3 DOORS OF PERCEPTION: Procrastination, Patience, Decisions

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I SHOULD NOT BE WRITING THIS, mostly because of one of my more formidable faults—I’m a procrastinator, world-class. If there were an Olympic event for procrastination, and a gambler wanted to place a thousand-dollar bet, every bookie in the book would list me as the favorite. I shouldn’t be writing because writing this is a passive-aggressive form of resistance: I have other things I need to do. I’m leaving the country in just a few days, and I’m not even close to getting packed and tying loose ends, and I need to find someone to water my plants and feed Duncan, my hermit crab. And because I recently procrastinated doing other things, I’ve morphed into a sluggish blogger: I haven’t written a post in almost two weeks; I haven’t kept up with comments; I haven’t been reading new posts by others; I’ve taken only a few photographs; I’ve been offline, scurrying down the space-time continuum, and procrastinating on everything along the way.

This is how ironic your world looks today: I’m writing this post stating that I have not written a post due to procrastination, and now claiming that when I am writing this post that writing it is procrastination for something else I should be doing. Question of the Day, and let’s have a show of hands here: Does anybody actually win mind games they play with themselves?

Not long ago, one of the travel bloggers I like to read, Jeff over at Planet Bell, wrote a post depicting his meticulous methodology for choosing his next place to travel. He’d posted a photograph of himself with a number of travel guidebooks that he was perusing in order to make his decision. But most interestingly, he had made one of those playoff charts they use for sports events like Wimbledon or college basketball, where you have lists of players on two sides of the page who play others in their list. Then, the winners of each match move on to play other winners, and the list on each side narrows and gets smaller and smaller until you have the final four, the final two, and the ultimate winner. Jeff was doing that with places to visit. You have to admire that kind of dedication and commitment to planning.

I’m more the Final-Two kind of planner. Or the Final-Winner kind of planner. First, I’m too frugal (let’s call a spade a spade—too cheap) to lay out all that money for travel guides that I potentially may never use. Second, I have no patience to sift through and weigh the necessary information to make informed decisions. If they had an Olympic event for “Lack of Patience”…. you guessed it, I’m the guy standing on that podium again receiving his second Gold Medal of the day. This is who you’re dealing with here: Please don’t make me wait in line to buy groceries. Please answer the phone on the first ring. Please, god, just this once, could you make that line of traffic signals turn green as I approach each one. Laptop…just wtf could possibly be taking you so long to open a freakin Word document, for crying out loud.

I read Jeff’s list. I noticed Cuba among the contenders. Something in me recognized it as a cosmic message. After a month of procrastination, I went out and bought the Lonely Planet guide to Cuba and a plane ticket. I would like to visit Cuba before we Californicate the place with brand new Cadillac SUV’s, iPads, and KFC’s. Then a couple months later, I inexplicably changed my mind, deciding not to go to Cuba. You’re probably thinking Jeff’s method is a bit more pragmatic. Well, that’s all I’m saying, no argument here. But sometimes, you’re stuck with the skill set you were delt in your DNA. Some travelers plan for months and find great deals; some travelers read the word “Cuba” and buy a plane ticket, then change their minds. I lost $700 listening to advice from the cosmos: $200 just for cancelling, and $500 for the seats with extra leg room (which the airline simply will not refund or transfer to another flight, don’t get me started). Yeah, I hear you: DNA is a bitch.

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FYI: if anyone reading this plans trips the way I plan and has read the word “Cuba” here and now wants to purchase a literally unopened LP guidebook for Cuba, I’ll give you a good price. “Best price.”   “Morning price.”   “Good-luck price.”

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So I’m sitting here watching backhoes, instead of smoking Cohibas or Montecristos. I have two months to kill. I have made no further plans. I have been commiserating with various people about my issue—what to do with myself this summer: Hawaii, Zanzibar, Bhutan (listen, we all have albatrosses weighing us down, some are heavier than others. If you’re thinking my albatross is lightweight, fine, I’m in no mood to argue).

