New People, New Places, New Adventures

I am now free to roam about the country

There was a time when I had a wife, a young daughter, a job, a dog and a household. I miss those days.

Today, my daughter is grown, I am single and I work for myself; my office is wherever I can get an Internet connection. I don’t have to be anywhere at a certain time and I answer to no one.

After being tied down (in a good way) with family and financial obligations for many years, I am now free to do what I want, when I went, where I want. And yet, I have continued to live and work in the same seventy-mile radius that I’ve always lived and worked in.

Lately I’ve been thinking: What good is the freedom to pick up and go if you never actually pick up and go? Knowing you have the freedom to do something can be enormously satisfying, yet never actually taking advantage of the opportunity is, at best, a lack of imagination and, at worst, a chronic case of inertia.

A few weeks ago, I was walking along a nature trail in Wisconsin when the thought casually crossed my mind that winter would soon be here. Instantly, I was filled with such dread that I decided on the spot, “That’s it. I’m outta here. I’m going to Encinitas.” I stopped in my tracks and thought, Did I just decide to move to Encinitas? I think I did. I guess I have to go then. So off I go to California for five months. I’ll meet new people, see new places and have new adventures. Twenty-five more days and I’ll be gazing at the ocean instead of a snowbank.

The window of opportunity is wide open and beckoning. My daughter has no kids and my mom is healthy, happy and active. Perhaps I’ll be in another relationship someday. Perhaps not. Perhaps I’ll have grandcubs someday. Perhaps not. The only thing I know for sure is that today will never come again. And did I mention the ocean is waiting to be gazed at?

If you listen closely, you can hear the sound of my comfort zone crumbling into dust. Good riddance.

California, here I come!

You don’t have to fight to live as you wish. Live as you wish and pay whatever price is required.
Richard Bach

Click here to view all my posts about Encinitas.


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8 Responses to “New People, New Places, New Adventures”

  1. Serena Says:

    I am very happy and excited for you, Phil. Let me know if you are planning to visit the San Diego Zoo. I’d be more than happy to give you a tour of the primate exhibits. I loved the idea of grandcubs. :)

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    That sounds like wonderful idea, Serena! But I don’t think the zoo has any grandcub exhibits!

  3. Barbara Says:

    WooHoo! Good 4 you! Winter away from Snowland and time in Cali to meet new people, enjoy the weather, and spend time at Encinitas, no?

    We just returned from a short, five day trip to the Outer Banks of NC to see family. It’s off-season there so very few tourists around and our peeps have lived there for years; my ‘other’ daughter graduated from Manteo High. So, we were in on the ‘inside.’

    National seashore, visiting w/horsepeople like me, and watching them gallop off at the edge of the ocean. Beautiful partial conch shell. Good food. And big vowels, close to Elizabethan. Can’t forget the visit to Roanoke. Very powerful experience. I’m more and more convinced that the ‘lost’ colony was absorbed by the indigenous people.

    That was just five days! Just think of the adventures ahead while you leave us, the northerners, to our snowblowers and snowscoops. Godspeed!

  4. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thanks, Barbara! Glad you had a nice five-day break!

  5. almarose Says:

    I loved being a mom. I had children at home from 1968 to 1998 and the day my youngest child went to boot camp I got shingles. I always, always knew that the things I “had to do” as a mother were part of the great big “want to do,” and I also knew the day would come when I would give ANYTHING to watch one of my children play soccer or dance in an annual recital, or to be in a carpool, take kids to the dentist, so I never resented it. But when they were gone and I was living alone, it took me a long time to find my center.

    Here’s an excerpt from a poem I wrote about loneliness:

    twists a silky yellow curl and with it strokes her
    upper lip, now loosely bonded to her thumb. My heart
    breaks a little bit from love too big to fit there and
    from missing mommyhood, the minimalist existence
    relagating war and pestilence to so much static behind
    the urgency of locating the other pale-pink bootie
    sock as the sole condition for returning equilibrium.

  6. Phil Bolsta Says:

    I am glad that you were aware enough to cherish the moments as they came, almarose. Yes, it’s a huge emotional hurdle when the last child leaves home. I hope the suffering you endured has brought you to a better place over these last twelve years.

  7. almarose Says:

    Sure. How not? I came to the end of myself and learned surrender. I had to practice being PRESENT for NOW and (God help us) 11-degree winter days with a wind chill of -20 expected tonight. In the Dark Night of the Soul, if you will, I promised to never, ever worry about anything if I could get back on solid ground, and I did, and I don’t. God bless you, Phil —Mary

  8. Phil Bolsta Says:

    I love to hear success stories like yours, Mary! You are an inspiration!

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