I’ve been traveling a lot lately.
And yet my suitcase remains safely stashed in the storage room, and my pet sitter’s face is but a distant memory. I’ve gone places I’ve never been before and seen and experienced things not memorialized in the history books nor the art encyclopedias.
These travels have reduced me to tears and, at other times, have brought out the widest smiles and biggest belly laughs I could have ever imagined.
Where have I been, you ask? I’m sure you can guess, as you’ve probably been venturing out – or should I say in? — a lot lately too.
The answer, my friend, is I’ve been exploring the thoughts and images ping-ponging about right here, in my mind. The daily onslaught of the new and different – and often bizarre – provides me with a unique experience each and every day.
Age affects the journey
If I was traveling like this in 20’s or 40’s, the places I’d be going in my mind would be wildly different. There’s a chance I wouldn’t be doing this much traveling at all. I’d be too busy coping with money worries, remaining steadfast for my spouse and children, figuring out how to work from home or how to keep or find a job, gathering everything my family needs in order to survive, and, of course, trying to stay in touch with distant friends and family remotely.
The what-if’s alone are enough to drive anyone crazy: What if we’d been on that cruise when everything blew up? What if our out-of-town guests had still been here as the world shut down? What if we have to endure another four years of crazier-than-normal politics? (That’s a given, no?) What if we are experiencing the most horrific economic and social upheaval ever recorded? (That might be a given too.)
“How are you?” has been replaced with “Thinking of you.” No one wants to ask how we are because we’re all bonkers and trying to be quiet about it. There’s really nothing more unattractive than an older person flailing around wondering if they’re going to last long enough to see anything improve.
Take me away
I’d prefer to travel back to a simpler time as we just smiled politely when we ran into each other on the street, even if we weren’t the best of friends. See, I’m smiling under my mask.
Do I sound a little wonky and a little down? Give it a minute. In the next, I might be laughing with babies on YouTube to bump myself onto the next destination.
Hang in there, my friends.