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Look where you’re going, a$$h@le!!!

OH MAN! THAT WOMAN ALMOST GOT RUN OVER! She was text-drunk, nose in her phone, and with barely a glance followed the older fellow in front of her into the BUSY intersection. The guy she followed knew what he was doing – relatively speaking. Eyes up. Alert. Hustling to the median before he made his final Frogger™ leap to the other side. She just strolled, oblivious, and was shocked to suddenly find herself facing a barrage of oncoming Chicago drivers. Some of them were probably even… tourists! There was a lot of honking and cursing, but thankfully no impact.

Similarly, I spent too many of my early years (you know, the ones with all the youthful energy and enthusiasm) glancing at the shoulders of the person in front of me. I’d see my peers achieve goals I wanted to achieve, so I’d throw all my gear on my back and head in that direction. And then another direction. And another. Pretty frustrating way to travel.

I’ve spent most of my life walking under that hovering cloud, jealousy, whose acid raindrops blurred my vision and burned holes in my heart. – Astrid Alauda

So where’s your head? Are you more concerned with where you’re at in comparison to your peers, heroes and (perceived) competition? My future’s come into much clearer focus since I’ve turned my attention to what I want to do and the real reasons I want to do it. And, miraculously, I no longer have any competition!

Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.  – Carl Jung

That jay-walking (terrible phrase, BTW) woman assumed safe passage because someone else crossed. She chose to focus on her texting, and put herself into a potentially perilous situation. Alliteration aside (and assonance, now, as well), this post in no way a stop and smell the roses, irresponsible call-to-arms – “Skip the business plan! Divest your 401K! Focus on the now and the future will resolve itself!” No way. The future is important. Goals are important. Planning is crucial for getting there. “Power of positivity” platitudes are BS without some muscle behind them. And if a hippie like me believes that – you know it’s true. But there are times when it’s important to be here. Now.

  Are you keeping your eyes on your own paper? Focusing on what you truly want to do, and why you want to do it? Comment below and let me know!

Hustle on without it.

I’ve been obsessed, as of late, with light and efficient packing. I even follow a blog or two dedicated to the subject. Embarrassingly, I caught myself window shopping for an ultra-light, waterproof rucksack with a several hundred-dollar price tag attached. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?! Oh, yeah, here’s what: A lot of my travel is with my wife and son. Flying with a toddler requires many accoutrements; bag of toys, travel crib, car seat, etc. Many airlines are now charging between $25 and $100 to check bags, depending on the number and weight of your suitcases. 

To keep costs down and save wear and tear on my rapidly aging back – I do a lot of editing as I pack. But that’s only for the outbound flight. I have to plan way ahead for the return flight, too, because once we get to grandma’s every cubic centimeter of empty suitcase space is filled with new toys, books, and clothes. Grandmas love grandbabies. Outlet malls love grandmas.

I take great pride in the fact that solo business trips now need only a backpack and noise-cancelling headphones. Light, fast, and free.

It was difficult for me to learn that to move on to a new place in my life, I had to leave crap behind.

Especially if I wanted to pick up souvenirs! For me to get from there to here required me to unpack my old self-image, prejudices, and long-held (and often just plain wrong) beliefs. Not everything stays behind. But it all gets taken out and examined. What will I really need? What will I hustle more easily without? Wherever you are headed, you’re going to need some room for all your awesome new experiences and ideas! TAKE ONLY WHAT YOU NEED.

If you had to make an emotional bug out kit to start all over, unknown, in a new and exciting place – what would you bring?

More importantly, what will you leave behind?

– Jay



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