Archives for January 14, 2015

Top Tips for wandering with purpose while still coming home for dinner

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She sighed when she said it, “We have to put down some roots.” Then a soft, slow exhale. Being a kindred spirit, I read a thousand words in that one low breath. She feels the need to stay put somewhere for her kids, but she’s much too curious about the world to settle into one tiny hamlet of it. I live in this same sigh, caught in the tension between my curiosity and my desire to settle down somewhere “for the kids”. Some of us believe we’re made to wander, and maybe we are, but as I become more settled into this particular place, I realize I must find new ways to satisfy the curiosity without abandoning security. I can wander in new ways and still commit to a place I call home.┬áIf, like me, you’re a gypsy at heart, I offer you:

Top Tips for Wandering with Purpose While Still Coming Home for Dinner


Oh, Wanderlust, you old friend. You must be satiated in some way, and travel is the best way to satisfy the urge to run when we hear the faint call of a whistling train. No need to pull up roots. No need to spend your kids college tuition. A simple daytime adventure in a new-to-you place might suffice. Nourish your curiosity by scooping up the differences you see, hear, taste, touch, and smell along the way. Perhaps a day or a weekend away is enough to feed the wanderer in you.


I have lived a thousand lives in only forty years. My life spans centuries and continents. It defies gender and ethnicity and religion. Through the pages of a book, I can slip into someone else’s skin and see the world through their eyes. Sometimes I forget I’ve only experienced something through a book and not in the flesh. My husband thinks this is weird. Of course, he reads books on business models and accounting practices. I think it’s awesome. Each story becomes a piece of me, changing me in ways I never would have experienced had I not cracked the spine on someone else’s story.


This is new to me. Not so much the listening, but the sitting with someone else’s words, the entering into their real-life experience. So often I’m distracted by what I will say next. My mind races to the appropriate response or my own take on your words, that I forget to take the words in. I forget to wander around in your story for a while. I forget that the world looks different from where you sit because it is different. Too often, I assume that our life experiences are too similar for me to learn something new from you. I miss out on another opportunity to wander further than my feet can take me when I forget that life in your skin is all at once exactly the same and also nothing like the life in mine.


Cup your hands together and reach them towards the sky. Gather the wonder you see there. Now cup them and reach to the earth below. Scoop the soil and the seed. Gather the beauty you find there. Scoop the one blue feather you find resting on the back porch, because hope is a thing with feathers. Cup your hands to your ears, scoop up the laughter floating down from the upstairs bedroom. Cup them again and catch every one of his or her or your tears. Scoop the wind and let it blow answers right through you. Gather it all up and tuck it into the pocket of your heart, and when you find yourself doing the same old thing day after day, unpack the wonder you tucked away. Wonder heals the wanderer’s heart.


This life. The one you live every day in this place with the roots tugging you to the earth when all you want to do is fly. Embrace it. Become alive to this life, the one you chose, the one that chose you. Live every day with all of your senses, wander through the familiar with eyes wide open to the things you usually miss. I promise you will find something new to love here. You will notice the subtle changes marching their way across your timeline, and you will grow to love them in ways you never grew to love the ones that arrive with a flash bang. Embracing your life means allowing your curiosity to run wild into every small, dusty corner of it. There’s a universe to explore, and it’s spinning in circles inside of you. Wander away.


Are you a wanderer at heart? What would you add to this list?

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