Three weeks after leaving The Great Loop, I still have a hangover — to borrow a phrase from one of my readers. It’s strange, because I was eager to leave it in some ways. That last month was pretty tough on me, for reasons too complex to share here.
A hangover refers to the lingering effects of over-indulgence. One can indulge too much in something pleasant or unpleasant. (I tend to indulge in self-criticism, which is definitely unpleasant. Also unhelpful.) So I wonder, what did I indulge in on The Loop that causes this? Hmmm.
It occurs to me that even though I chafed under it, I absorbed the simplicity and clear priorities. Keep us safe and healthy. Plan for food, and water. Figure out the next stop. Keep my head on straight. And don’t forget to take in the views!
Life is simpler when you are on “a great adventure.” Take the next step. And the next. Be strong. Be present. Finish it.
In my last post, I talked about the “after-gap.” I guess I’m still in it, here at my primary home outside of Washington D.C. I am back on my workout schedule, and slowly returning to my other commitments. Volunteering in various ways, getting active again in my church, taking care of home maintenance, “fixing stuff,” catching up on paperwork, reconnecting with friends and family…and making time for those meaningful conversations that were harder to have on The Loop. In other words, reconnecting with the rest of my life.
So what’s wrong with that? Nothing. But something has changed. I have changed. Not in a dramatic way, but an abiding one. I can’t quite tell yet exactly how. Something about being more authentic.
People often talk about doing what makes you happy. “Seize the day” and all that. Well, yes. And what “makes us happy” can evolve…maybe should evolve…as we ourselves evolve.
So what makes me happy, post-Loop? I admit to the urge to start planning a second run! But that feels a little bit like escapism to me. A daily schedule can be a kind of escape from the nagging stuff that is more complicated than “where next?”
So I will head north again, to my rustic camp on a bay of Lake Superior, and contemplate some more. Take long walks in the woods. Daily rows, or paddles. Re-stack woodpiles that fell over. Pull weeds. Build bonfires. Read in the hammock. Breathe.
Maybe I will come up with “the answer.” Maybe not. Either way, it’s OK. Thanks to The Loop (and its hangover), I am more comfortable now with discomfort.
I wonder how many Loopers come up with that one! 😄