Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Urge

Most of us have urges – they could be as benign as a shopping spree, you just had to do it. A lot of my urges have to do with food – mostly things that are poisonous – cookies, candy, sweets of all kinds. I know they’re bad for me, I know it as I savor the taste of the chocolate. When the urge strikes, sometimes you just have to go with it, it’s unstoppable.

My most powerful urge was so strong it could be labeled a “force”. Once started, there was no stopping me. That would be the urge to go cruising on a sailboat to the Caribbean. I dreamed about it for years and finally, I realized I absolutely HAD to do it! There was no waiting until retirement – I kept thinking I may never live that long. This force became so strong that I had a panicky feeling that if I didn’t take steps to make this long-time dream come true that I would regret it forever.

It didn’t matter to me that I had to sell numerous houses (some of them producing income). Didn’t matter to me that I had to sell my 1966 red convertible Mustang that I loved. I was determined, I was going to do it, no matter what. I realized that we would lose track of friends when we left, they would keep in touch for a few years, but then life would get in the way and we would lose touch with them. People always say they’ll stay in touch, but usually they don’t. As far as I was concerned, I knew I was never coming back to the same place.

Now if you’ve read this far, you’re thinking about what a stubborn person I can be. I’m not really, but like I said, this powerful force was driving me and I’d I had convinced my partner that I would take care of everything, if he would go with me – I told him how much fun it would be and the wonderful places we’d get to visit. Unfortunately, even though he did go with me for a time, he would have been happy to stay behind and keep on working and having two days off per week and maybe a week off sometime during the year.

I was tired of working to pay for a house, cars, insurance and all the things necessary to live on land and keep a job. I was never getting enough time off to recharge. Every year, I had taken trips to the islands, diving or Windjammer cruises. Every year, I was so unhappy to be headed home, it was all I could do not to cry on the plane. When I took a vacation, I tried to convince myself that I didn’t mind being back at work – for about 2 hours and then I realized how far behind I was. It felt like punishment for being gone for a week and having a good time.

Obviously, I have a bad case of wanderlust – I always want to go places and see things I’ve never seen before. Possibly I have gypsy or nomad blood somewhere in my past. Maybe in my previous lives, I never got to go anywhere and I’m trying to make up for it in this life. Whatever it is, it’s a very strong force – the urge to travel.

Betty Karl

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