Sunday, September 2, 2012

Don't Worry So Much

I am not a thrill seeker. 

I imagine my husband has just spit out a good swallow of bourbon at the reading of that sentence to allow an irrepressible guffaw to escape.  He would know better than to make a comment, but he's thinking gross understatement

Let me explain...

I don't like boats because they feel like the most insane test of speed-meets-surface-instability ever invented. 

I don't like taking corners in cars at more than 10 mph because fish-tailing freaks me out.

I'm not a fan of spelunking - what if something collapses or rolls onto my leg or rears its head in the dark slime of a cave and bites me?

No, I don't want to go rappelling - really, one knot is going to hold me while I bounce my way down solid rock? Does the combination of bounce and rock sound smart to anyone?

Cross anything off the list that involves swaying or bobbing, too - urp. Yes, I'm the woman who has to take a Dramamine to go for an afternoon drive through hilly Central Texas to look at bluebonnets.  No way I'm making it through snorkeling a reef in Hawaii or riding backwards on a steam train through a tiny rail pass in the clouds of Colorado.

In summary - a 3-week trip over winding back roads through the Rocky Mountains with a load of camping gear on the back of a motorcycle sounds to me like - well - something just this side of the most terrifying movie I can imagine - which is pretty hard to conjure up because the most terrifying movie I've ever seen all the way through is M. Night Shyamalan's Sixth Sense

So, the Excellent Northwest Motorcycle Adventure that my husband just left on this morning - 18 long, winding, mountainous days on his motorcycle that end in spots of hard, bear-infested ground for sleeping and pieces of beef jerky for dinner - that sounds about as fun to me as little boys seeing dead people all the time.  That's what I'm saying.

I try not to believe there is something seriously wrong with a man who finds a trip like this dreamy...and I fight an enormous inner voice that insists on telling me if I really loved the guy, I'd catch his enthusiasm and get over myself.  Those internal dialogues have had their way with my psyche for most of the three weeks he has been packing.  Today, as I stood in the dark of the morning waving goodbye to the man I love as much as I love breathing while he darted off into the great wide open under the setting blue moon, the voices said, "So now what? What exciting things do WE have planned - you dud?" 

I walked my usual two mile morning route.  I stopped in for a short visit with my 81-year old mother.  I had my every-single-day-of-the-week breakfast of yogurt and granola.  But then I got a little crazy...

I made myself a cup of espresso - espresso, not regular old coffee.  I put on a hat - a hat!?  Then I left the phone on the kitchen counter, the laptop on the desk, and went to the yard with a magazine - a travel magazine...the one that comes cheap with the Nat Geo subscription, but never manages to make it to the "read pile."   I stretched out under the trees and stayed still long enough to render myself harmless to the busy birds and squirrels who chattered and tweeted and scurried like they were all on their own marvelous adventures.  I spent two hours reading about the thrill of navigating rickety bridges across the Ganges River to practice yoga in India...about picking grapes and eating rabbit in an undiscovered corner of Italy...about a crushing 500-mile hike across the Iberian Peninsula...about toothless old men in Singapore, and days-long hammock-to-hammock riverboat trips down the Amazon River. 

I almost caught the fever.  I came inside and googled How to Speak Italian in 6 Weeks.  I found information on ashrams in India and calculated the travel hours from Texas to the Ganges River.  I Facebook friended the Great Sphinx of Giza. (who knew?)

Then I ate lunch, washed a load of towels, checked my email, and located my husband on his SPOT tracker.  I picked up a novel I've been trying to finish reading for three months, put it down, and picked up one I've been meaning to start reading for six months.  Fever over.

But all was not lost on me today.  My armchair travels gave me at least one lasting moment - a quote that stuck and became an adventure in soul searching that deserves some attention.  These are words from - interestingly enough - a motorcycle rental "businessman" in Rishikesh, India: 

"Don't worry so much.  Worry is praying for what you don't want."

Into the great wide open...


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