I’m sitting here with a lean bird in my flat and smoking no cigar. I’m not British, I’ve just been hanging around a lot of Brits lately, and they call an apartment a flat, and it’s beginning to rub off off on me, perhaps because it’s easier to say, easier to write, and somehow sounds semi-exotic to call it a flat. I’m looking out my window watching the bulldozers, cranes and backhoes build something in the ocean on the other side of the bridge to the island below my flat.

OK, in case you doubt my Gold-Medal-level procrastination skills, consider this: I previously wrote a post about whatever it is they are building down there right in the ocean (click here to see photo), and I wrote that I intended to post ongoing photos of the progress of whatever they’re building in the ocean. I have taken daily photos of the process in various light (morning, noon, cloudy, sandy, sundown), because it is amusing and intriguing. I’ve even experimented with metering light—by spot-metering on a backhoe, on rocks, on the water—to see if it made a difference in exposure. It does. But get this, I have posted exactly zilch of those photos. It’s not that I don’t keep promises; it’s not that I have no respect for readers who genuinely desire to know just what is going on in the ocean down there; it’s not that I lie about shit like this. It’s merely a flaw in the genetic weaving.

One day, maybe I’ll put all the photos together in one of those stills-movie thingies where it almost looks like a movie, but the photos are all stills, and show the progress of building, sort of like a jerky-time-lapse movie. One day, maybe I’ll learn how to do that. Wait, let me put that on my list of things to do right now. OK, done, it’s on the list just above “Read iPhone guidebook.” Now…who wants to place a bet on whether or not creating that movie actually ever gets made? Hint: I’ve had my iPhone two months, still haven’t crossed “read guidebook” off the list, or “buy protective cover.” The odds are stacked heavily in your favor (if you’ve been listening at all, and bet accordingly).

A few days ago, I was sipping my second cup of coffee and watching the 40-foot dump truck dump another load of rocks—and by rocks, we’re talking heavy-duty-freakin boulders—onto the ground at the site where the backhoes are building something in the ocean. When I first moved into this flat three years ago, in that same area where they’re building, you would see wild-turkey-sized, black, ugly, odd-duck-looking birds, with knobby red wattles covering their faces like masks, here on migration from Beijing or Timbuktu, and dolphins imitating sharks in the sea. Now, the ocean is a construction site, which tends to destroy the concept of “layover spot” or “feeding ground” for some animals. If I had my choice of what I saw out my window, I’d choose ugly odd ducks and dolphins every time. Still, you have to admit, watching these guys build something out of nothing right in the ocean is intriguing. Some times maybe, you might need to squint your eye to perceive the beauty in your realities.

What is it Blake says about perception: “If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.” Very Zen, but that thought scares me a bit. I never want to become the man who sees things as shallow, or black and white, as it seems some people in our world see things. But I think Blake was right. We probably all see things from our own limited doorway of perspective. It’s just that some people’s doors are slightly more ajar than others, perhaps.

You ever heard of a “hat trick”? A hat trick is when you have three of something, usually we’re talking three successes in a short period of time. Like when a player scores three goals in one game. Or a car salesman sells three cars in a day. Or a hooker turns three—OK, you get the idea. What I’m talking about now is this: making decisions. Right now, you can head on back to your bookmakers, folks. Because if there were an Olympic event for “Inability to Make Decisions,” you are looking at the guy standing on that podium with three of those shiny Gold Medals hanging around his neck. They don’t call him Hat Trick Badfish for nothing, you realize. Every single day of my life. What is it Blake says about DNA, something like: “DNA is a bitch.” I think it was Blake. Or was it in that movie Legally Blonde. Or is it a refrain from the Badfish theme song.

So I’m sitting here second guessing my decision (and the loss of $700) (plus a Cuba guidebook), craving a Cohiba, and wondering if I should have just gone to Cuba. If you turn down your stereo, close your eyes, and listen intently, you might hear something riding the waves of the ethers that sounds something like this: “du-uh.”

