Tuesday, November 27, 2007

choosing and doing and going

Every day I wake up thinking about homelessness, and when it's cold outside, it actually hurts. I'll slip outside in the cold air and I'll wonder about the souls who are also just waking up from their hard cold places and how differently they rise to wake the dawn.

As I am preparing to leave on vacation, madly tying up loose ends and most certainly forgetting something I am conscious still of the luxury of vacation, of the money frittered away on holidays and the casualness by which I am able to live my life by the merest and grandest factor of all: choice.

I recognize my blessings every day and on good days I use them in service of others. In bad days I might wallow through my own stumbling blocks and obstacles, perceived and real alike. I'd like to think it's the sum rather than my parts that matter in the end but regardless I wonder about the wasted time.

I know we'll see poverty of grand proportions on our travels. We somehow always choose places ridden with suffering, perhaps a rude or at least perplexing fascination worthy of one or two psychotherapy sessions or at least a fierce group hug. And yet with all of it I stand content in my reality, regretting none of the choices that have carved my world view and yet mindful at the same time of a long lost shine.

I'll be travelling for a bit and as such will be missing the lead up to the Just Post Roundtable this month so the indomitable and lovely Mad will be rounding up our links. So make sure to send them to her at madhattermommy at hotmail dot com. If this is new to you visit one of the purple and white buttons to your right. Oh and think of me once or twice as I frolic through the surf realizing a rest I want to deserve that some will never reach.

43 comments:

Christine said...

oof.

i am all too guilty of wallowing in perceived injustices or pain. but in reality i have a damn good life with many luxuries.

you remind me of this so often ,and for that i am grateful to, you freind.

you ground me.

carrie said...

Definitely, you ground me too.

Sorry for piggy-backing Christine's comment, but it is so true.

I remember coming home from Mexico for the first time, really seeing poverty like that, and realizing that there wasn't much I could to about it. It still haunts me - but like you said - you have to be content in your own reality.

I wish you the best on your travels, and much sun-soaking. You deserve to unwind and hopefully set your worries free, if only for a moment.

flutter said...

while you are very grounding, you too, deserve to fly. Be the joy you wish for those you serve.

Mrs. Chicken said...

We all make choices, and some lead to paths strewn with beach vacations while others do not.

You are deserving; your life is dedicated to serving the forgotten. Recharge, and think of it as a boon for your clients. You, rested, is better than a platoon of me, rested or not.

Kellan said...

You have such a kind heart - and while you may be going to enjoy your vacation and feel guilty of your pleasure, remember that so much of the money you spend in these poverty ridden places is their livlihood and you are a blessing to them. The world goes around in a circle and some areas are low and some are high - so it is true of people. I loved this kind post - these thought provoking words.

Have a wonderful vacation - enjoy yourself and your family. Be happy that you are blessed. Take care. See you soon. Kellan

alejna said...

It's good to be reminded of the choices we make, and the luxury of being able to make such choices.

Have a wonderful, restorative trip. I look forward to reading all about it.

painted maypole said...

Oh jen. I struggle with this, too. But I think that if you did not carve time and space for yourself that you could not do the work that you do, that you would not be nearly as effective, or perhaps would even burn out and leave to do something else. so go. enjoy. relax. Heck, even Jesus needed time away. ;)

hele said...

I know.

I love you Jen and I love to think of you dancing in the waves and laughing.

Family Adventure said...

Jen, please go and do try to enjoy your well-deserved rest.

Heidi

Lucia said...

Jen - I'll look forward to hearing about your travels. On a deep and constant level, I understand what you're saying. We live extraordinary lives in even having the choice to travel. In some ways, it's a relief for me to see someone else getting it on the level that I feel it.

Annie said...

You DO deserve it!

I'd even venture to say you likely need it in order to keep you coming back and serving others as well as yo do.

cinnamon gurl said...

Enjoy your much-deserved trip... as long as you blog about it? Did I miss where you're going or is it a secret?
Anyways have lots of fun wherever you're going...

Suz said...

I will be thinking of you. Have a wonderful vacation.

jennifer said...

You do deserve it. Don't forget it...

Kyla said...

