Thursday, February 18, 2010

A lazy, thoughtful day

I am such a slug. Really. I spent today -- literally all day -- reading. Just relaxing and taking it easy, trying not to look at the empty suitcase on the floor or think about the gazillion things that need to be done before we leave for Mexico at 3:30 a.m. Saturday.

It was wonderful, deliciously wonderful.

Yesterday was very hectic, and I apologize for not blogging. But it was crazy, and when we finally got home last night, it was all I could do to collapse in front of the television and watch the Olympics.

I also spent a lot of time today in some fairly deep thought, about me and my place in the world. About what's important in life and what's not. About helping others, about being selfless, about trying to do some good in a broken world. I won't bore you with my metaphysical musings, but suffice it to say that I found myself reading some heavy books, good solid deep writings.

I always get into this frame of mind before leaving on one of these mission trips. It's against my nature, frankly, to spend a week in very primitive conditions helping other people. I mean, I love travel and adventure. I really, really do. But, and I'm going to get real honest here, it is way out of my comfort zone.

I am a creature of the comforts of home and hearth. I wasn't always this way, but I am now. I am happy sitting at my computer, alone, creating a whole new world. But I'm also aware that too much of such isolation can be a bad thing, an unhealthy thing.

And so I push myself to do things like this on a fairly regular basis. Whether it's spending six weeks living in Ecuador or a week in a tiny Mayan village, I do this for two reasons -- to help others and to help myself.

Altruism isn't something that comes naturally to me. I'm working on it, though. Over the years, I have become more-or-less comfortable going way outside of my comfort zone. It's not only healthy emotionally, I believe, but it also makes me a better writer. I know that sounds funny, but it's true. The further outside my physical comfort zone I get, the easier it is to get outside my writing comfort zone.

Life is about taking chances. About adventure. About doing for others. About being uncomfortable by choice rather than by force.

I'll post again tomorrow but after that, this site will fall silent for week. Unless I can finagle a way to get to the little Internet cafe in the village and have enough time to post a quick update.

Until tomorrow.


  1. I love to help people, and in a way -it's selfish. I like how I feel about myself when I do it. I like feeling that I made a difference in someone's life, even if it is just to help them smile in the grocery store when they're having a bad day.

    Good luck on your trip. Try not to smell too funky when you come back.

  2. Those days are nice, and it sounds like it's a rarity for you, so don't feel bad about spending a whole day reading.

    I need to step out of my comfort zone too. I'm way too solitary. I keep talking about Habitat for Humanity but I haven't done anything about it. I need to shut up and get cracking. What you're doing is great and I can't wait to read about it when you get back.

  3. This post deserves a gold star in Google Reader. You are an inspiration to the masses, who think only of themselves.

    Have a safe trip.

  4. Oh dear. It seems you have your wires crossed. You're a writer, not a reader. Well, writers are allowed to read and readers are allowed to write, but you must keep the two strictly separated. You should not read when you should be writing, nor should you write when you should be reading, though sometimes you must read so that you are able to write better. Interestingly enough I've never known writing to make reading easier, so that's sort of one sided.

    And now I'm very, very, dizzy...

  5. "Life is about taking chances. About adventure. About doing for others. About being uncomfortable by choice rather than by force."

    Right on! Love your comments. Terry Towery, you have your head screwed on right.

    I could easily blob out on the couch for the rest of my life, but...

    Helping others and giving back = paying my dues. I don't want to look back and see that I spent the gift of life just standing around using up oxygen and doing selfish things. And even if I can't go to Mexico, I can put my blind neighbor's trashcan by her door and a million other small things.

    Have a great trip!


  6. it's good you're getting rested up now. that way you won't be tired while you're working hard on your trip... or at least as tired... anyway, have a great trip!

  7. I can't wait to read about your trip and you are right on about leaving your comfort zone. It makes life that more interesting. Have a great trip, Terry!

  8. Have left a little something for you on my blog :)