And this is how my mind works—I’m getting antsy; I now feel like I should at least get out of Dodge. I consider Zanzibar, Seychelles, Mozambique. But you can’t get from Seychelles to Zanzibar; you have to fly back to Abu Dhabi or Sri Lanka, then fly all the way back to Zanzibar. And getting to Mozambique from Zanzibar is just as tricky, and more expensive. These are places you just can’t get to from there. Something feels off, I can’t decide. But I feel I need to go some place now, if only to clear my head, so I drive up to Dubai. It’s less than an hour and a half up the road from Abu Dhabi—because the speed limit is 120 kph, and you can legally drive 140 kph most of the way without getting busted by radar, which is about 85 mph. It’s not Cuba. But you can buy Cuban cigars in Dubai. And it is one of the world’s top 25 travel destinations (according to TripAdvisor’s 2015 List).

When traveling, I usually don’t visit museums or water parks or amusement parks, or cities. I have no patience for waiting in lines. Nor the desire to be surrounded by that many people. And I’d rather see things in their natural habitats. But after recently reading a couple other travel blogs I like to follow, James at Plus Ultra and Bama at What an Amazing World, who both recently wrote about museum visits they made, I decide to visit the Dubai Aquarium and Under Water Zoo. It’s not really a museum. There is no guide with an umbrella you must follow. And I have wanted to visit an aquarium like this for a while—where you can stand in a tube under the water and watch fish swim above and all around you. Another travel blogger who boggles my eyes with her award-winning photographs of underwater sea life is Indah’s: Travel Story and Photography. I’m thinking a visit to the aquarium might help me emulate these three blogs, especially Indah’s because I’m a little resistant to lashing a tank of air on my back, sticking a tube in my mouth and a mask over my face, and mouth breathe while trying to photograph man-eating fish and giant bait balls.

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The Dubai Aquarium, located in the Dubai Mall, is fairly impressive. Everything is well done with panache and elegant taste (well, it is Dubai). It is the second largest aquarium in the world. It holds 2.64 million gallons of water. More than 33,000 living animals coexist in the place. Over 400 sharks and stingrays combined. Greenback turtles. Moray eels. Unicorn fish. Monster catfish that could swallow your arm. The sharks don’t eat other fish because the handlers feed the sharks daily. You can rent a wetsuit and climb into a steel cage and swim with the sharks while they feed, if your skivvies are filled with gonads that large. The aquarium boasts the Guinness World Record for the “Largest Acrylic Panel.” Which somehow sprang a leak in 2010, and the whole shopping mall, the largest in the world, had to be evacuated. Think: disaster movie bigtime.

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WORLD’S LARGEST ACRYLIC PANEL                            image by FlashyDubai.com
Swim with sharks in this shark cage
Swim with sharks in this shark cage
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Gonad measuring device

However, the aquarium is not Havana. It’s not even Duluth. But it has gotten me out of my flat. And sailed me out of my psychic doldrums. It has jolted me into reality—it is summer, I’m on vacation. I should be on vacation; I should be traveling as usual, not sitting in my flat watching backhoes and decrying the weight of my bird. In the aquarium, I take photographs of numerous species of fish: sharks maybe eight feet long, clownfish, lionfish, massive groupers with sad mouths, piranhas. While I’m photographing these fish, I decide to go to Bali—my usual-default destination. If I have no particular place I want to visit, or if I do not desire the travail of travel and just want to “chillax” (that word is now actually in the dictionary!), I go to Bali.

