The Grass is Not Always Greener

I believe old demons have returned, but this time I’m more prepared

I’ve been struggling with a decision for a few months now and I’m hoping one of the following happens:

  1. The answer suddenly comes to me with clarity and full resolve.
  2. I decide to allow for an organic resolution; time sorts it out.
  3. Something way bigger than me, decides.

This is one of those situations where anything is possible. I already went from A to B by running my situation by a friend. I carry shame with me on this one; not typical for me and very uncomfortable. I am usually quite clear in my thoughts when I have a personal dilemma. Not this time though, this time I haven’t a clue. In the past, my decisions may have been hasty; I cannot afford a hasty decision this time.

A recent example of hasty: I’m going to London at the end of the week and I have tickets for two plays — two plays that I know for certain I have not seen. I will only be in London for four days, therefore, my time there is precious and limited. I don’t get to see much theatre these days and the idea of getting a ticket for the third day seemed like a good one. I looked at all of the plays currently on the West End and didn’t see any that were appealing. Much like Broadway, unfortunately, the West End has become another home for flashy Disney productions, not my cup o’ tea. But two days ago I received an offer for Indecent, a Paula Vogel play. I got all excited because I’ve admired her work for thirty years. I purchased a ticket using a mobile phone app. I smiled all the way home thinking I’d scored something good . . . not. I got home and read about Indecent and realized I’d seen it in New York. If it was the best thing I’d ever seen I would have remained excited; however, if I recall correctly, it didn’t thrill me. Maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised and this performance will blow me away. I’ve also decided that if I have a lot going on, I’ll just skip the performance and accept the financial loss. Had I done a bit of research first, I wouldn’t be in this position.

The Dilemma

I should state upfront that this issue I am grappling with is not a bad problem to have. I should also share that when I have been in a similar situation in the past, the direction I chose ended up coming out well for me. Unfortunately, every situation is different; therefore, what might have worked in the past may not work now.

I need to come clean with you: I wrote several paragraphs about my situation, went to bed and slept on it. When I woke up this morning, I walked Paco, brewed some coffee, opened my laptop and erased what I had written. For the first time since I started blogging almost four years ago, I decided that what I was sharing was too personal (if you’re curious, contact me privately).

The Real Issue

The problem, as I see it, is that I am often not happy with accepting the status quo. Things can be going well for me and for whatever reason, I seem to have this strange need to shake things up. I know that I can overanalyze, over simplify, and take far too many things for granted. What I have found helpful over the last few years, is patience is a good alternative. Sit tight for a while and whatever it is that is making me crazy, will sort itself out — of course this is only 95% true.

Short Blog

In the spirit of making life easier on myself, I am going to stop here. Rather then bore you with details and make myself cuckoo, I will leave it at this:

My goal this week is to leave this decision up to the universe. With enough time and patience, it will sort itself out. In the end I will be fine; no doubt I will also be better off financially and happier for having not rushed to a hasty decision.

Bond, James Bond

Yesterday I saw, No Time to Die, the new James Bond Film. I’m usually not a big fan, but I caved to peer pressure. It’s fabulous: the acting, the music, and the cinematography — all incredible. The bonus was that I had just firmed up my trip to Cuba in February and about 20 minutes of the film takes place in Havana. That made me feel so good about this long awaited adventure. I wish I was flying there today.

patience quotes not passive contrary concentrated strength bruce lee wisdom

I’m quoting Bruce Lee for goodness sake.

It’s The Little Things

I flood my mind with conundrums, so that I don’t have time to think about what really matters:

Life Sometimes Deals You An Impossible Hand

A friend sent me the above text this week and at first I read it and thought oh, that’s poignant. Then I spent the next few days thinking about Sherman’s words. I often contemplate projects that I have not completed, however, I am fairly certain I am finished with them (e.g., becoming an accountant in my twenties or trying to be hetersexual early on in my life — more difficult than the former).

