May 20, 2007

Sitting Waiting

This is going to be a rough week. I'm going on a bit of a journey next weekend and, as usual, I'm a bit anxious. I love to travel. I'm not very good at waiting though. My friend and I will set out on Thursday morning and drive twenty-so hours to a little town in the middle of Nebraska.
I have allowed the details of the excursion to stress me this week. I know the kids are feeling my stress and Carolyn is trying so hard to be supportive, but, I'm sure she wants to tell me to suck it up and relax. Why do I stress so much about traveling? Well, I think that it comes from a similar place as my consumerism. How are they connected? Well...in more ways than I first thought.
The fear that I deal with the most is the inability to provide. I was taught that in order to be a "man" I needed to provide several things for my family, friends, and myself. If I did not provide said things, I would be a failure. The list of necessary provisions include a safe home in a nice area, a nice car, a sizable bank account, a secure job in a prominent institution, a few interesting hobbies, and most importantly...a big, strong, stoic, frighteningly secure demeanor. The list is a tall order. I'm beginning to get past some of the preconceptions, but, it takes a long time to rid one's self of years of programming.
The fear of not being able to provide is compounded by our overly consumeristic culture. Because, not only do I have the preprogramed list for success, I also have society's list as well. Aghhhh!
Traveling adds another element to the muck and mire, because now I have to prepare for things that I do not know about, places I haven't been, problems I haven't yet considered. So, what do I do? I plan, prepare, obsess, and ultimately spin myself into a self-induced frenzy of self-doubt, anxiety, and fear. Will I have the right stuff for the trip? Do I have what it takes to succeed on my journey? What do I need for the journey?
As I have considered this for the past few weeks, I realized something odd. The best travelers were not very good planners. Look at some of them. Columbus was going to sail off the end of the world. Good plan. Lewis and Clark were going to see what was over there somewhere. Okay. Mark Twain went all over on a whim. John Muir wandered aimlessly. But all of them carried a journal.
They all recorded the journey. They noticed and recorded where they were, how they got there, what they saw, who they met. They recorded rather than planned. Because they did so, we can relive their journey and we can all gain the wisdom that only comes from leaving home and coming back some time later.
I'm trying so hard to not plan this trip. I'm trying so hard to go with the flow. It is tough, but, I'm going to try it.

5 comments:

Sara said...

Where in Nebraska...we'll be headed there at the same time to go lead worship at staff training for a camp in North Platte.

I like your thoughts on traveling...especially about the journalling. Have a safe trip!

JJSOmaha said...

Whereabouts are you headed to in Nebraska?

If you get through Omaha let me know as would love to buy you a coffee!

Jeff

Matt said...

I'm heading to Grand Island. Thanks for the offer of coffee, but, I don't think I'll make it all the way to Omaha.

JJSOmaha said...

Maybe next time---have a safe trip!

nea said...

How was your trip?