I like going to Bali because it is beautiful and has great energy, and it exudes a spirituality that seems to transcend the boundary of religion. But now more, because it is “easy.” Going there is actually a “vacation” for me. I don’t feel like I have to get out and go see and do everything every day. I know the place. I know where to buy a fine bowl of mie kuah, I know where to get the best deal on renting a motor cycle, I know where to buy rambutans, I’ve driven to the top and hiked to the bottom of a volcano, I’ve photographed rice fields, I’ve picked snake fruit growing wild in the jungle, I’ve taken the fast boat to the Gili Islands, I’ve photographed burning corpses during the elaborate funerals, I’ve watched a team of boys launch a kite 10 feet long, I’ve seen the high holy sites and temples, I’ve watched wild monkeys steal my lunch, I’ve surfed Kuta Beach, I’ve stalked the wily Kingfisher, I’ve downed kopi luwak—coffee brewed with beans swallowed by a civet cat, digested, pooped out, collected by hand, roasted, and brewed. It does make you pause and wonder just who first got the notion to pick those digested beans out of cat poop and brew them, and then actually take a sip. A tad disgusting, perhaps, but it’s the most expensive coffee in the world. Who was it who said: “a traveler should try everything once, and some times once is enough.” Bali is a place I can go and just be—and chill, relax, rest. I never need a vacation when I return home from my vacation in Bali.

And when things go this smoothly, it is difficult not to imagine providence playing a hand. When I return from Dubai, I go online. I did not get online at all while in Dubai because during Ramadan, restaurants and cafes like Starbucks, with wifi, are closed until sundown, and because my hotel charged 30 dirhams an hour (over $8) or 90 dirhams all day ($25). I don’t feel the slightest need to rant about this, but in some countries, like Bali or India, I can rent a whole house or flat for a fraction of the cost of a hotel room in Dubai, and I’ll get free Internet, plus a free breakfast. Apparently, I balk at spending $25 for Internet (it’s the principle) but feel fine about losing $700 on plane fare (it’s the DNA). Let’s try to keep our value judgments to a minimum here and just agree that it’s hard to get through a day without one good rationalization.

So, Providence: I return home from Dubai. I get online. I get a discount on airfare. I get a discount on seats with extra leg room. I get the last seat on the flight with only one layover and the shortest flying time. My “usual” room in Legian Beach is still available. I reserve the exact flat in a rice field in Ubud that I had scouted out last summer and wanted to rent on my next trip, which just happens to be vacant because of a cancellation (at this late date for Bali reservations in high season!). The motorcycle I usually rent (fast, well maintained, and cheapest daily rate) is available. I take care of all these arrangements in a couple of hours, which for me is very unusual (apparently, people carrying puny albatrosses are usually required to do everything twice). And all of this, a little more than a week before departure. This is what we might call “Badfish Planning.” Or seat-of-the-pants planning. Or, total lack of planning. Or simply, luck. Coincidence, maybe. And a backhoe bucketful of grace. One—or a number—of those small miracles you’re so grateful for, manifesting in your day. And you imagine that there must be some powerful force running things in the universe, and it may not know your name and may not care if you’ve been bad or good, but it knows what you need.

So, the reason I should not be writing this is because I should be packing and preparing for my flight to Bali in a few days, instead of performing this exercise in procrastination. It’s not that I feel obligated to followers to write a post. It’s not that I’m driven to write. It’s not my sheer love and devotion to writing. It’s not that I have great discipline and commitment to blogging. It’s not that I’m addicted to that orange icon on my blog signifying “likes” and “comments” although it does evoke a degree of elation. It’s not that I have great photos of doors that I simply must share for the Photo Challenge. I’m not even showing you my great door photos (and I have oodles of great door photos). I’m not even showing you a door: I’m showing you a “doorway.” No, it is none of that.

It’s the first trick of a hat trick, today. I am doing what I do best, procrastinating. Later, I will most likely lose patience trying to load photos or publish this post or open Word. And at some point, I will hesitate while making a decision (protective cover for my iPhone—black, brown, tan, viper skin?).

You can see more photographs of the DP Photo Challenge here: Door

You can find more photos for Photo Rehab here: Photo Rehab

 You can see more entries to Daily Post Writing here: Don’t You Forget About Me

82 comments

    • No worries, I procrastinated enough on my own so that now I’m packed, and gone, and sitting in Bali. And now procrastinating things here and responding finally to comments! Life goes on…in waves of circles

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  1. Now that is a post and some serious procrastination! I’m with Jeff on the detailed planning and a stash of guide books. I wish I had some of that fly-by-the-seat of-your-pants DNA but when the genes were being handed out I apparently was in line for obsessive-detail-drive-yourself-mad-with-planning genetic material.

