Doing nothing

There is something wonderful and terrible about doing nothing. I’ve been traveling too much, doing too much, and there is a flu going around, and it has all been exhausting. It was all wonderful, but that broke as soon as I made it back to Georgia.

It’s not that there is anything wrong with being here, but the transmission on my car died the first day I was here, so my ability to travel has been limited. So, mostly, I have done nothing. I’ve slept, played with my nephews, talked with my sister, and worked around the house. I put up the hammock in the back yard, harrassed the dogs, practiced Chinese, and slept. I was tied a few days, sick a few, and now I’m balancing out just in time for Easter.

I’ve taken a lot of naps, I’ve watched too much tv, and I started eating the foods that I’ve been missing. Georgia is home for now, like so many places before it, and I’ll settle in the best I can. It’s been good, and, in a way, exactly what I needed. I would have liked to work in Taiwan for a couple more months, but I’ve never really connected with my family before, by choice as much as anything. I isolate, and I look for people beyond those who are familiar. It’s what has made traveling the world possible, the disconnect from the life I might have had.

If I had followed the path I had set ten years ago, I would be on a military base somewhere, probably with a child or two. My brother and sister both have kids around the same ages, and it would have been fun to be a part of that. I’m not surprised that path ended where it did, or how, but I still wonder about the meaning I would have found in that life. Life is suffering, but whether that suffering has meaning is entirely up to us.

That’s why I travel the way I do, to find meaning, more than a vacation could ever provide. I live where I am, in whatever place that might be, for a month, or a year, but never really wanting that feeling of just passing through. Life could be so much easier if I could stop looking for more, but I’m pretty sure I would die long before I reached my grave.

Georgia is beautiful in the spring. Everything is alive and newly green, the days are warm and the nights are cold. I’m north of Atlanta, in the middle of a suburban forest. Just off any main road you can find tall, thin, amazingly green trees. Once you’re out of site you can barely hear the roads, the forest blocking the sound as it does the light. I can hear the beginning of baseball season in the park on the weekend as I relax in my hammock in the afternoon sun.

There are parks, forests, and lakes everywhere, filled with ruins of battlefields and old mills from the time of the colonies. There are still traces of the civilizations that came before, and the endless beauty of the waterfalls and rivers within a could hours of here. There are a lot of places I hope to see, but I have no schedule, no alarm, and no place I need to be.

I have a couple months until I leave for China. I received my final medical clearance, so now there is nothing to do but wait. I’ll fill the hours with practice, rest, talk, and too much tv, but really, for now, I’m doing nothing.

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