Tag Archives: changes

My Unbucket List, by Carole Howard

In my last post (Time Travel), I was just about to leave for a trip and said I’d write about it next time.

Here it is, next time. Thing is, though, let’s face it: Sometimes reading about someone else’s trip – even one that was wonderful, as this one was – can be boring. So I’m going to write about something else. You’re welcome.

But first, to fulfill my commitment: First a week in a house in the beautiful countryside in southern Italy with good friends. Then an overnight ferry to Dubrovnik. Then five days on a catamaran visiting various Croatian islands with people who had been strangers but are no longer. Finally, two days in historic beautiful Dubrovnik.

Now, onto something I realized on the trip, something about myself, not about Italy or Croatia.

I’m not saying anything you don’t already know when I point out that we change in a whole lot of ways as we get older. Some changes are unwelcome.  Can’t run as fast.  Higher blood pressure.  And then there’s that memory thing. But some are quite welcome, indeed: Things that used to bother us, don’t.  We don’t spend time doing things or being with people we don’t want to.

Something else that’s changed for me is the way my husband and I travel.  And I didn’t realize it until this trip.

Back in the day, we wanted to see the sights when we traveled. Made a list of those sights. Checked them off. Or we visited places where we wanted to absorb and understand the culture. Serious. Intellectual. There were a few hiking and biking trips thrown in, but even those included trails we just had to take, restaurants we had to eat at.

I don’t regret any of it. But now our traveling is less about things we just have to do than about enjoying whatever we do. And it’s no longer necessarily about going someplace new (though my vanity did enjoy adding Croatia to my longish list of the countries I’ve visited).  It definitely includes places we’re very familiar with. If anything, there’s an even stronger pull to go back to the old haunts. (“We’ll always have Paris.”)

The way I see it now is that any place I go is someplace I wouldn’t otherwise have gotten to. It’s serendipity and it’s lovely. It’s a smorgasbord and you take a little of this and a little of that.  Less urgent, more forgiving.

It might sound like we’re jaded, but I that’s not it. It’s more a realization that we’re not going to be able to visit everything, so the point is to take pleasure in whatever we wind up doing. It’s the opposite of a bucket list.  It’s acceptance.

Frankly, I can’t remember the names of the Croatian islands we visited, and certainly don’t remember which was which. And that’s just fine with me: I enjoyed them all, both in the moment and now.

For me, that’s now definitely more than enough.

What about you?  What’s your preferred travel style?

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Carole Howard is the author of Deadly Adagio.

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Filed under Travel, writing

Changes: Welcome, 2010! (You WILL Be a Better Year)

The last resolution I made was around ten years ago when I resolved to stop making New Year’s resolutions – I never keep them. Strangely, this is the first year I’ve been more than cautiously optimistic. 2010 has a nice ring to it as it rolls off my tongue. Yes, 2010 will be a good year.

As an old year goes out and a new one begins, I spend the time reflecting on how I’ve changed over the previous year.

Over the past three hundred and sixty-five days, I’ve grown . . . by about fifteen pounds. My scale squeals in surprise the rare times I step on it. I think I’ll blame my problem on my sedentary writing life rather than on my beloved pizza, calzone, Lindt white chocolate truffles, and other assorted high calorie, high fat foods.

I’ve also come to the conclusion I’m not as smart as I think I am, but this realization is tempered with the conclusion that most people around are not as smart as they want me to think they are. What a relief to discover pretentiousness has lots of company.

On top of this, it became apparent over the last year my kids are becoming smarter than me. They still have their moments, but they’re getting quicker to point out mine first. My cats also have me figured out; I thought I was training them when all the while, they’ve been training me for years. They’re good – they meow and I jump (and feed or pet or try to figure out why the heck the three of them are growling at a corner of my living room ceiling).

Another close cousin of the inflated brain is the snob. I’ve caught myself waxing on and on about things I think I know a lot about until I realize what I sound like: a snobby braggart. I’ve bored, lost, or antagonized peeps by talking down to them; thankfully, this doesn’t happen often and someone usually brings my pompous asset back down to Planet Earth with a resounding rump thump.

My writing has changed, too. It’s harder in some ways, but easier in others. I’ve branched into different genres – and found I suck in certain ones. Really suck. However, I’ve discovered I excel in other untapped areas. This makes me more confident that, if I tank in one area, there’s hope in another.

How have you changed over the past year?

J J Dare, author of Joe Daniel’s “False Positive” and “False World,” and numerous short stories

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Filed under books, Humor, life, musings