Who stole my time?

sun capturedI didn’t come to Bali to recreate a life of frantic busy-ness. That’s what I left behind, a frazzled, strung out, head spinning schedule that fried me to a snarling crisp! I’ve done well to maintain peace, my cherished sacred idleness, until now.

It changed abruptly after the last trip back to the States, the catalyst that shot me into this altered state. Where did all these friends come from? How did I make so many promises? I didn’t join a new group or link arms with a cause, but maybe there’s a different kind of magic at the four year mark. Maybe until then I was still a tourist, a visitor who may not be committed to the long haul. Perhaps now I emanate a more settled energy that attracts responsibilities like ants to sugar.

This kind of frenzy used to make me feel alive. I needed the chaos, the structure. Over-commitment was my comfortable familiar. Then I moved to Bali where I knew no one. As years drifted by I’d taken my blissful solitude for granted. I was unaware of the subtle shift slithering in under the radar. The first month I thought, After such and such, things will slow down. The second month came and it was as though I’d hit the accelerator instead of the brake.

I’ve got to get them back, the week-long stretches of unassigned leisure. In my body there’s a gnawing resistance to the calendar squares with writing on them. They’re all activities and people I enjoy but taken together it’s overload. My nervous system is tuned to Bali’s rubber time, a phenomena that defies explanation but cannot be denied. It’s lackadaisical in nature, capricious, and gives the illusion of eternity melting, expanding, turning inside-out and looping back upon itself until there are no days, weeks, months or years, just one long continuum of lifetime after lifetime.

Without spacious hours to gaze into the distance and think of nothing, confusion sets in and the panic alarm goes off. Why have I fallen back into this? What forces, inner and outer, have propelled me headlong into an old, unwanted behavior?

I don’t know the answer, but the question calls for a serious stint of discovery writing. I want to oust the slumbering ghosts that have awakened and come out to wreak havoc with my peace!





11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. judybali
    May 15, 2016 @ 06:44:56

    Ha ha, that’s so funny Sherry but I know what you mean exactly. I need both idleness and busyness. And it needs to be perfectly balanced. Too much idleness and I feel cut off and depressed. Busyness that I can handle I thrive on as I swing from one task and interaction to the next I feel so alive! But too many commitments and I start to panic and withdraw in shock and horror. Finding the middle path just the right balance and there I’m happy! Good luck finding your serenity in that endless gorgeous Bali rubber time cos that’s where you thrive and feel happy. Xx



  2. judybali
    May 15, 2016 @ 06:47:50

    Also Ne t time before you commit to something new before you say yes or no say let me think about that and I’ll get back to you. My very wise friend taught me that one.



  3. sageblessings
    May 15, 2016 @ 08:35:52

    It sneaks up. Life. Relationships. Demands. Well said.



  4. Susan Wiste
    May 15, 2016 @ 15:14:21

    I spent 23 years in a small West-central town in Minnesota and then moved to a dynamic mid-sized town in the Arrowhead region. In just one year I had more “real-heart” friends here than I had in 23 years in that self-satisfied, self-aggrandizing small town that was amazingly pretentious with no reason to be so. In four years I have found myself making up for lost time with friendships, cultural activities and meaningful volunteering opportunities. Now, I am realizing that I have to pace myself if I am to have peace of mind as well as mental stimulation. My new Buddhist practice has helped me to see that equanimity is the key to a deep feeling of a sense of myself.



  5. shanemac
    May 16, 2016 @ 17:37:12

    Having been aware of this for years now I still don’t have the answer. It would be easy if I didn’t enjoy the company of friends so much.



  6. kananielaine
    May 28, 2016 @ 20:16:45

    I lived in Hawaii, in the sixties. Due to circumstances, I had to return to California. It took me seventeen years, raising children, working, and saving what little I could. Then one day, I got on a plane, with four young daughters, (my sons were almost grown and opted to stay) and I returned “home” to Hawaii. I had money, but no place to come to. I felt things would be OK. Rented a car, drove to the apartment my husband and I had lived in, in the sixties, the young couple invited the five of us to stay, and we found an apartment down the street, four days later. That was in 1982. Never give up on your dreams. I recently, at age 70, finally on my own, decided to leave the quiet hills of Makakilo, and move right downtown, Honolulu. I’m in an independent living, apartment complex, for people 62, and older. Chinatown, is just across the bridge. Honolulu Harbor is across the road, and I’m blessed to see all the Cruise Ships, and busy harbor life.



    • writingforselfdiscovery
      May 28, 2016 @ 20:23:27

      Thank you so much for sharing your story! At age 19, in 1969, I moved to Honolulu with my best friend from Kindergarten! I lived there for only 3 years but it was an amazing adventure and I’ve never lost my craving for new vistas and exotic people. I’m so glad you ‘went home’ to Hawaii! Your living situation sounds perfect for you and I wish you every day delights as you gaze on the bustle of life unfolding at your doorstep.



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