    Bali sounds marvellous. We were in Cuba in the mid 90’s. In fact our very first trip without kids. There was a hurricane during our trip and it still was great.

    Have a fabulous holiday but just to ease my nerves can you go get packed now? 🙂

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    • Sue…HA! I think there might be something to be said for both types of planning DNA. One is certainly not better than the other necessarily, but if I were choosing, I’d choose to be the detail-driven planner…with a partner who makes maps! Does Dave do that before you leave? FYI, I got packed way ahead of time (plane left at 0230).

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      • Yes Dave does the maps in advance and we preload them into draft posts knowing that Internet is usually a challenge on the road and loading anything becomes an eye poking adventure. Makes the detail types half crazed.
        Good job on the packing. I say as long as you make the plane. 🙂

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  2. I often wish I would listen to the cosmos more, but your example isn’t too encouraging. I seem to be turning from an obsessive compulsive planner into an equally compulsive procrastinator. We leave – hope to – for Northern Spain in a month and our visa papers are still not filed!

    Have fun in Bali.

    PS: Try a clear case with a neon bumper…..mine is lime green and I love it! 😀

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    • Sometimes it’s hard to hear the cosmos, but once it speaks and actually intends on your understanding what it says…you understand (whether it’s a good or bad message). Good luck with the Spanish visa!! Good to know there are other procrastinators traveling in the world!
      I bought a white one with a cover over the screen (they ran out of the other more “manly” colors, and my plan left that night! I don’t mind white–color of the highest chakra.

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    • I am again impressed with the working of minds here. I just heard the newer version of that song and realized I liked Joni’s better. But I’m pretty sure these guys aren’t building a parking lot. A dam, a restaurant?

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  3. Ha! I admit it. I did not read every word of this post, and am massively disappointed that you didn’t go to Cuba and write back to tell us all about it. Still, Badfish, you reeled me in for most of this post, which is something, because I have things to do this morning and was NOT going to spend a lot of time reading other people’s blogs. Have a wonderful trip to Bali, take great photos for us. Or not. Looking forward to finding out whatever it is that is being built on the ocean.

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    • JB…I’m so glad I could help you procrastinate doing the things you were going to do! And yeah, I kind of wish I would have gone to Cuba, too, for my own reasons, and yours. But…we are both where we both are. Stand by for construction report!

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  4. Oh, you’re back and saying all kinds of things I can relate to! My trip planning this summer was tagging along on someone else’s trip, I cannot make myself find and post the 1357 photos of doors that I have somewhere, I desperately want to go to Cuba before it becomes someplace else but I can’t pull the trigger, I have pulled the trigger on other destinations and extra legroom and have thrown them away, and … Have a great time in Bali!

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    • Back and now gone.Sitting in Bali catching up on being gone!! Lex…great minds…working alike again! 1357! Did you pull that number out of your…hat, or you really have that many? I don’t know how many I have, many not that many! Got the extra legroom to Bali but such a poor seat I may write about it!!

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      • I pulled that number right out of my … yes, hat. But I bet I have close to that many photos of doors! Just don’t feel like hunting through them right now. I did, however, get off my … hat, and I booked a mini-trip to Mexico City for 4 days in August right before I go back to work. I’ve been there before but that city is rocking right now and I got a great fare. Once again, hope Bali is great!

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        • Mexico…oh, I love Mexico. Really love it. I was in Manzanillo in the year (86 was it?) when an earthquake epicenter hit very near Manzanillo. But the shot waves rumbled all the way through the soft tissue of earth to Mexico City, and shredded the place. Because it’s built on a lake bed, and squishy. Hasta la vista, dude! Eat a taco and a torta in my name!!!

