Old Diary

Life Unscripted

In 2011, when we retired and decided to go RV’ing for a few years the change in this blog’s title meant something a great deal different than it does today.  I thought I’d take a couple minutes and comment on what must be obvious to longtime readers but confusing to new readers.

Life Unscripted was indeed our atittude about our travels around the U.S. in a 40 foot recreational vehicle — we kept our plans sparse and we primed our willingness to try new things — we weren’t in a constant state of unknowingness but all our plans were written in jello and not concrete.

A year and a half ago when we decided that we’d had enough wandering we gave a try to living in South Texas.  It was an experiment that didn’t work for us, but might work for others.  And even though we were more stationary during about 1 year’s time we did a lot of things and a fair share of traveling — even if it was 5 trips back and forth between TX and WI in under 12 months.  I’ll be glad not to do THAT trip again for a few years!

WE have been resettled in Wisconsin for 8 months now.  In that time we have journeyed away from home a few times but for the most part we have been spending our time within a days drive of Milwaukee.  That doesn’t seem nearly as “unscripted” as it used to be, and on some levels it isn’t.  We are a lot less active than we used to be.  Some of it by plan — we wanted to be more stationary and not be planning all the time.  Some of it is because in some ways we are unable to be as flighty — the realities of health have made themselves known and we do best by paying attention to our body.

But none of this has meant an abandonment of our unscripted view of life.  We still view whatever lies ahead with an openness to change, a willingness to fly by the seat of our pants, and I think that’s a good thing.  AT the moment we have firm plans for a trip around Lake Michigan, and a visit to Sleeping Bear Dunes as well as to Mackinac Island.  We are trying to decide about a longer trip to CA and AZ — but there are still details to work out about that and it may or may not happen.  But TRAVEL is far from our paramount expression of unscriptedness.  STATE of MIND is far more important.

Don’t let your brain get old.  Don’t let decisions become trials.  Stay open to the newness and the goodness that life has to offer.  Stay open to appreciation and experimentation for no other reason than the good it does for your brain, for your relationships, and for your mobility.

We’ve all heard the “Use it or Lose it” expression — and as we get older it is true on an ever growling list of ways.  And doing things the same way we have always done them does not help our physical muscles or our mental ability.  It’s ever more important that we stay consciously active and challenging ourselves.  And, if you haven’t found out yet, you soon will that challenging yourself can mean just doing or thinking the things you’ve always done / thought.  Atrophy is not our friend.

You will have noticed that I write less about places we have gone or are going — duh — that’s because we aren’t going and doing as much.  But that doesn’t mean that our days are homogenized and uniform.  Each day we try to find something active and interesting to do; so far we have been very successful even if the day’s activity is not unique enough to write about — I see no value in writing about something that’s already been written 10 million times. There has so be something personal about it for me to want to share it.

Personally, I find it interesting that even if I’m not carrying my big cameras and lenses around with me not that my mind is still thinking about pictures even if I am not creating as many of them.  We have always loved gardens.  Now, we visit them far more often and instead of spending all our time wandering through them, examining plants as we go I find myself sitting in one garden room at a time and focussing on the intricasies of the overall creation.

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The current “To BEE or not to BEE” exhibit at the Mitchell Park Domes.

Gardeners spend so much time getting a garden right — the right plants, in the right places at the right time of year — and for years I glossed over that aspect of gardening completely.  Now, with a leg that gets wonky if I walk too long, I’m learning to sit a while and by sitting a while I notice a realm of things I never observed before — whether or not I saw them.

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The Reflecting Pool at the Thai Pavillion in the Olbrich Gardens, Madison WI

Life doesn’t have to be Formula 1 fast in order to be unscripted.  You just have to have your eyes open to what’s around you — and to be willing to experience it on whatever level you can.

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