Then there are projects that I believe I have completed, but as life often dictates, I cannot finish. One of many examples is my teeth. I pine over a tooth that I lost and I go to the dentist for an expensive, but necessary, implant. After much discomfort, a great deal of money, and many office visits, I get a new tooth. I walk away satisfied and feeling complete; however, I am far from finished. A few months will go by and I’ll either have implant problems or another tooth becomes problematic. I am never finished dealing with my teeth. Unfortunately, teeth issues will persist throughout my life. I feel better when I recall that both my parents had a mouth full of dentures.

A Set Of Dentures In A Glass Of Water On A White Background Stock Photo,  Picture And Royalty Free Image. Image 26352319.
What I had to see everyday in our only bathroom growing up

As I have said before, I am an avid list maker. The satisfaction I get from being able to check a project off as completed is greater than I can or should admit. However, the number of times I thought something was done and done and it wasn’t, is too many times. You get to sit and just enjoy and admire your completed deck only to see paint peel during the next rain. You finally save enough to buy the latest iphone and then you drop it three days after removing the packaging. You tie the knot and smile lovingly at your new husband only to have him spend the day in his underwear on the sofa (the last not my story). We seldom completely finish anything.

Mba Completion Quotes, Quotations & Sayings 2020

Completed Projects

There have been a few instances in my life when I felt that I had completely finished something. Sometimes this knowledge give me a feeling of satisfaction and gratitude and other times, it leaves me feeling blue. I have to stop and tell myself that these mixed emotions are to be expected.

There is a danger in convincing yourself that you are done with something and then having it resurface or even worse, having it thrown in your face. It has become apparent to me as I grow older, that being prepared for any outcome is helpful for peace of mind — the worst case scenario. I’m learning to take a deep breath before I react; sometimes I’m more successful than others. The power and ability to forgive, is all yours.

Why Finishing Something Matters

How many times have you silently said, “I’m finished with you?” Self-preservation is a gift not all of have embraced. Walking away from anything toxic is a good thing, but not always easy to do. If someone does something terribly egregious to us or to humanity, they do not deserve our love.

Another thing that seems to be difficult for many people, is allowing others to finish their sentences. I often wonder if people who are poor listeners have any clue about how rude it can be to cut people off. We’ve become terrible listeners and one of the reasons for this is that so few people are willing to confront the culprits. Every so often I get very angry with someone for constantly cutting me off before I finish a thought. I say something like, please let me finish, but it doesn’t stop them from doing it over and over again. The old, “I was so excited I couldn’t help myself,” just doesn’t work for me anymore. Let’s try to be courteous people. It shows respect and caring when we listen. Good listeners go far in life; mostly because it’s such a rare asset.

Finishing matters because a sense of accomplishment feels good.

On to the Next Thing . . .

I’m going to keep making lists and dreaming up new projects until the day I die. It provides purpose and hope.

Here are some of the things I have finished, but not completed:

  • learning how to speak Spanish. Funny thing is, as I learn Portuguese, the Spanish resurfaces.
  • traveling to all 50 states in the U.S. (there are some states I have decided to stay away from)
  • cooking organ meats
  • a novel I started 25 years ago (trust me you wouldn’t want to read it)
  • I started learning how to paint landscapes years ago and decided I’d never complete a painting . . . I haven’t and I won’t
  • musical instruments have forever been spared my lips and fingers
  • I started reading the classics 20 years ago and stopped six months in
  • I once started the process for finding a surrogate mother for a child I never fathered
  • I did Rogaine for awhile
  • tried mushrooms — not shiitakes
  • collected antique furniture (thank God that’s over)
  • I ran marathons for a few years and ruined my right knee; stupid man
  • I lived in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Maine (although I do miss the lobster)

The list goes on . . .

What’s Next in Travel

I was scheduled to travel to Stockholm in a couple of weeks, but due to COVID-19 the airlines and hotels have cancelled my plans. If Berlin opens back up to travellers in December, I will go there for a few days. As always, I will be cautious and careful. I was scheduled to be on a Crystal cruise to four Asian countries on January 6, 2021; that cruise has been cancelled. I have booked myself on an Asian cruise in January of 2022 — this one will be longer and it starts in Hong Kong. COVID-19 has taught me patience . . . oh *shush.