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  5. Bali! My bff in all the world (literally) loves to go to Bali to run away from her family (though they sometimes follow her — she lives in Perth, Australia — ever been there?). She always comes home from there chillaxed and ready to deal with family drama again. Another friend of mine recently got back from Cuba but said she didn’t like it because the beaches were cold. I guess there are pros and cons everywhere, eh? Me, I’m just thrilled to death if I can talk his lordship into spending the night downtown in a hotel to have a little private time. (Our 36-year-old, divorcing son lives with us. He knows all about creaking sounds in the next bedroom now. Rolls eyes…) SOMEDAY, however, I will make that trip to the UK that I’ve wanted all my life! Till then I guess I’ll just have to put up with Motel 6 in Ogden… (Have missed you while you’ve been procrastinating, btw.) {{{Badfish}}}

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    • Perth…of course. What kind of badfish would I be if I never went to Perth. But I haven’t traveled on the train between Perth and Sydney, and I so badly want to do that! Or drive it in a car. Cold beaches in Cuba makes it unlikable? Seems like a beach is a beach anywhere. It’s the rest of Cuba that makes it Cuba in my mind. Private time with his lordship–hey girl, a little too much information going down here! Next thing… you’ll be questioning me about the massages one might get in Bali. I also stayed with my folks after my most-recent divorce (long ago) and I was 36 at the time!! Coincidence? I think not.

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        • Oh, yeah. Really, really good. Almost the best possible. A nineteen-year-old coed who adores him. And makes no demands. But his dog dies in his arms in his Jeep overlooking the sun go down in the desert. But the sun also rises. And a wild cat finds him. And he moves out and on with his life, a much more powerful man.

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  6. This made me laugh. I am not usually a procrastinator but have been known to change my mind a lot on planning trips. One summer, we went from planning Paris and Germany to South Africa and then ended up in Peru! Now as I get ready to move to Cairo in Aug. I am confused as to where to travel for our first holiday in Sept. It is only a week and you think that would be easy but I have researched the heck out of all of Africa and I mean all of Africa and now have moved my way onto to SE Asia, never mind days on Europe. I think I should throw a dart at the world map!

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    • I’m so glad you laughed! And that one summer trip sounds like something I might do!
      Cairo–if you’ve never been in Egypt before, my suggestion is get on one of those boats and float down the Nile and visit all the ancient sites along the way. If that doesn’t float your boat (ugh), try Petra in nearby Jordan. It’s going to be hot anywhere in this part of the world this time of year. It was 49C when I left (something like 120F). You might fly sound of the equator where it’s winter and cool.

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  7. I am also a world-class procrastinator and fly by the seat of your pants planner. Maybe it’s a fish thing. Although, I probably would have gone to Cuba if it meant losing $700.

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    • Somehow I would have surmised you a procrastinator–indeed…a fish thing. I was unaware of the $500 seat thing…until the day I cancelled, the day before departure (and too late to go)! I still think about that money.

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  8. Sometimes procrastinating gets us mentally to where we are supposed to be in order to finally do what it is we think we should to be doing…it all comes together, that’s how I look at it anyway! HA!
    Anyway, had you chose Hawaii…I would have made you dinner! Happy Travels

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  9. Just posting a note to let you know I’m procrastinating writing a comment. So the question is, will you be back to read these, before I get back to comment?
    BTW, that trip to New England, leaving tomorrow… cancelled. Can you say root canal? Wonders how long it will take to consider that trip again.

    Happy procrastinating.
    Just remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

    Fim

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    • Fim, good to know you are procrastinating. Like minds! But…cancelled trip. Bummer bigtime, eh. And root canal…even bigger bummer.
      And…got it, where you, there you are. Where are you now? I made it to Bali, sitting now on my veranda in Legian Beach doing nothing, not one dang thing. Except catching up on blog stuff. When my body is here, it knows when it is 3 o’clock and that it should be sitting in Starbucks sipping a Java Chip Frappuccino, which happens in an hour and one half from now. Then, a hair cut with my fav hair cutter, Iluh.

