Step 1: Leave home and note how you feel about returning.
I’m in a very pleasant room at this moment. It’s 6:00 as I type this sentence. I have coffee before me, breakfast on the griddle, sunshine peeking through a sunroof, some nice writing equipment sitting on a lovely marble-ish island in a – well, very pleasant – great room of a house – hardly a Detroit tracthouse, not really a McMansion, just a nice house in a nice neighborhood on the outskirts of what is probably a nice city.
And I just caught myself studying a calendar of the month of June…
“Let’s see…if I’ve been here nine days, and there’s twelve days to go … that means I’ve been here three-eighths – No! Three-sevenths! Of the total time. Right? Before I can go home.”
Point is I’m not exactly being tortured. I could even be doing a lot more stuff than I’m doing. It’s hot in the middle of the day, sure, ridiculously hot, but it’s not hot at the moment and I could be out getting all the exercise I want. Tomorrow I’ll probably saddle up and go to the stores again because I’ve run out of the “exotic” stuff I bought last week. Not looking forward to it. I’m aware that I’m pissing away time that Claire would be all using for contemplative stuff – she’d have had the answers to half the world’s spiritual conundra neatly tied in a bow by now – but I’m dividing my time between reading old ebooks, watching old movies, staring out windows, alternately messing up and scrubbing the kitchen, and pacing and fretting. I’m like that unhappy monk who knows he’s supposed to be a contemplative but really truly isn’t.
Yes, I’m whining about nothing – but my purpose really isn’t even to whine: I’m happy to be here, happy to be doing a solid for a friend, happy to be experiencing ease and air conditioning and daily hot showers and still to be pining to return to my grubby scrounged hand-made Lair. There have been two other occasions since I got settled into the Gulch where I came to the city, experienced its pleasures, and practically ran screaming back home. My opinion is confirmed: I am where I belong, and how many people can say that? When I was a middle-aged businessman away on travel, I dreaded going home because home sucked. Now I can’t wait, because home is paradise and paradise needs a coat of paint on its new porch roof. I perceive that as success. And it’s well worth three weeks out of my so-busy schedule to re-confirm.