watch what happens when you get the thing that you thought would be it, or the place you thought that once you got there everything would be fine, and watch how as soon as these things are attained your little rat brain goes searching for some other requirement to make it happy. Oh, we’ll be happy once we get to our hotel and we can relax and unpack our stuff and go swimming in the pool. But then you get to your hotel, and other little things come up. Where are we going to dinner? We’ll be happy once we just get some dinner. We’ll be happy once we just get a good night’s rest. And on and on and on and on until it becomes, oh, we’ll be happy once this vacation is just over and we’re home.
(hold on a sec while I get my tea).
Or maybe you guys don’t have this problem. Maybe I’m the only one sitting in the Hilton in Richland eating sardines with jalapenos for breakfast because he thinks a low-carb diet will solve his knee troubles.
Now I’m worried that this entire room smells like sardines. K, I really need to drink my tea.
All I know is this: this is literally the only thing I know: that my body feels better when I eat a diet lower in carbs, lower in grains. I feel like I have less inflammation. Like if I eat a big thing of rice? My fingers and joints instantly start cracking. I feel like my body’s on fire. But when I eat a low carb diet? My body feels lubed up. I feel light. I feel like a kid again, albeit a kid with a partially torn LCL.
Except maybe it’s not torn anymore. Maybe it’s kind of healed and it just needs to continue in the remodeling phase and I need to load and……all that other stuff.
And so, I’m going to savor the drive today. Fuck that, I’m going to savor everything about today. I’m going to savor the wonderful sound my car makes when starting up, the familiar purr despite always fearing a bit it won’t start up. I’m going to savor the crunch of the tires on the snow as I slowly drive out of the hotel parking lot and towards the arterials. I’m going to savor the whine of the engine as I pull onto an onramp and get it up to speed on the interstate. I’m going to savor driving by Yakima. I’m going to savor driving by Ellensburg (that one’ll be tough for some reason). I’m going to savor the snow that will inevitably be falling. I’m going to savor the first glimpse I get of Seattle as the skyscrapers peak over Beacon Hill when I come out of the tunnel after Mercer Island.
And if all this goes to shit, if my car doesn’t start, if there’s tons of traffic going over the pass, then, well, I’m going to savor that too. No expectations. Savoring everything that comes my way, including this shitty cup of earl grey. Savoring the lingering taste of sardines in my mouth.
No, but seriously.