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  10. What a page turner! …errr..thumb..swiper…upper…I was getting more and more anxious reading through your post–“FOR GODS SAKE JUST TELL ME WHERE YOURE GOING ALREADY!!!!” Sad that you passed up Cuba (would have loved to read all about it) but Bali is not too shabby of a pick either (so I hear). I’ll enjoy reading all about your visit to a tropical paradise but don’t procrastinate too long; my frostbitten thumbs might just fall off before this wonderful San Francisco “summer” is over…😒

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    • HA! For sure, it would have been a much shorter story had I just wrote I bought a ticket to Bali!! And less anxiety causing for you, maybe. But then it would have just been a string of photos that meant nothing.
      And right…Bali is not too shabby, if you gotta go somewhere, and some of us do. I’ve been to SF in summer! Brrrrr….and windy. But so very…well, San Franish.

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  11. I don’t think you have an issue with procrastination or with decision making. You just try to make decisions before their time. You try to make decisions about what you think you “should” do (like go to Cuba). If you stop getting lost in the shoulds, and allow decisions to make themselves, at the time they are ready to to be made, all goes smoothly and all the doors open, e.g. your trip to Bali. Let go of the mind stories and allow life to unfold. Does it feel right? then do it, if not don’t. Do a complete reframe of the procrastination issue. You don’t procrastinate on anything. You make all these imaginary lists of things you think you should do, or think you want to do and then call it procrastination when you don’t do them. The truth is you do what you want. Tear the mental lists up and throw them out the window. Accept that in each moment you’ll do what you want in that moment, and any thought that you should be doing something different is just a mind story. And stop trying to make decisions ahead of time. When the time is right the decisions make themselves, easily and organically, e.g. your trip to Bali.
    Patience. Hmmm. That’s another matter. Got nothing to say about that.
    Great writing by the way. As usual. Taken me a while to get back to you. We’re in Sweden with family, and erratic internet.
    Have a great time in Bali. It’s where you’re meant to be. Let go of any ideas that you should be anywhere else. Obviously not or you’d be there.
    love and hugs
    Alison

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    • Alison…thanks so much for this approach to things, and I hear what you’re saying about my issues with procrastination and decision making. That’s an interesting and Yoda-ish concept. One that one tends to grasp after the issues present themselves, and held onto until more issues present themselves. But as you may know, I lose no sleep over this. Not even the 700 bucks. I’m merely commenting on what is here. And yet, I have to disagree: I have a problem making decisions, and I procrastinate on just about everything. But you are right…seen in different light, all is right in the world.
      And patience: I’m so glad you had no answer. I could just meditate if I must stand in line. But no. I won’t.
      And Bali: this is my third time here in a year, so yes, I agree. Right where I should be. I get a haircut tomorrow. A cob salad the day after that. That’s the extent of my plans. But I am considering the possibility of a massage…at 7 bucks. Thoughts of…I forget, what country was it I was I thinking of? No worries, I have the guidebook at home, I’ll remember once back home….

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        • Yup, I believe you are right. The way I see things is that their are at least two realities: one, the physical world/reality with all its drama and suffering (as the Buddha mentions); and two, the other, more (shall we call it) spiritual world /reality (Y. Paramahansa reveals), where things are as they should be and everything is the same, and maybe there’s no time. Both are real. Balancing between the two is maybe what we try to do. Not too many, I’d think, make it all the way to the spiritual (living only in that spiritual)…but maybe that’s the goal.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I think it’s the goal, and it’s certainly one I aspire to. I know of several people who live in that space. They are all teachers – Eckhart Tolle, Gangaji, and our favourite Adyashanti.

            Like

  12. Geez, for some reason I got no notification of this new post from you, BF. I don’t understand the system and why it is so spotty.

    You are lucky to be able to go all these places so regularly. What a job you have, whatever it is.

    As for Cuba, my lefty Aunt who has been all over the world as a true nativist, not American tourist, thank the gods, went to Cuba and was disappointed in how run down and depressing it was. She expected something else — I don’t know what, Argentina under Peron? She brought me back some naive art that I secretly think is pretty mediocre, but who knows — it may be by the Picasso of Havana.

