I read an article today that asked about sequestering at home, “What do you miss most right now?”
What pops up first before second guessing pushes the mind toward what our self editor thinks the answers should be?
My answer? I miss freedom of movement. Or more specifically, I miss options. I miss having a range of things to do with my time that involve being out and about in the world.
I assumed this might be what others would say, but my friend Tina told me the answer for her was hugging her family. She aches with this sense of withdrawal from what grounds her. So do I, but for something quite different.
I think our answers say a lot about who we fundamentally are. Tina’s happiness is so thoroughly enmeshed with her family that it is hard even to drag her out to lunch with the girls. When it conflicts with a chance to help out with day care for a grandchild, she is out of town in a cloud of dust. She can tell you the exact date on which she last hugged her son. I am so ready to rejoice with her when she can do that again, and sad that day has yet to arrive, but it isn’t my answer.
I actually have more phone contact with my son Ivan than any time since long before the invention of FaceTime. Since we live too far apart to hug, even when sequestering is over there won’t be much of an opportunity for getting together in person. I think this is a by product of something else about both of us, that flying solo is completely within our comfort zone. Maybe the time will come when we think living in proximity is worth planning life around, but that time has not arrived, and I suspect we both hope to be lucky enough that it won’t—unless of course it involves grandchildren, which neither of us foresees. Then all bets are off!
But that isn’t what I planned to write about. My blog posts rarely are, by the way. I got to thinking about how missing freedom of movement is really about wanderlust writ small. I guess I have lived travelly on a small scale much of my life by virtue of the fact that I have had transportation, money, and time to fulfill many of my desires in my immediate world. If I want stimulation I have options; if I want diversion, I have options; if I want escape I have options.
I don’t think I ever thought about living travelly on a small scale before because I have always been pursuing writing it large. Now, I am thinking of seeing a movie or an al fresco lunch with a friend as an adventure. Going to the Apple store to fix my iPad’s sticky keyboard is going to be an adventure, as are working out at the gym and playing tennis. Hello, muscles! I am really starting to miss you!
Yes, I greatly miss the freedom of options. It doesn’t make me angry, or depressed, or resentful(at least not often), as it might if my options were considerably narrower. I have electricity, I have a ride to the store, I am in touch with friends. Most of all, I and those I love are all still well— not exactly an option but a simple fact that is shaping my life for the better at the moment.
I hope I will be better able to treasure living travelly in all its sizes when sequestering is over, and for now to appreciate the smallest options of all, even if it is just what to fix for lunch, which wine to open, or which window to stare out of (one choice here, showing research I am not doing) while I go on the best adventures of all—the ones in my head.