*shush: verb 1.tell or signal (someone) to be silent.”she shushed him with a wave”

The Pros & Cons of COVID-19 Travel

Photo by Soumya Ranjan on

I’m feeling a bit anxious about writing this piece. Whether or not to travel at this time is a highly subjective decision. Most governments are imposing COVID-19 travel restrictions that are somewhat ambiguous and I believe that is intentional. Human lives versus economic collapse: this is an impossible conundrum. Add to that the “Unknown” factor around COVID-19 and you’re left with a whole lot of speculation.

Personal Choices

When Portugal eased lockdown restrictions, I decided to take a train trip north to Cascais. I felt train travel would be safer for a number of reasons. I knew the Portuguese government was requiring masks be worn throughout the trip and I also knew that few people would venture out. I have mixed feelings about having taken the trip. Not seeing other tourists in an otherwise tourism driven town, was somewhat depressing. Strangely, I came home wanting more.

I’m not going to site articles about the safety of travel because there are as many telling you it’s safe as there are advising you to stay home. This is a very personal decision, however, there are many people out there who believe that when you travel you are endangering lives. Yes, they believe you are risking catching the virus outside of your community and taking it back to where you live. It would be wrong and dishonest to say that there isn’t some truth to those sentiments.

My argument is that life is full of risk at every turn. You get behind the wheel and there is a risk you could accidently kill someone else on the road; do you stop driving? You light up a cigarette outdoors knowing you are exposing people to carcinogens, do you only smoke in your own home? You consider sending your children to school knowing that there is a possibility that another student might open fire on school grounds, do you keep your kids home where it’s safer? You know where I’m going with these questions. One can rarely be 100% safe.

As you sit in judgment against others who exercise their personal freedoms, it doesn’t hurt to consider your own decisions and personal habits. Does anything you do endanger the lives of others in any way? Do you take every precaution to keep others safe? Doesn’t just being alive carry risk and uncertainty?

I realize that many will argue that travel is putting others at risk — if you were to contract the virus, you could potentially be exposing others. This argument also has validity; however, it takes us back to risk. If you are a responsible person who takes every precaution, are you not minimizing the risk for everyone else? I would use the analogy of driving: cautious drivers are doing everything possible to minimize the risk of an accident that might harm or even kill someone else on the road. Do not forget, driving is a choice.

Why You Might Want to Stay Home

  • There are few places safer than your own immediate environment. There you have almost complete control.
  • If you are in a high risk group (underlying medical conditions, age)
  • If you will have anxiety while you’re traveling, you have to ask yourself if it’s worth it.
  • You can wait it out
  • When flight circumstances change, you may not get a refund from your airline. Some are only offering future travel vouchers.
  • The numbers of confirmed cases and deaths around the world is staggering. This might be your barometer.
  • Your value system does not allow you to put others at risk.

The Upside of Travel

  • Some people are in serious danger of losing control of their lives and possibly losing their lives. The psychological and emotional impact of this virus is difficult to measure. Travel to be with a loved one or being outside of their isolated environment, could be a life saver.
  • If you can be disciplined and super careful, it could be fun.
  • This virus could be with us for a long time. Some of us feel that we need to adapt and adjust our lifestyles to cope with this new normal.
  • My flight was only 5% full going to England and 30% on the return. It was easy enough to social distance — something to consider.
  • You could also consider going to a place where they have controlled the virus.
  • For some people, it is important to exercise their personal freedoms.
  • There are lots of deals out there right now.
  • If you feel less safe or exposed on an airplane, you might consider staying local. I recently took the train to a resort town and truly enjoyed the quick and easy getaway.

There are more reasons to stay home and many more reasons to travel. Feel free to share them in the comments section.

From the UK since I was in Manchester (from the NHS) when writing this piece:

The main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

The main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are:a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normalTo protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital if you have any of these symptoms. Stay at home (self-isolate) and get a test.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on
Photo by Yamil Duba on