You DO deserve it. Enjoy yourself, please?

kiki said...

i love you. safe travels, friend. xo

Sober Briquette said...

For me, it's the hot shower. I'll stand in there and think, "how much worse this day would be if I didn't have this, and so many do not."

One of my recent reads was on the topic of fundraising and the authors indicated money spent on retreats for the staff was truly well spent because it more than paid off in renewed enthusiasm and creativity.

I wish my parents weren't too old to handle the kids for a few days. I'd be right there in the surf with ya.

we_be_toys said...

Hope you have a great vacation - I'm sure its been a long time coming, and you deserve it - if only to recharge your battery before going back into the battle.
Bon voyage!

Julie Pippert said...

Amen, Jen. But, what value is a gift if we don't enjoy it. So Amen to that too. Enjoy your travels. :)

Julie
Using My Words

blooming desertpea said...

Choice is a blessing, at least that much we should be able to acknoledge. It's not your fault that those people are homeless but it's not your fault that you aren't, either. You're doing what you can to help and as such you're already doing more than many others. Keeping that in mind, we all your readers would agree that you deserve the vacation you're taking and we ORDER you to enjoy it!

dawn224 said...

You take that vacation, refuel your energy and you will come back with more to offer because you took care of yourself.

QT said...

Safe travels, woman. Recharge those batteries! And raise a libation or two in my direction, will ya?

Janet said...

Go. Enjoy. Be safe.

Emily R said...

Travel safely.

Beck said...

It is sometimes a terrible thing, this joy that gets taken from us with our adult understanding of the world. I like to think that the compassion that we hopefully gain is a worthwhile trade-off.

Jennifer said...

This is such a struggle for me, too. The wanting and needing (and taking) breaks and vacations and getaways...but feeling guilty about doing so. It's funny though, with other people, I can easily say, "Go! Rest! Enjoy! It is so deserved." I'd like to learn to be able to give myself the permission to "go without guilt" that I feel for others. Uh...you learn to do that first, and then teach me. *grin*

Go! Rest! Play! Enjoy.

PeterAtLarge said...

Good travels, Jen. Your good heart will bring joy to those you meet.

The Chick said...

I know homelessness exists all the time, but I do think about it more when the weather changes.

urban-urchin said...

Have a wonderful vacation!!! You need and deserve it.

cce said...

The fact that you chose to surround yourself with people suffering and down on their luck, the fact that you try to help these people day after long frustrating day, just means that you deserve this vacation more than most.
I'll miss you when you're away but hope it's a restful vaca and that you can let go of some of the guilt while you unwind.

mamatulip said...

Safe travels, friend.

Wayfarer Scientista said...

And yet, one often found much joy in impoverished places, even in the face of suffering.

crazymumma said...

I hear what you are saying. And I am damned if I know the answer to it. Because I have similar feelings as well, regarding my privilege.

Frolic with guilt free abandon Jen. Shit. Just the thought of it makes me wanna go put on my bathing suit..

Jenn said...

I'll think of you more than once or twice, dear.

jennifer said...

I miss you already

The Expatriate Chef said...

Why is it those beautiful places also seem to have so much poverty? Always wondered that while I was living there. Enjoy!

Jocelyn said...

Good travels, dear woman. I appreciate how conscious and deliberate your posts keep me.

Wonderful, as always.

deb said...

Bon voyage Dude!

Magpie said...

Have a lovely trip.

Aliki2006 said...

Safe travels--rest, recharge, you do deserve it, if only so you can return re-energized and help more people--as you so well each day.

Lawyer Mama said...

Travel safely, friend.

I get so mired in my own petty complaints and wants so often. Thank you for reminding me about what's more important!

Catherine said...

Thanks for this. I try to remember, when I'm frustrated by something, that this same frustration is probably somehow fueled by all that I have. I try, anyway.
catherine

Momish said...

I drove to work today with tears running down my cheeks thinking of all those cats and dogs who will have to make their way through the winter, huddled under porches or any shelter they can find.

I hear you. Homeless is homeless, heartbreaking regardless of how many legs you walk on. I hope and pray for a better world and a mild winter.