Our recent New York City trip (actual travel posts in the works) was not a vacation for reading or writing, other than that required to keep up in my Education Law class. I did take notes, though, so hopefully some writing can happen now that I have a little breathing room.
My initial daily goals for the trip reflected the need to “be here now” and a low expectations for productivity—eat salad and ice cream, and walk 10,000 steps.
I made 10,000 steps every day except the two that were “shortened” by long flights. Ice cream happened almost every day. Salad not so much. I’ll make up for that later.
As always though, I started thinking about the truer aims of those goals. Did I really care about daily ice cream? Or even substantive walking? Or was I looking for something else?
The answers were simple and yet not simple. I was looking for both a more Zen approach to life’s ups and downs and more zest—enthusiastic enjoyment—in my days.
I know that I am more likely to respond with peace and grace when I get significant movement, especially outdoors, every day. Thus the step goal, especially while traveling, which invariably makes finding space and time for meditation or yoga much more challenging.
Walking is also enjoyable, but ice cream is even more enjoyable. It’s a concrete example of life’s little joys. Having ice cream as a goal is a reminder to seek out the simple pleasures. Salad is perhaps an attempt to balance that pleasure—and to remember that healthful food can also be pleasurable.
Did I reach my goals? Did the trip meet my expectations? Did I come home feeling “more Zen” and having more zest? I think so. Now to carry that into everyday life…