    If I had a choice and wasn’t such a fraidy-cat, Bali would be high on the list, so I will look forward to hearing all about it (if I get the notification! You may need to pop me an email). Meanwhile, killer photos of the aquarium. And your usual wry wit. Loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • From what I hear, not getting notifications sometimes happens in WP. Nobody seems to know why. But if it happens again or often, those happiness engineers at WP usually have the scoop on how to fix things, and are quick about it.
      I’m wondering just what your lefty aunt expected in a country under our embargo for all those decades. Just seeing all those 1950’s cars would satisfy me. And Hemingway’s house. And cigar rollers. Hold on to that painting, you never know. You don’t need to be afraid of Bali, but don’t expect New York. Or Solvang. Or the 101.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Trust me. I have been a lot of very rustic places. I lived in Fortaleza, Brazil and drove there from Sao Paulo — I will be posting about that eventually. And I’ve been to Pune and Fez, so if I were to go to Bali, I wouldn’t be expecting luxury or amenities. I am referring to being a Westerner in a land where we are not all that popular. I don’t like hostility, which is why I will never return to Germany, for example or Mexico. That sounds brutally honest but, life is too short.

        And I would be massively disappointed in Bali if it were even remotely like NY or SoCal, believe me. Not drinking that coffee, though, just sayin’ …

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        • You’ve lived a pretty full life, I think?? I have never been to Brazil. Went Argentina…and SAW Brazil from across the river at Iguazu Falls…does that count?
          Do you think Germany is hostile? And Mexico? I love Mexico. There are some banditos about, but I’ve never encountered any hostiles in Mexico. What did you find hostile in those places?
          Hey, and for the record, I love your take on things. Except…why no coffee?

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  13. HAHAHA! This is hilarious. I’ll take that Cuba book off your hands because we have more or less decided to go there. I am a planner, I can’t help it. When in Indonesia last year I tried not to have much of a plan, but ended up with one anyway.

    Have a great time in Bali and have a Bintang for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cuba, eh! I knew I was getting a vibe. I just thought it was for ME.
      Can you please send me your plan for Bali, please?
      Bintang…already crossed off for you.

      Like

  14. My high school yearbook quote was ‘I’ll say yes to anything I can put off until tomorrow’ so I know procrastination. Okay, that was way-back, but I am still a procrastinator. When I am seeing things clearly, I know that it is just part of my process and that things get done when things need to get done. Anyhow, loved your photos from your ‘backyard’. Glad you’ve decided to go traveling. And now I am going to go snorkeling and mull over your Doors of Perception quote which I so know to be true.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Procrastination never dies, it just…well, procrastinates a little slower. And you’re right, things get done when things get done. I could live more efficiently, but then who would I be? Did you ever discover the age of that clam (or did you already mention that?)

      Liked by 1 person

      • You would probably be more efficient but less interesting 🌞.

        And interestingly, I learned more about the Namena Clams while I was visiting Makogai, a former leper colony and now a Magricultural Reserve for breeding Giant Clams and rescuing turtles. Apparently, the oldest Giant Clam in Namena Is 26. I saw more Clams at the center including 1 in a nearby reef that I think was wild (not from the center) that dates back to the keeper colony days. I have a photo of him/her (they are both in one organism) on my Instagram.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. …gee, talk about procrastination – it took me what, 3 days?! to finish reading this post 😀 I read it bit by bit, following some links you’d suggested. I didn’t want to click this tab off, because I knew I’d enjoy the read. I have lots of other tabs open here, and have been constantly reading them bit by bit and trying to keep up with everything else. Darn. But yeah, great story about the booking and losing money and all – similar situation here – booked an early flight back home to avoid bad weather and enjoy the sunshine over here. Will be losing lots of money but somehow I really don’t care anymore. Following the gut feeling can sometimes just be the best. Enjoy your vacation!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you’re right–go with your gut. I don’t really like losing money, but sometimes that’s just what happens when the gut tells you what’s on its mind today. Tomorrow, it may change its mind??!

      Liked by 1 person

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