Random Thoughts from a Restless Mind

Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘surfing’

Work to Live/Live to Work: Surf Version (Adopted from Sunday musings)

1) Red eye. Ugh. How do you road warriors do it?

2) Maui. OK. I get it now. Mahalo to everyone there who took such good care of us.

3) Snorkel. Ditto. Never did it before, at least not where/when it was worth doing. Imagine, 55 and never saw coral.

4) Companions. It’s always a bit of a risk when you travel with friends. Are your travel styles compatible? Do you eat the same stuff at the same time? Are you the type who worries about your funds running out the minute you land, or do you just go with it? Can you stand either the back seat or the driver’s seat for the whole trip? Will you still be friends at the end of the trip?

Mahalo to Kathi and Scot for being such wonderful travel partners as we shared Anniversaries and Birthdays 6 time zones from home. 8 days together and Frida made it out alive.

5) Bunk. “I’m giving you an inexpensive bed on the beach; what you do with it is up to you.” –Bob H.

My Father-in-law is a time share maven. I may have shared this before. Over the last 20 or 25 years he has accumulated 3, one for each of his daughters. Two are rather opulent, and one is in a rather opulent location. As with any place you visit when you don’t need to wake up and go to your job, each day is special kind of opportunity. Hang out at that inexpensive bed, or get outside the walls and explore?

Traditionally I’m a bit of a slug on vacation. Hang on the beach or by the pool, restaurant and bar near at hand. Mrs. bingo is much more like her Dad. No adventure, no opportunity to explore is too small to miss. On my Anniversary trip I channeled my wife’s philosophy so completely that I literally have no idea where the restaurant attached to that cheap bed is.

Great way to get to know someplace.

6) Surf. Live to work or work to live? Live where you find your dream job, or find your dream life and do whatever it takes to make enough money to stay? Tough call, that one. Happy are the few who pull off the double dream: job you love in the place you find your dream life.

Certain destinations always leave me with the same sense if I’ve been there long enough to get to know the locals: whatever it takes to stay. There are several activities that tend to produce this kind of mindset. I’m very familiar with the skiing version having spent some 20+ years living in, or routinely visiting snow-covered mountains. Everyone you meet has built a life around skiing or riding every possible minute; no job is too small or too hard if it produces enough income to live in the mountains and buy your season pass.

Any reader of Men’s Journal or Outside is familiar with the surfing version of this phenomenon, but this past week was my first real up close encounter with surfing culture. Everyone…and I do mean everyone…surfed. More so, everyone builds their lives around surfing. Jobs are chosen and days scheduled around the local break. There was no apparent conflict between various types of surfers; everyone was happy to be on the wave, and it seemed like everyone who demonstrated even a bit of ability was welcomed.

You need to know a bit about yourself to make this kind of call. You also need to have one or two things you do that fire such a deep passion that you are thinking about your next encounter immediately after finishing today’s. It doesn’t seem to matter all that much what it is that fires that passion, only that the result of that passion is a desire for more. FWIW I don’t have anything like that in my life, any activity that I burn to do to the degree that it would drive most of my key life decisions. The way I’m wired is to be more about who I’m with, my people, than where I am or what I’m doing.

I see it, though, that passion for some pursuit. I do see it in others and when I do I am filled with equal parts respect and jealousy. What a gift it must be to have that one thing you can point toward each day. It surely must simplify that core, question, the one about work to live or live to work, huh? Work to live seems to work, at least in the mountains and on the waves.

Imagine if you were doing exactly what you dreamed of doing in the perfect place to do it. What if you were all of that AND surrounded by people you were also passionate about?

Something to work on, that.